We’re on the final stretch in the countdown to Christmas… are you ready? I’m happy to report that, at our house, all presents have been purchased, the tree is up and decorated, the Christmas cards are in the mail, Drop In & Decorate was a great success, and the abbreviated version of Holibaking 2009 is complete. I’m ready!
This is my last Christmas cookie contribution for the season. It’s been a busy month and, though I had big, big baking plans (as usual), in the blink of an eye December had zipped by. So, with one egg left in the fridge… this was the perfect recipe for me.
I’ve paired cinnamon and red pepper with chocolate many times in the past. But it had never occurred to me to add a dash of pepper to the mix as well. What a great idea! Everyone loved these cookies and we have just enough left to share with Santa on Christmas Eve. I hope he enjoys them as much as we have!
Mexican Chocolate Christmas Cookies
(recipe courtesy of Cooking Light)
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash black pepper
1 dash ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place chocolate in a small glass bowl and microwave at 50% power in 30 second intervals until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) and stir with a whisk. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixture at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg and beat well. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla and beat. Add flour mixture. Beat just until blended – do not overmix.
Drop bough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats. Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set. Do not overbake.
Remove pans from oven. Cool cookies on pans for 2 minutes or until set. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
Yield: Approx 24-32 cookies