Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles...

With our trips back and forth to Charlotte, baking has sadly been on the back burner and I've definitely been missing it. We have just about three weeks left before we physically pack up the household goods and permanently move out there - since Jeff still needs to head downtown to the same office for workspace, I figure there will be at least two (if not three!) more Wednesday Treat Days that I get to bake for!

In these beautiful gems that we chose to make, Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles, lies a couple surprises that one might not guess at first glance. The dough is not only ridiculously simple, but only requires a couple bowls, a whisk, a sturdy wooden spoon and a few measuring devices to complete.

Our cookies are fairly dark thanks to the use of Dutch process cocoa powder - you could use natural cocoa, but we've come to prefer the former as it tends to lend a more complex chocolate background with a smooth finish. The recipe did call for using chocolate extract in the wet ingredients, but that's one ingredient I didn't have in the pantry and wasn't about to buy a bottle for a teaspoon. If you do happen to have one though, replace one teaspoon of the vanilla with it.

When combined, the dough was firm, yet pliable, and was not crumbly nor sticky in the least. Rolled into walnut-sized lumps, you can divide the dough out in a few ways to get the 24 cookie yield. You could divided the big ball of dough in half, then divide each in half again, leaving you with four pieces. Divide each fourth in half once more, then you'll just need to evenly break each lump into three pieces. If you'd rather go the route of the trusty cookie scoop, a tablespoon size worked well, packing it tightly without leveling it off. If you want to go crazy, break out the scale and divide the weight of the dough by 24 - our dough balls ended up being about 30 grams each.

Flattening each ball of dough into a thick disc, we pressed the tops of each into a dish filled with sparkling cinnamon sugar. Baked until the cookies are just set and have developed those attractive cracks and crevices over the top, resist the urge to try and remove them from the hot baking sheet. Right out of the oven the cookies are on the delicate side, but letting them sit for five minutes gives them time to firm up and make for an easy transition to the cooling rack.

Now, back to the surprises I mentioned earlier... when Jeff got home and took a look at the cookies he said "Oh, chocolate cookies! I need to try one now... please!" Before I even had a chance to say go ahead he took a big bite and went "Oooh, fancy, a cinnamon twist!". Then, his eyes opened wide and I said "Let me guess, you found the secret... hee hee!". After you roll the cookie over your tongue and swallow, you'll feel a slow, but pleasant, burn start to crawl up your throat from the dose of spicy cayenne pepper. Between the granulated sugar and maple syrup in the dough, the sweetness definitely tempers the heat, but there is just enough bite left to notice. The cookies do have a somewhat crunchy feel to the outside from the crisp sugar-y crust, but they are actually on the softer side with an addicting chewy quality to them.

The final surprise? The cookies are vegan - yup, no eggs or dairy products (as long as you use soy or almond milk)! The granulated sugar does pose a question as to them being truly vegan (depending how one defines), but as long as you use beet sugar, your fine. If you are using cane sugar (or frankly, just don't know because it isn't always labeled), during the refining process, this sugar is filtered through activated carbon, which could likely be charcoal from animal bones. However, I believe that none of that will actually reside in the final sugar product, hence the quandary for some vegans! Beet sugar doesn't need to go through that process, along with several other types of less or unrefined sugars that you could try to use.


  1. omg will you marry me?
    haha these are two of my favorite things ever!

  2. Wow! Going to the top of my TBB (To Be Baked) list.
    I've always thought that cheaper sugar is beet sugar and the more expensive brands - like Domino - are cane sugar.

  3. These are my DDs favorite cookies. I mail these off to college on a regular basis.
    You need to try the Lazy Samoas from that book. They are wonderful.

  4. These cookies look incredible! Can't imagine the punch from the cayenne pepper. When I read the title, I mis-read it, thinking Mexican "Hot Chocolate" snickerdoodles - thought hot chocolate was the secret ingredient. HA!

    I have a suggestion for a new blog title when you move, since it changes with your location. How about: Culinary in the Queen City (Queen City is our nickname from Queen Charlotte, who our city is named after!)

  5. I love that cookbook! Almost everything I've made from it has been great and nobody knows that they're vegan cookies. Beware of a typo on the Coffeehouse Hermits recipe though. The recipe should call for 1/2 cup coffee, not 2 cups as my copy did!

  6. Oh yum!! I can't wait to try these! I have a new obsession with chili/cinnamon/chocolate combos these days.

  7. These sound amazing! I can't wait to try them (and I need to thank tastespotting for showing me your blog!)

  8. I want to try these! Not a huge fan of maple syrup though. Maybe brown sugar instead???


  9. SSS - I think Jeff would take issue with that ;-)

    CindyD - Typically, but not always!

    Christina - Good to hear!

    Melissa - Yeah, a lot of people thought the same thing at the office this morning! Good call on the name!

    Rebecca - Thanks for that! I'll note it down.

    MJ - It's such an intriguing combination, isn't it?

  10. Wow, I've never heard/had this before. It looks amazing...I really want to try it now!

  11. I do a similar cookie at Christmas and add a pinch of cayenne..fabulous!

  12. Yay for vegan cookies! I actually made this recipe around the holidays for gifts, and it was a huge hit--so good! I am thrilled to see you featuring it on your blog :-)


  13. oh



    i just discovered your blog from tastespotting and these cookies are amazing!
    already bookmarked

    see you soon

  14. I will be making these for sure! I don't have chocolate extract either, but I use Godiva liqueur instead. While I can't rationalize buying the extract, I have no problem spending $30 on the booze - 'cause there is definitely more than application!

  15. DC - You must!

    Janet - Lovely!

    Courtney - I'm anxious to try out others now! Just wish I had the time.

    Desperate.V - Thanks for checkin' us out!

    Jen - I'd love to hear how they work with the liqueur!