MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE COOKIES.

Mexican Hot Chocolate CookiesSince Thanksgiving, life has been running on super fast forward, rapid, beyond nascar level speed. And the days flying by seemed to go hand in hand with the “wrapping up” of so many things.

Wrapping up the last projects of 2014 and all its glory at work.

Wrapping up the semester and putting a pretty little bow on finals.

Wrapping up like an eskimo living in Antarctica to go outside because this is my life.

Wrapping up fun little Christmas presents for those I love because CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEK?!

And last but not least, wrapping up boxes upon boxes of Christmas cookies and candy to share (read: force feed) with everyone I possibly can.

Mexican Hot Chocolate CookiesFor the past few years, baking up a storm and filling boxes to the brim with Christmas inspired treats has become one of the greatest highlights of the season, and really the whole year for me!

You might think I’m totally insane (and you’d be right), but I start planning my Christmas baking list in October/November. I scour and sort through recipes on the internet, pinterest, food blogosphere, magazines, cookbooks, and those passed down from family and friends. On Thanksgiving, I poll everyone in my poor family and make them tell me what their absolute first and second favorite Christmas cookies are. I make lists after lists (sometimes instead of studying for finals…), I cross things out, and add things back in, until my mouth is officially watering so much I can’t take it.

I then create a baking schedule for all the upcoming Christmas parties and family get-togethers. And when the time finally arrives!!!, I crank up my favorite Christmas music (which has consistently been for the past few years: A Very She & Him Christmas), tie my apron tight, cover my kitchen in flour and sugar and butter and candy canes and sprinkles, burn my fingers at least twice, consume way too much dough, and bake batches and mountains of Christmas cookies.

Next? I eat them. Definitely can’t feed my people something I didn’t taste and happily squeal about first. No sirree.

Mexican Hot Chocolate CookiesThese mexican hot chocolate cookies made the cut this year! I always like to have at least one or two chocolate cookies in the mix, and these looked irresistible when I stumbled across the recipe. I brought them to work for our annual holiday bake-off, along with some scrumptious eggnog cookies (a permanent staple on my list each year), and they were a hit!

This cookie is sort of like an adventure for your taste buds. When you take a bite, you immediately taste the delightfully rich chocolate, then the sweet cinnamon sugar settles in, all preparing your mouth for the kick of heat you get at the end. Its so fun! And very reminiscent of sipping on a mug of real mexican hot chocolate, complete with a cinnamon stick.

I hope you all are now officially in the holly jolliest of moods and dreaming of Christmas cookies with me!

Mexican Hot Chocolate CookiesMexican Hot Chocolate CookiesMexican Hot Chocolate CookiesMexican Hot Chocolate CookiesMexican Hot Chocolate CookiesMexican Hot Chocolate CookiesMEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE COOKIES

makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar, divided 

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chili powder 

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

Preheat oven to 375. Line 3 cookie sheets with non stick foil.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

In a separate bowl using a mixer, beat together butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until fully blended, about 1-2 minutes. Then beat in eggs and vanilla. Turn the mixer down to low, and slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne together.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll into balls. Toss the dough balls in the cinnamon mixture and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely.

Devour that deliciousness!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Inspired by Martha Stewert.

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