Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Christmas may be over, but hot chocolate season is year-round! Especially in the cold weather, I love cozying up with a yummy cup of hot chocolate and enjoying a nice book or show! But what’s better than a cup of hot chocolate? A batch of hot chocolate cookies to munch on! And even better yet...Mexican hot chocolate cookies! So on top of having the warmth and smoothness of chocolate, you also get an added spice kick!
The most important part of hot chocolate is, of course, the chocolate! There are lots of cocoa powders out there and really any of them will do for this recipe depending on the flavor or color that you like! The typical cocoa powder that you find in the grocery store will do just fine, but I personally prefer using dutch processed noir cocoa powder (which I first talked about in my Mickey-shaped macarons recipe!) It has a super dark (pretty much black) color to it and tastes just like an oreo cookie! But if you use this cocoa powder, your cookies will come out black, so if you want a lighter brown color, you may want to use regular cocoa powder or even go for a mixture! Play around, experiment, and have fun with whatever chocolate creations you like!
The original recipe calls for granulated sugar, but since I've been in the habit of substituting it for monk fruit sweetener, I swapped the granulated sugar in this recipe. Since it's a 1 to 1 substitution, either granulated sugar or monk fruit sweetener will do. Similarly the milk in this recipe can also be swapped out with oat milk, which is what I used for this recipe.
The special part about this cookie is going to be the additional spice that’s a key part of the Mexican hot chocolate flavor, which will be a mixture of spicy pepper and cinnamon. You can also use chili powder, if you prefer that, or cayenne pepper. I chose to use cayenne pepper because I had that handy. But also note that if you use cayenne, it has more heat, so you may want to adjust the amount you use depending on how much spiciness you can handle. I suggest 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper which should add a slight spiciness, but shouldn’t be too much to handle, but if you like it more spicy, then feel free to add more!
Chocolate chips are optional, so feel free to add or remove them from your recipe. Any type of chocolate will do, but I used milk chocolate.
The Baking Process
If you want to be able to adjust the amount of pepper you add to your dough, first mix together the cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon and give that mix a bit of a taste. That way you can determine if you’ve added the amount of pepper that you like. Then mix it in with the flour, baking soda, and salt.
After creaming together the butter and sugars, you’ll be mixing in the egg, vanilla, and milk until it’s well combined. The mixture may look a bit strange and grainy at this point, but that’s okay. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl every once in a while.
When incorporating the dry mixture, set the mixer on slow so that the dry ingredients don’t puff all over the place. The dough will get extremely thick and sticky, but again, continue to scrape the bowl every so often. Once all the flour is incorporated, you can mix in the chocolate chips.
Separate the dough in half, wrap them in plastic wrap, and chill by either placing it in the freezer for 20 minutes or the refrigerator for 1 hour. After they’re chilled, divide the dough into 16 individual portions on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. These cookies won’t spread out too much, so about a half-inch to one inch space between each ball should be enough. And if you’re not a big fan of thick cookies, you can press down on each ball and also further divide the portions into more than 16.
When you bake the cookies, you’ll want the dough to still be slightly soft when you take them out of the oven since you’ll be broiling them with marshmallows after, but you’ll still want them almost baked through. I baked them for about 12 minutes, then removed them from the oven and placed all my marshmallow pieces on top. To broil the cookies, make sure the rack is closest to the top of the oven, and place the cookie tray into the oven to broil on high. You’ll want to keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven so that they become nicely brown but don’t get too burnt. Once they’re browned to your liking, take them out of the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes before digging in!
These cookies came out hot hot hot! (Both in temperature and in taste) The chocolate flavor was deep and strong, and not too sweet which was to my liking. I chose to add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper in my recipe so these cookies came out pretty spicy. I wouldn’t recommend that for anyone who can’t handle the spiciness, but it’s a good amount for anyone who enjoys the flavor!
The crackled top of the toasted marshmallows were a really nice change in texture compared to the softness of the cookie, which added a great balance. The texture of the cookie itself was soft and almost cake-y, but still has the light chewiness of a cookie, so these are definitely for people who like soft cookies over crispy ones!
These cookies are so delicious and would go great with a cup of actual hot chocolate! So make yourself a batch and cozy up!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
ºoº 1 cup all-purpose flour
ºoº 1/2 cup room-temperature butter
ºoº 2/3 cup cocoa powder
ºoº 1/4 cup brown sugar
ºoº 1/2 cup monkfruit sweetener/sugar
ºoº 1 tsp baking soda
ºoº 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
ºoº 1/8 tsp salt
ºoº 1 egg
ºoº 1 tsp vanilla extract
ºoº 1 tsp cinnamon
ºoº 2 tbsp milk (or milk substitute)
ºoº 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
ºoº Mini marshmallows
Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper, salt, and cinnamon
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth
Add the brown sugar and sugar to the butter and mix until well combined
Mix in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk and mix until well combined on high speed
Gradually mix in the dry mixture into the wet mixture on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed
Split the dough in half, cover each half in plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 350F
Split each half of dough into 8 even sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets
Bake for 10-12 minutes so the cookies are still slightly soft
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and place 3 marshmallow pieces on top of each cookie
Broil the cookies on high for roughly 30 seconds or until the marshmallows are browned on top, watching carefully so that the marshmallows don’t burn (unless you like it that way!)
Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!
ºoº If you don't have mini marshmallows, you can use regular or large marshmallows and
cut them into smaller chunks
ºoº The type of cocoa powder you use will dictate the darkness of your cookies
ºoº Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper you’d like depending on how spicy you want
This recipe was adapted from: https://www.isabeleats.com/mexican-hot-chocolate-cookies/