I know. It’s unusual to find a cookie recipe on Eating Local in the Lou. If you have been a long-term reader of the Lou, you know that I am not a baker. I have pretty much ruined every cake and cupcake I’ve ever attempted. But I can make cookies.
These Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies remind me of my childhood, standing beside my mom in the kitchen, helping her make holiday cookies (and by helping, I of course mean licking the dough off the beaters!)
There is something about the frigid temps and anticipation of the upcoming holidays that brings many of us back to our beginnings, and makes us reminisce about the days gone by. So much of what we choose to eat originates from our culture, our customs, our family traditions. This seems to be particularly true during the holiday season. Our tables are set with identical foods, year after year. We might not eat these foods the other 364 days, but boy, do we ever look forward to them when that one day arrives!
Most cookies are not considered health food, but certain ingredients can boost the nutritional value, making them more a “sometimes” treat rather than a “seldom” indulgence. These Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies contain a bit of black pepper and cayenne, both offering disease fighting compounds. Dark chocolate is the star ingredient, offering a plenitude of anti-oxidants. Semi-sweet chocolate works well too, but the higher the cacao percentage is better for your health (and taste if you ask me). I found the original recipe to be too sweet for my taste, so I cut back on amount of sugar.
I’d love to hear what your favorite holiday tradition and/or food is. Please share in the comment section below.
Oh, and before you go…if you happen to live in the St. Louis area (AKA, the Lou), be sure to check out Sweetology! Last week, the owners invited St. Louis food bloggers to experience the fun of do-it-yourself cookie, cake and cupcake decorating.
We had SO MUCH fun enjoying a glass of wine while creating our sweet masterpieces. Here are mine:
A cookie to represent each of us in the Cowie Clan- a musician, a golfer, a boy that loves the outdoors, and the pink one for the only girl in the house, me!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Cooking Light, Dec '09)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies
- 5 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (ours from Kimker Hill Farm, St. Clair MO)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- dash black pepper
- dash ground red pepper
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg (ours from Rose Valley, New Hope, MO)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (try making your own!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with knife.
- Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
- Combine butter and sugar in a separate large bowl, beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add in egg and vanilla until just blended.
- Melt chocolate in a small glass bowl on high for 1 minute. Add melted chocolate to sugar mixture, then slowly add flour mixture and beat until just blended.
- Use an ice cream scoop to drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, remove from oven, cool cookies on wire rack.