Over the holiday, I decided to confront my baking fears and head into the kitchen to make some goodies to bring to my mother’s house. I’ve always used the Rachael Ray mantra “I’m a cook – not a baker!” as a defense mechanism to rationalize my fear of baking. When it comes to cooking I excel, however but baking? Let’s just say that more often than not I have fallen short.
In this month’s issue of Cooking Light they spotlighted some cookies that were just begging to be made. “Hmmmm.. Mexican Chocolate Cookies – how bad can THAT be?” Sure enough – the cookies were the standouts – the delicious heat of the cayenne mixed with the richness of the chocolate and the warmth of the cinnamon – divine. You might want to make these Mexican Chocolate Cookies for your next cookie exchange or to leave for Santa for a little somethin’ extra in your holiday stocking…
Yields 32 Cookies
- 5 oz. bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3.4 oz all purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Dash of black pepper (I used about 1/8 tsp.)
- Dash of cayenne pepper (I used about 1/8 tsp.)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. Mexican vanilla extract (or whatever vanilla extract you have on hand)
- 1 tsp. of cooled espresso or coffee
- 1 tsp. Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Place chocolate in small glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Add cooled espresso or coffee to chocolate. Cool to room temperature.
- Weight or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
- Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper; stir well with a whisk.
- Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended.
- Add egg; beat well.
- Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; beat until just blended.
- Add the flour mixture gradually.
- Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until almost set.
- Remove from oven; cool on pans 2 minutes or until set.
- Remove from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, December 2009
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