I’m baking. In every sense of the word. It’s 90 degrees outside, I live on the top floor and I have the oven on.
Crazy? Crazy good!
I’m baking these lovely little chocolate cookies I sort of invented, which I call Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies because they contain cinnamon and chili powder. I actually got the base recipe from Joy the Baker, who is all types of amazing. Seriously. Check her out…right after you read this post, of course. I started with her Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Sugar Cookie recipe about a month ago, and quickly found that, as much as love whole wheat flour, I don’t love whole wheat flour in cookies. Not even a little bit. (I still ate them…all of them.)
So I started tinkering, and I think this final product is close to a winner. I’m still tinkering. For instance, flax meal in cookies (like I just tried) is really not much better than whole wheat flour. Keep the butter. Also I made this last batch gluten-free, because dear old Christine is having another party and she doesn’t eat wheat. And, of course, I added chili and cinnamon and vanilla and a bunch of other stuff because I’m a spice girl and plain chocolate cookies sounded terribly boring.
So. Make these. Play with them. Play with EVERYTHING. If you’re not feeling the spice, I also once made a White Chocolate Mocha batch, with instant coffee and white chocolate chips. But you should definitely try these first.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Joy the Baker)
- 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour*
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter (I tried 6 T butter plus 5 T flax meal…it’s alright but I’d stick to the original)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
*If you’re making these gluten-free, use 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (like Bob’s Red Mill) plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum. When baking cookies, the rule is generally 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum for every cup of gluten-free flour.
First of all, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Then mix your dry ingredients in a bowl: the flour (or flour plus xanthan gum), cocoa, salt, baking powder, chili powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Then, in another bowl, cream together your butter and sugars (Joy’s recipe uses a mixer, but I don’t own a mixer. Not even a hand mixer. Improv! It helps if the butter is well-softened.). Add the vanilla and egg.
This is an informative picture, huh? When it’s nice and smooth, dump in the dry ingredients and stir. It can take a lot of muscle to incorporate these ingredients thoroughly. You can do it. When it’s all mixed up and lookin’ fine, add the chocolate chips. Eat a few out of the bag, too. Just to test them.
I found it kind of hard to incorporate the chocolate chips, actually. They kind of didn’t want to be in the dough. Maybe it was the flax meal. Don’t fret if this happens, just keep folding and stirring and be aware of your chippage when you put the dough on the cookie sheet…which is the next step. Joy’s cookies are rolled, but I’m kind of lazy and chocolate chips aren’t very rollable. I just plunked little teaspoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet and patted them down with my fingers, until they were about a half inch high and an inch and a half round. You can squeeze a lot onto one cookie sheet because they don’t really spread.
Then bake them for 10-12 minutes and you’re done! They come out kind of crunchy on the outside, a little soft on the inside, like little biscuits. This makes a little over two dozen cookies, at 70-75 calories apiece, depending on what your ingredients are and how many you actually get. They’re just a little spicy, just a little sweet, and you even get a hint of salt at times. Since they’re small and dense they travel easily…perfect for parties!
So now you know. Make it happen. Make it your own. But maybe make it when it’s not 90 degrees outside.