I had a request from my friend Abby that I make the Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies WITH the chili powder sometime in the very near future. She’s about halfway through her pregnancy, so I don’t know how that will go over with her boy-bug, but for my 3rd trimester, the bambino & I craved hot sauce. I ate a LOT of buffalo chicken those last 3 months. I also had a request from Auntie Em that I actually post the recipe, so here it is:

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies (from Everyday Food, April 2010)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch-process cocoa)
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (I used Organic Valley Salted Sweet Cream butter because that’s all I had)
1 3/4 C sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. chili powder (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F, with racks in upper & lower thirds positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 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 & 1 1/2 C sugar until light & fluffy (about 2 minutes), scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture & beat to combine.

*(I do believe that when the recipe calls for an electric mixer, they’re thinking of a heavy-duty stand mixer, rather than a hand mixer. I used my trusty Cuisinart hand mixer, and was seriously afraid that halfway through adding in the flour mixture, I’d burn the motor out. Being unable to afford the Kitchen Aid that I’ve decided I now need, the next time I make these, I’ll do the mixing by hand. My arms could do with some strengthening anyway.)

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 C sugar, cinnamon & chili powder (unless you wuss out like I did). Using heaping tablespoons, roll the dough into balls, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar-chili powder mixture.  Place 2-3 inches apart on baking sheets (mine didn’t spread out as much as I was expecting, so 2 inches apart is probably fine), and bake until the centers of the cookies are set & starting to crack–About 10 minutes. Rotate the sheets after 5 minutes. Let cookies cool for a couple minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks.

I will say that these are not diet-friendly cookies–6 WW points per 2 cookies, so eat at your own risk! A friend (also doing Weight Watchers) made the point that had I added the chili powder, these would’ve become the type of cookies that one savors, rather than shoves in one’s face, and therefore would be an acceptable indulgence. I do believe she is correct.

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