Waaaay back when, I worked a contract administrative position for an amazing national Art Gallery in my home city. One of the things to know about non-profit organizations or institutions that receive funding from either the public or the government (many of which I have worked in over the course of my administrative career), is that they often don’t have a lot of money to throw around in the form of bonuses or high wages to their front-line employees. As was the case at this gallery, sad to say. However, the Director came up with something different; he sent hand-written thank-you cards to staff for extraordinary work performed, and acknowledged everyone’s hard work by a once-a year party down by the lakeshore in the summer. I was fortunate enough to be there for that, and one of the more interesting events that occurred prior to this party, and which had a helping hand in my becoming a professional baker, was a Cookie contest, where the winners were revealed at the party.
Smart idea, right?
In any case, I won third prize for a different cookie recipe, which I will share at a later time, but I thought these were pretty awesome too. Here is my recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies. If I were to make them again, I’d omit the white chocolate chips and just add more chocolate chunks, or a grated frozen bar of dark chocolate, because I’m a little koo-koo for chocolate that way.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Yield: 24-30 cookies
20 minutes = chewy cookies; 25 minutes = crispy cookies
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa
- ½ tsp. ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp. cayenne powder (or to taste)
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Cream the butter with both sugars until light, approximately 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down bowl.
- Beat in the egg, milk, and the vanilla extract until just blended. Scrape down bowl again.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and then beat into the butter mixture at low speed until incorporated. Scrape down bowl a third time, and then stir in both chocolate chips by hand.
- Using two teaspoons or a small ice cream scoop, drop cookie dough onto a nonstick cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Roll each cookie dough ball to the same size and shape, then gently press down on each cookie with a flat-bottomed glass (dipped in granulated sugar to prevent sticking) and spread each dough ball out into a 2″ circle.
- Bake until slightly darker brown around the edges and top middle of cookie springs back when lightly touched. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack until cool. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.