Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Growing up, I lived in an area with many people from various parts of Latin America. This meant that most grocery stories had aisles of Hispanic foods, and several of them made them into the staples at my house. One was Abuelita hot chocolate tablets (not a paid advertisement), where you could drop a chocolate tablet and hot milk in a blender and in no time, you would have a delicious, spicy hot chocolate. Coffee shops would sell Mexican mochas, which would be a spicy mocha. These were delicious times.

I came across a recipe from Aaron Sanchez on the Food Network website for "Cinnamon-Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies." I adapted it slightly and renamed it to what I think he meant. Chocolate mixed with spices has Mexican heritage and we should be proud to say so!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
generous pinch black pepper
generous pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup dulce de leche (or more if you are making sandwich cookies)
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped

  1.  Mix flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
  2. Cream butter and sugars until sugar is well incorporated. Beat in vanilla and egg, scraping down the bowl.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until just blended.
  4. Lay out sheet of plastic wrap and dump dough into a pile on top, using plastic to form it into a log shaped roll.
  5. Chill about 30 minutes, and take out to roll into smoother cylinder.
  6. Let chill at least another hour but preferably overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Slice cookies to desired size but try to make them close in size.
  9. Bake 10-11 minutes, but do not overbake!
  10. When completely cool, you can choose to make sandwich cookies by spreading one cookie with 1 tbsp dulce de leche and sandwiching on another. Or you can "drizzle" dulce de leche on top and sprinkle with almonds. (To drizzle dulce de leche it is likely you will need to heat it, otherwise it is more accurate that you will just glomp it on the cookie. Tasty but not as attractive. Cookie pictured had dulce squeezed on from a ziploc that had been heated for about 15 seconds in the microwave.)
I found I preferred these after they'd sat around with the dulce, at least overnight. You could leave the dulce and almonds out if you needed a cookie that was easier to transport, but it's definitely an elevation of the entire recipe!

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