South of the Border Chocolate Cookies

By hardlikearmour
December 19, 2011
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Author Notes:

The fabulous mrslarkin turned me onto the Mint Chocolate Cookies from Bon Appetit. They are a fantastic cookie with a great balance of chocolate and mint, and if you follow mrslarkin's recommendation of baking them for 9 minutes they turn out chewy and delicious. I made some for a cookie swap, and they were a big hit. I only had Dutched cocoa powder on hand, so eliminated the baking soda and increased the baking powder to a tablespoon (to account for the loss of acid). They turned out perfectly, though maybe not quite as good as mrslarkins!
Of course my mind jumped to a flavor variation idea – What if they had a Mexican chocolate flavor profile? I decided to tinker, and was quite pleased with the outcome, so am sharing the recipe. I use a mix of turbinado and metallic gold crystal sugar (or edible 24kt gold powder) to make them look especially festive, and add a little bit of crunch as a counterpoint to the soft cookie. Hope you enjoy!


Makes: 40 to 50 cookies

  • 1 ¾ cups sugar (12.25 oz)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (10 oz)
  • 1 cup dutched cocoa powder (3.25 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne - see cook's note at end of recipe
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (or more) turbinado or crystal sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F with a rack near the middle. Line 2 to 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
  2. Cream sugar and butter using a stand or hand mixer, until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and extracts, and beat until well-combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Add them to the sugar and butter mixture, and mix on low speed until the flour has been incorporated. Increase to medium speed and mix until well-combined, another minute or two.
  3. Roll dough into 1- to 1 1/4-inch diameter balls, then roll balls in sugar. Place 12 to 15 balls on prepared baking sheets – stagger 3 rows each of 2 and 3 balls to get 15 on a sheet. Flatten balls slightly, so they are about ¾-inch thick . Bake one sheet at a time for 9 to 9 ½ minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 5 minutes. The cookies will look puffy, and may seem like they're not done, but they will be perfect! Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing the cookies to a cooling rack. Once cool store in a sealed container to maintain perfect texture for at least several days.
  4. Cook's notes: 1.) 1/2-teaspoon cayenne gives a pleasant warmth to the back of your throat after eating a cookie or two. If you're not a fan of heat, feel free to scale back or omit the cayenne. 2.) If you prefer to use regular cocoa powder just add 1 teaspoon baking soda and decrease baking powder to 1/2 teaspoon.

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