Perfect any time of year, but super perfect on your Christmas cookie tray, these Mexican Chocolate Cookies are an easy, sweet, and just slightly spicy slice-and-bake shortbread recipe.
Shortbread cookies are my favorite kind of cookies to make.
(Overly long side note: At first, I accidentally typed “Shortbread cookies are my favorite time of year.” And then I typed “Shortbread cookies are my favorite kind of cookies to write.” Either I need an editor, more coffee, or more sleep. Or maybe all three.)
Anyways, shortbread cookies. I love their smooth, rich, buttery flavor. I also adore their versatility — they’re a blank slate for any flavor you love. I love these bright lemon poppy seed cream cheese shortbread cookies, and these peppermint shortbread cookies are perfect for Christmas.
But hey! if neither of those sound delicious to you, I’ve got you covered with more Christmas festiveness – how about these gingerbread shortbread cookies with a fun add-in or these holiday funfetti shortbread cookies? Or maybe you’re still feeling those fall vibes and want to try apple cheesecake shortbread cookies?
Perhaps you love the idea of the lemon in the lemon poppy seed cookies but you’re not a fan of poppy seeds? Have no fear! How about honey lemon shortbread cookies or honey, lemon, apricot and pine nut shortbread cookies? Or it could be that you came here looking for chocolate but the idea of the cayenne is a little much for you (but it’s so good, by the way!)? If that’s the case, try these cream cheese cocoa nib cookies.
Whew! Still with me? Anyone ready to check me into SA (Shortbreadaholics Anonymous)? If we’re really being honest, which I always am with you guys, one of my favorite things about shortbread cookies is the fact that they are….
Did you know I was going to say that? I’m nothing if not predictable. I tend to make Christmas cookies pretty far in advance, giving me time to share them here with you, so then I have two choices. The first is the freezer. The second is to eat all the cookies and make more for Christmas. Obviously I prefer the first choice because a) it leaves me skinnier and b) it’s less work.
Shortbread freezes like a dream. I’ve frozen the dough for all the cookies I linked to in that link-heavy section up there. You can freeze the dough or the finished cookies. I love freezing the dough because then I can grab it when I need it, slice it, and bake. Fresh cookies, quick and easy!
About these Mexican Chocolate Cookies
These particular Mexican chocolate cookies are rich and chocolatey with a subtle touch of spice: cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. However, the cookies are by no means “hot” spicy; they just give a little tingle on the tongue that will have everyone asking for the recipe. The extra sprinkle of cayenne on top is completely optional, and that definitely adds an additional layer of heat.
These cookies remind me of my favorite flourless cake, Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake, with cinnamon, vanilla, and chipotle. The combination of sweet with spicy in a chocolate dessert is something you have to try if you haven’t had the experience yet.
I’ve partnered with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this recipe. Many of my recipes can be made with white whole wheat or whole wheat flour but for these Mexican chocolate cookies, I’d recommend Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached All-Purpose Flour – it helps gives these cookies their velvety smooth texture.
Shortbread recipes on my list to try soon:
- Millionaire’s shortbread: this shortbread, caramel, and chocolate bar recipe by Brown Eyed Baker looks great!
- 3-Ingredient Scottish shortbread cookies by The Seasoned Mom.
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (plus extra for sprinkling on top, optional)
- 2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, combine Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cayenne. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Gradually add flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Dough will be thick.
- On wax paper or parchment paper, form into a 12- to 14-inch log and freeze at least 30 minutes or until firm.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Using a sharp knife, cut the shortbread dough into 1/4-inch slices, and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Cool for 5 minutes, remove from baking sheet onto cooling rack. Let cool completely.
- Place a heat-safe bowl (I recommend glass!) on top of a pan with an inch or two of water in it. Place chocolate chips in bowl. Heat on stove over medium heat, stirring chocolate until melted. Dip cookies in chocolate and return to a parchment paper lined baking sheet to harden. If desired, sprinkle with more cayenne before chocolate has set.
- When chocolate has hardened, store in a tightly covered container.
- If you freeze the dough for longer than 30 minutes, you may have to let it set out at room temperature for 30 minutes or so to achieve uniform slices.
- Yield of this recipe will depend on how thickly you slice the cookies.
- Instead of dipping the cookies into dark chocolate, try dipping them into melted white chocolate, and sprinkling with red or green sugar, for a more festive appearance.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Bob’s Red Mill as a brand ambassador to bring you this post. They compensated me for my time but all opinions are, as always, my own. If you opened my cupboards and fridge, you’d find a wealth of Bob’s Red Mill products that I purchased myself. Thanks for supporting Rachel Cooks by reading about brands I use and love!