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12 Days of Cookies: #8 Mexican Chocolate Cookies

By now you know that I don’t care much for chocolate. Unfortunately, most of my friends do and so I thought I would try to selflessly include one chocolate recipe in this cookie carnival. My goal was to find a recipe I might actually like, which means there needed to be lots of butter and other distractions. These Mexican Chocolate Cookies are the perfect compromise. They are a rich chocolate-flavored butter cookie spiced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. They are tasty and were a big hit with my friends. They are especially nice with a cup of coffee. And because they are slice and bake, you can have freshly baked cookies whenever you like which makes them perfect for the holiday season.

Believe it or not, there are still more cookies coming your way. Tune in tomorrow for another favorite recipe!

Mexican Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

In medium skillet set over medium heat, toast almonds, cinnamon, and cayenne until fragrant, about 3 minutes; set aside to cool. In food processor fitted with metal blade, process cooled mixture until very fine, about 15 seconds. Set aside.

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and instant espresso powder; stir until mixture forms smooth paste. Set aside to cool, 15 to 20 minutes.

In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix remaining 16 tablespoons butter, sugar, salt, and cooled cocoa mixture on high speed until well combined and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping sides of mixing bowl once or twice with rubber spatula. Add yolks and vanilla and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl. Whisk nut/spice mixture into flour. With mixer running on low, add flour mixture in three additions, waiting until each addition is incorporated before adding next and scraping bowl after each addition. Continue to mix until dough forms cohesive ball, about 5 seconds. Shape into dough log, 2 inches in diameter and about 12 inches long; use parchment paper or plastic wrap to roll into neat cylinder. Chill until very firm and cold, at least 1 hour. (At this point the dough can be frozen for up to a couple of weeks.)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll chilled log in sugar. Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake until cookies show slight resistance to touch, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time; if cookies begin to darken on edges, they have overbaked. Cool for 5 minutes, then, using spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack; cool completely.

Previously on the 12 Days of Cookies:

#1 Marlow & Sons Shortbread [1]

#2 Dorie Greenspan’s Linzer Sables [2]

#3 Apricot Bow Ties [3]

#4 101 Cookbooks Sparkling Ginger Chip Cookies [4]

#5 Almond-Anise Cookies [5]

#6 Lebkuchen [6]

#7 The Wednesday Chef’s Cardamom Cookies [7]