Each Christmas, I spend months thinking about what cookies I'm going to bake. I scour my favorite recipe banks for interesting yet mass-appealing cookies. Often times I'll find a recipe and know I have to include it in my packages based on certain tastes: JJ loves oatmeal and molasses, Kris loves chocolate, Dad loves shortbread, Grandma loves jam, etc. As for me, I love spice! I had nine recipes on my list, and only one was a chocolate cookie, so it seemed a second was necessary (yes, necessary, ask 7-months pregnant Kris). I was a little selfish and thought of how I could make a spicy chocolate cookie. I browsed a bit and finally it hit me, Mexican Hot Chocolate! Sure enough, the cooking channel website had the exact recipe I was looking for.
Because I knew children (and my mom) would be eating these, I left out the cayenne and added half the amount of chili powder the recipe calls for. I also added an additional 1/2 c. flour as I felt the dough was a bit too wet. These cookies were on the more labor intensive side, they start out like a brownie with melting unsweetened chocolate and butter, then incorporating it into the batter. However, they were more than worth it! And the very next day after receiving her cookie package, my husband's boss asked for the recipe! If that's not the sign of a great cookie, what is?
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325*
Over a double boiler, melt together butter and unsweetened chocolate, once completely melted, remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and eggs on low speed until combined.
Add chocolate/butter mixture and beat until combined.
Stop mixer, add cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne.
Beat until just incorporated, stop mixer.
Add flour, beat until all flour is absorbed, about 15 seconds, then add chocolate chips and beat until distributed, about 10 seconds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, scoop dough in heaping tablespoons full onto cookie sheet about 2" apart.
Bake in the center rack, one sheet at a time, for 14 minutes.
Cookies should be puffy and soft, but set.
Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Yield 2 dozen cookies