Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies on a Snow Day

I LOVE snow because any amount of snow in Texas means we get a Snow Day! And snow days mean I get to sleep in right up till the moment I’m supposed to start work; practical clothes include PJs and cozy socks, anything else is not allowed; and I get to spend quality one on one time with my pup, Peanut aka Mr. Nut.

We trudged through feet upon feet of snow, taller than our heads and made snow angels. Wait, who am I kidding, there was maybe an inch on the ground in some places, but oh did we find them!

After a long day of work that was accompanied by a sighing dog and reruns of What Not to Wear, I figured we were in need of something sweet.  I found this recipe yesterday when I was pulling together possible recipes for a friend’s study group. When I saw it, I just had to try it. And seriously, what better cookie for a snow day than one based on Mexican hot chocolate!

They are like amped up snickerdoodles with chocolate dough that is rolled in mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder. The chile powder adds just the right amount of heat that makes these to die for. 

The recipe starts by sifting together the dry ingredients- flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Baking Tip: Sifting ingredients isn’t absolutely necessary when you are making cookies. With cookies you don’t have to worry about lumps like you do with icing. If you’re in a time crunch, just whisk them together.

After creaming the butter and sugar, you add two eggs and mix it all together. The dough is gorgeous and velvety smooth!

Just as you would for snickerdoodles, the next step is to mix together sugar and cinnamon to roll balls of cookie dough in. This is the point where you add a dash of chile powder. Important! This is not the same as the chili powder you would add to a pot of chili. That contains a mixture of spices including oregano and garlic powder which would taste pretty gross in a cookie. The recipe suggests arbol, chipotle, or ancho. I didn’t those on hand so I went with the substitution- cayenne powder. It called for ½ teaspoon but I thought that might be a tad too hot so I went with half the amount. Test it out though and see what works you.

The cookies turned out great- chewy, chocolaty, and absolutely perfect for a snow day.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies

From Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies – Martha Stewart Recipes

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


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)


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