Friday, December 27, 2013

December FotM recipe: Hot Cocoa Cookies

I first made these cookies about two years ago when we first moved into our current home.  I fell in love before I even tasted them.  They taste like a warm hug.  Chewy chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne.  Delicious.

Then I had a brilliant idea:  curry instead of cayenne.  Holy crap.  YUM.

This Christmas, since Nikki and I both gave them as gifts along with some homemade hot cocoa mix (recipe coming soon), we left out the cayenne and cinnamon and used a combination of granulated sugar, red sanding sugar and white sparkle sugar (a.k.a. sprinkles).  We ended up with a nice, generic, sugar coated chocolate cookie, which is exactly what we were going for.

We also turned the basic recipe into a jar mix, which would make a great gift as well…  just include a small bag of the sugar/whateveryouwanttorollthedoughballsin in the top of the jar, along with some baking instructions.

Hot Cocoa Cookies 

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 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chile powder (optional)

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.

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 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, or freeze for up to three months)

To make jar mix: mix all ingredients except eggs and butter, place half of the mixture into a quart-sized mason jar.

To make cookies from jar mix: cream together one egg and one stick of butter.  Stir in dry mix until dough looks consistent.  Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes.


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