My first experience with sweet treats made spicy was actually in Mexico, in 2002. We were at a resort that served Mexican Coffee after dinner, and it had cinnamon and something some type of pepper in it. It was wonderful. It took a few years before I saw anything similar back home, and that was of course Jeni’s Queen City Cayenne ice cream. I always try the most unusual flavor on any menu, and when I saw chocolate and cayenne together, I had to have it. Sometimes I love unusual things just because of their uniqueness factor, but later the novelty will wear off. Many years later, Queen City Cayenne is still my favorite of Jeni’s signature flavors.
When I saw Martha’s take on a spicy sweet treat, I jumped on it. The only downside to these cookies was the need for a warning label, so kids wouldn’t assume they were just chocolate cookies. Oh well, it makes for cuter packaging with the little warning label attached.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie
from Martha Stewart
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 3/4 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon chile powder (I used ground cayenne)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Makes 32. Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.