Friday, November 5, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

photo by Anthony Palatta
These sweet and spicy cookies ring through your palate like a complex symphony, hitting high and low notes and a few in between.  And they're amazingly easy to make.

I found the recipe in a magazine of holiday cookie suggestions from Betty Crocker. It begins with the mix for their sugar cookies, to which you add an egg, chocolate chips, and butter melted with a "mexican hot chocolate tablet."

When I read the word "tablet," I was expecting a pill-sized nib of chocolate, the kind of thing you use to make Easter egg dye. So I was surprised to find that Mexican hot chocolate tablets are actually a large and thick hexagonal disc of chocolate, the size of a hamburger patty. 

I found two different brands of Mexican hot chocolate at a local supermarket that has a large Spanish-speaking clientele. I went with the Nestle version for the cute picture of the grandma on the box. 

What makes these cookies "Mexican" is the mix of cinnamon with chocolate, which gives the finished cookie an unexpectedly earthy bite that contrasts with the sweetness of the chocolate chips. The last time I baked these cookies, I made them small, so that they were little bites, with a brittle, crackling crust and a fudgy center. 

It's the kind of dessert that makes your friends pause, then smile in recognition, then reach for another.


  1. Aaron, I grew up drinking Abuelita chocolate, jealous of all the white kids who got to drink Swiss Miss and Nestle Quik. I still have mixed feelings about it as a hot drink, but these cookies sound intriguing. I'm going to give old Abuelita another try for the holidays.
    I enjoy the blog (even though I've given up sugar). It's food fantasy for me.
    Tanya Barrientos

  2. The cookies are great! People really love them, and get a kick out of the unexpected combo of cinnamon and mini chocolate chips.

    Strangely, I've never tried the Abuelita for hot chocolate, but maybe I'll give it a try!

  3. I am most definitely trying this.
    Swiss hot chocolate is nothing
    Oh my abuelita hot chocolate is the best....