Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
These delicious cookies come from the Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies special issue that is on the newsstands now. Look for it because there is a cookie recipe in there for everyone. I tried these awhile ago & they were a great success.
Have all of your ingredients premeasured before starting. French chefs call this mise en place and it's a good habit to get into. The butter and eggs have to be at room temperature in order to cream properly.
The recipe calls for cocoa powder (dutch-processed). Cocoa has a tendency to clump which is why I always presift it before proceeding with the recipe. Those lumps that are left can be pushed through with your spatula or wooden spoon.
In the bowl of your mixer cream your butter and sugar well. You don't want to overbeat this mixture because you may have cookies that spread too much. Just beat until it's creamy.
Add your eggs one at a time until well blended. I always crack my eggs in a separate bowl. This will keep any unwanted pieces of eggshell out of your dough.
This is what you want to see before adding your next egg. A well incorporated egg in the butter/sugar mixture should have no slickness.
Scrape your paddle.
Although your stand mixer does a good job of mixing, it's still necessary to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
Add your dry ingredients on low speed.
Use your spatula to scrape all that dough off your paddle. Now it's time to chill it. I almost always chill a butter cookie dough before baking. This helps retain its shape when baking.
What gives these cookies their Mexican flavor is the combination of cinnamon & chili powder. I happened to use cayenne pepper for these. Mix with the remaining sugar.
At this point your oven should be preheated & your cookie sheets should be lined with either parchment or a silpat. Portion out your cookie dough with an ice cream scoop & drop the balls into the cinnamon sugar.
Place them on the baking sheet & pop them into the oven.
Once the cookies have come out of the oven, let them cool before packaging them up. Don't be surprised if the aroma prompts your neighbors, friends or family for an unexpected pop in. Make plenty of these because they're going to love them.
These were a special care package for a nephew of mine who happens to be a chocoholic. I placed each one in a cupcake liner because they were so tender & wrapped them in a large cellophane bag.
Make an extra batch for gift giving because everyone is going to want to try them. Perfect for the cookie monster in all of us. Enjoy!