Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

I know we’re only 48 hours away from Thanksgiving. But like Starbucks, I’m ready to start celebrating Christmas. And what does that mean? That means making cookies until I turn into one.

When I was little my mom would pop in a Johny Mathis tape (tape) and we would bake cookies. All kinds of cookies. Actually, a recurring recipe was one for Candy Cane Cookies which never really came together…but we fixed that last year.


Cookie Plate (From the ever-talented Pnzr242)


I’m continuing the tradition in my own home, so I bought Martha Stewart’s Cookies magazine in preparation. I also listen to Now! Thats What I Call Christmas…not Johny Mathis. Not that he isn’t lovely. Call it an update.

When I was in college in Tucson, AZ at the University of Arizona (that would be the Wildcats! Not the Sun Devils.) my friends and I would head over to a late-night coffee/breakfast/sandwich shop to study. The place closed my senior year and I was fairly devastated about it. Not that I didn’t love their pancakes, but I was completely in love with their Mexican Hot Chocolate.


Cookie Dough (From the ever-talented Pnzr242)


I know what you’re asking. Even my mother asked, “What’s Mexican Hot Chocolate?” Sigh. Mom. Mexican Hot Chocolate is regular hot chocolate with cinnamon and ancho chili powder in it. It has a smoky, spicy punch to it. And it is so good!

I was excited when I saw Martha had embraced the concept, but a few changes are definitely needed. Her recipe didn’t have nearly enough of the smoky, spicy I wanted it to have. Easy enough to fix – I’ve included the changes in the recipe below.


Getting to roll dough (From the ever-talented Pnzr242)


Now, aren’t those photos beautiful?! My friend @pnzr242 came over and took pictures while I was baking. If I could do this every time I cook/bake, it would be great…much less stressful than being cook and photographer. A big thank you, for the pics and the great company!

Enjoy! :)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tspn cream of tartar
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 1/2 tspn coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tspn cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tspn ancho chili powder

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder and salt.

    In a separate large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl to get all the yummy bits in there. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

    In a separate small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder. Using a cookie scooper (or your hands), form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar-chili mixture.

    Place, about 3 inches apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies begin to crack, about 10 minutes. To the touch, they’ll feel jiggly in the center but don’t worry. Remove baking sheet from oven and let rest for a couple minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

    13 thoughts on “Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

    1. Sounds tasty! I’m baking a caramel cake for Thanksgiving this year. The recipe is pretty elaborate but I think I can do it! I hope it comes out as moist as your plum cake. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    2. I’m not much of a baker, in fact, I really don’t like to do it, but my mom, sister, and I would always spend one full day just before Christmas baking cookies. They’re some of my favorite memories. My sis would always get bored after about a half hour, but I always stuck it out. I haven’t baked cookies in years (though I did make a pie for Thanksgiving!), but this recipe sounds savory enough that I just might try it.

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