Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

It’s starting to look a bit more like winter every day. My back window, filled with color just a few weeks ago, now shows nothing but empty branches against a gray sky. The air is colder, the days shorter, and the first few snowflakes have made their appearance recently. Very briefly on an early morning drive to work, but there they were, fluttering down serenely while I shook my fist at the sky, screaming, “NO!! Not yet!!”

 I’ve even had to break out my winter coat—something I dread donning because it means I can no longer get by with just a hoodie or a cardigan. They’ve even put the big Christmas tree up in the square across from work already, so I’m reminded of just how close we are to the holidays every time I walk by the windows. Don’t get me wrong. I like cooler weather. I love the holidays. For awhile I even like snow, as long as I don’t have to drive in it. Even though it’s November already and Thanksgiving is literally just around the corner, I’m still not ready to shift into winter mode yet. But like it or not, it’s here, and it won’t be going anywhere for a few months, so I guess I better just suck it up and find something to warm to get me through.

I love anything with a bit of spice. Just enough to feel a bit of heat, but not so much that you’re breathing flames. These Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies fall right into that category. The ground chipotle gives a nice smoky heat which you barely feel until after you’re done. The cookies themselves have a slightly crunchy outside and a soft chewy inside, exactly how I like them. It’s a really good thing I’m taking these to work tonight, because I could eat the entire batch on my own. Looking to kick the spice up a notch? Add some cayenne to the mix. Looking to tone it down? Omit the chipotle all together. You’ll still have a delicious chocolate/cinnamon combination to devour with your mug of hot chocolate while you’re wrapped up in a blanket on the couch on the long cold winter evenings. Now where are my fuzzy socks?

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies 2010 Special Issue
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line two standard baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 ½ cups sugar on medium speed until pale and fluff, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beat to combine.
3. In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle. Form heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
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Rachel said...

I actually made these over the summer for a Mexican themed birthday. They're super delicious.

Lora said...

What beautiful cookies!

Lora said...

What beautiful cookies!

Unknown said...

these look gorgeous! i love this kind of weather though, and i'm itching to decorate for Christmas!

Beth said...

What a great idea! I am definitely making these and giving them away for Christmas.

Sue said...

Your cookies look beautiful and sound delicious!

Dustin Baier said...

These pictures are great. You should share them over at www.dishfolio.com

Lauren said...

These look amazing! I love Winter and trying different cookies around this time of year makes it so much better. I love a little spice but have had trouble finding cookies that have the perfect balance, I'm definitely trying these.

Oh and I'm definitely coming back to check out Busty Baker again! Great blog!

Jessica said...

These look fabulous! Can't wait to try them:)

oneordinaryday said...

I'm not ready for winter yet either. I keep expecting to see snow swirling outside my window. These cookies with a little kick would be a fun addition to holiday baking, wouldn't they?

Emma said...

I love Mexican hot chocolate - there's nothing like chocolate with some chilli kick - these cookies look lovely :)

Caroline said...

I got this magazine and was considering making these cookies. I may just have to make them now - yours turned out so beautifully!

Amy at TheSceneFromMe said...

Anything with the words "hot chocolate" are mouth teasers to me. These cookies look scrumptious!

Unknown said...

How delicious! The crackle on these cookies looks so good and perfect. It should be in a magazine!
*kisses* HH

Anonymous said...

Do you have to use Cream of Tartar?

Danae said...

Anon- The cream of tartar combined with baking soda acts as the leavening agent in the recipe, so I wouldn't suggest just leaving it out completely. However, from things that I've read online, you may be able to substitute baking powder for the cream of tartar/baking soda combination if you don't have any cream of tartar on hand. It's suggested to use 1 teaspoon baking powder for every 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and every 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. So in this recipe, it seems you'd omit the c-o-t and baking soda and use 4 teaspoons of baking powder instead. I haven't tried it this way, so I don't know exactly how it would turn out. 4 teaspoons seems like a lot, but I've found several different sites that suggest that ratio. Hope this helps!

The Frugal Student said...

I just made these, and they are absolutely spectacular. I plan to eat them tonight, while cuddling in bed with my girlfriend and drinking cup after cup of hot abuelita chocolate. I hope I don't have a chocolate overload.

...Nope, chocolate overload is impossible.

Ragan said...

These are baking in my oven right now. Your recipe is really easy to follow and I can't stop eating the dough, it's delicious! I can't wait for these to finish baking so I can share them with everyone for Christmas!

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Anonymous said...

I loved these so much I had to blog them, too!

Unknown said...

Those cookies look so nice! I like the ribbon and well, I'm sure once you bite it, an explosion of mexican flavors occurs in your mouth and then you need a fresh glass of milk!

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