This time last year I had only been blogging for a few months when I saw posts about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. What? You make holiday cookies and send them to new food blogging friends across the country, while patiently awaiting surprise packages of cookies in the mail for yourself? Next year, I thought. Next year, I will take part in this friendsgiving of Christmas sweets.
Gratification of receiving sweets from foodie friends aside, I had to think of a new cookie recipe (as in new to this blog) to share. Ultimately, I chose these Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies.
Why? They’re made of a dense chocolate dough with creamy chocolate chips interspersed throughout… so I could end this post right here with that justification. However, I also adore the mugs of spicy, aromatic, and sweet Mexican hot chocolate that pop up this time of year. Decadent and velvety, tinged with the spice of ample cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper, laced with the enticing scents of fragrant vanilla. Wrap that all up in a cakey cookie, and you’ll have a merry Christmas indeed.
Sprinkle it with powdered sugar and dip it in heavily chilled whole milk for an otherworldly experience.
These cookies are as easy to make as any classic chocolate chip cookie, but are a unique and exciting detour from the Christmas sweets of old. Plus, their allure doesn’t fade, even after multiple bakings… I made at least 5 batches: one to test, one to photograph, two for my cookie pen pals, and then another because my first photographs looked like they were shot with a potato and desperately needed to be redone. And I didn’t get sick of them.
So enjoy, friends. Take a plate of these to your neighbors for a nice holiday surprise, or hoard them all for yourself as you watch Elf on repeat with your festive and fluffy holiday socks warming your toes. A friend gifted me with some that have candles on them and state, “Let’s Get Lit,” so top that.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups white flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a minute. Add the sugar and beat for another minute.
- Add the vanilla, then each egg one at a time until incorporated.
- Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne in a separate bowl. With the mixer running, add the dry mixture in increments to the butter and egg mixture until just combined.
- Add the chocolate chips and beat until just combined.
- Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls and flatten just slightly with your palm. Bake for about 14 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until the edges are hardened and the center is set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.