That’s a sombrero, alright. Got it in a flea market when I went to Mexico as a little 9 year old. But, my memories of Mexico aren’t all that limited. I remember my cousins listening to Linkin Park and Eminem as we drove from LA to Mexico and telling me “Natalie, this is bad music for a little girl like you”. I listened anyways. I didn’t understand why Eminem had such a mouthful of swear words to spit out (and I still don’t right now). I remember my relatives’ extraordinary germaphobia when we dined near the flea market. I couldn’t drink juice from glasses because the glasses were dirty, so I could only get bottles of Coke. I remember the exquisite handmade items we saw (like a beaded cap that I got). I remember sitting by the beach and eating langosta (lobster). I remember how my uncle decided to go swimming in the Pacific Ocean even when it was pretty cold.
Mexico was really fun. And I sure wish I could go again. But we’ve got souvenirs, too! My sister got a handmade slingshot, I got my sombrero, and both of us got beaded caps. So as I baked these cookies I thought about Mexico all over again.
What makes these chocolate cookies “Mexican”? The addition of a darn good amount of cinnamon and quite a bit of pepper.
But it really isn’t disgusting! Think “Hot Tamales”. Mm mm. Get the picture now?
Mexican Chocolate Cookies (Adapted from “Organic and Chic” by Sarah Magid)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 sticks organic unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup firmly packed organic golden-brown sugar
- 1 organic egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Sift the flour, cocoa, salt pepper, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
Cream your softened butter. (You can use an electric mixer, but if your butter is softened enough -hint-microwave-hint-, using a spatula would be just as nice). Add the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and stir until combined.
Roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter/edge of a glass to create cookies. Place them about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8 to 9 minutes. The center will be soft.
Remove the cookies immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.
The original recipe asks for cayenne pepper and only a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. But since I didn’t have cayenne pepper on hand, I put in a lot of freshly ground black pepper and cinnamon.
And even after all that pepper, chocolate still overpowers. I guess chocolate conquers all, huh. But these are still very flavorful and unlike other chocolate cookies. Your first bite will be overwhelmed by the chocolate, a second later, you’ll taste the cinnamon and think “Oh..hot chocolate”, and 2 seconds after that you’ll taste the pepper and go “HOT TAMALE!”.
Those are some good cookies, I’m telling you. Perfect to welcome my little sister home from math camp. Welcome home, Melanie!