Mexican-Chocolate Cookies

Whenever I can, I explore candy and confection recipes for flavor inspirations. One of my favorite chocolate combinations is chocolate and chili. So why not explore that in a butter cookie?
This recipe uses Mexican chocolate such as Ibarra or Abuelita, which is available at Latino grocery stores. If you can’t find Mexican chocolate, you can substitute 2 cups coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate.

Mexican-Chocolate Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, Mexican is ideal
1 large egg, room temperature
2 cups finely chopped Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra (or subtitute 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, pepper and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set dry ingredient mixture aside.

Combine butter and sugar in bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add milk and vanilla and blend well. Scrape down bowl, add egg, and mix well. Reduce mixer to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.

Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper. Shape it into a log (approximately 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter), and wrap tight. Place in the refrigerator overnight or a minimum of 8 hours so that the flavors mature.

Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until firm to touch, about 12 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Store cookies in airtight containers for up to one week.