Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Mexican hot chocolate is a family tradition. My mom made this hot drink for me when I was young and now my children always ask for it on chilly winter evenings. These Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies are inspired by our favorite cozy beverage — melty chocolate with a hint of cinnamon and chili spice. They are the perfect Mexican Christmas cookie!
These delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies are oh-so-chocolatey with just a hint of heat from the chili and cinnamon. And thanks to Truvia® Sweet Complete™ All-Purpose Sweetener, they have less sugar and calories than the full-sugar version! If you’re looking for a unique Christmas cookie to add to your repertoire without overdoing it on the holiday sweets, these are the cookies for you.
I don’t know about you, but this time of year has me yearning to bake all the tasty things. I don’t know if it’s the colder weather, the first flakes of snow, or the promise of Christmas, but this is prime cookie making time at our house.
What is Mexican Hot Chocolate?
Mexican hot chocolate is one of my absolute favorite things about wintertime. I’m not talking about the powdered stuff you add hot water to. I’m talking real hot chocolate made with actual chocolate. And the best kind of chocolate to make a hot beverage with is by far Mexican chocolate.
Hot chocolate is actually credited to the ancient Mayans, with the first hot chocolate originating as early as 500 BC. The Mayans, who were some of the original inhabitants of Mexico, also liked their chocolate with a touch of chili, likely informing the way Mexicans in the present day make their hot chocolate.
Mexican hot chocolate combines creamy hot milk, decadent chocolate, and just a hint of spice from cinnamon and chili powder. The result is a drink that is decadent, warming and perfect for a cozy night on the couch.
Now that you know my love of Mexican hot chocolate, you’ll understand why I had to come up with another way to enjoy it. These cookies are an absolutely perfect vessel for these flavors, with a crispy exterior and a melty center that evokes all the wonderful feelings of a cup of hot chocolate.
How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
One thing I love about cookies is that they are simple enough to whip together in under 20 minutes, and they are something I have always been able to make with my kids. These cookies are no exception to that rule! Also, while I prefer using a stand mixer because it’s less work, a hand mixer will do just fine.
TIP: To keep your bowl from moving around when using a hand mixer, place a slightly damp kitchen towel in a ring under the bowl.
First up, you’re going to need to cream your butter and Truvia® Sweet Complete™ together. For this endeavor, make sure the butter is softened but not melted. You should aim for butter that you can easily indent with your finger, but that isn’t greasy or leaves large bits on the wrapping paper.
TIP: Creaming butter with Truvia Sweet Complete is important because it both disperses and dissolves the sweetener into the butter, and it also creates volume and loft by creating air pockets with the granulated sweetener.
To properly cream the butter and Truvia® Sweet Complete™, use the mixer on medium speed for several minutes, then scrape down the sides of your bowl and repeat. The end result should be a fluffy, pale yellow mix several shades lighter than the original stick of butter.
Next, add in your wet ingredients. Using a low speed, add in eggs, vanilla and milk, and mix until well incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Now sift together your dry ingredients, including the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, chili powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
TIP: The process of sifting helps to ensure an even distribution of all of the dry ingredients and also makes it easier to incorporate into your dough. If you do not have a sifter, a mesh strainer will also do the trick. In a pinch, you can also use a whisk to mix and slightly aerate the dry ingredients.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix until just incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
TIP: The longer you mix flour with wet ingredients, the more gluten proteins you will activate, meaning your cookies can turn out dry, gummy or unpleasantly chewy. To avoid this, mix dry ingredients with a light hand and stop mixing as soon as the dough is uniform.
Using a sturdy silicone spatula or wooden spoon, fold in your chocolate chips and Mexican chocolate until evenly distributed. The dough will be a bit loose, so refrigerate it for at least an hour and up to overnight to make it easier to scoop.
Once the dough is firm enough to handle, use a small ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons in size) to portion out your dough.
TIP: You can make the dough up to two months ahead of time and freeze it in individual balls to pop in the oven later. Simply scoop the dough and place them in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet pan or plate (no need to space them out), then freeze until solid. Place cookie dough balls in a freezer bag and place in the freezer. This is also a great tip if you’re trying to exercise self-control! Simply pop out one or two balls at a time and bake in the toaster oven for warm cookies on demand.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325F. Place the cookie dough balls at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cookies should be puffy and fairly soft when you remove them from the oven.
Immediately slide the parchment onto a cooling rack and wait 5 to 10 minutes before consuming. These Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies are best when they are still warm from the oven, but they will keep up to three days in an airtight container.
Why Truvia® Sweet Complete™
Truvia® Sweet Complete™ All-Purpose Sweetener is a granulated stevia sweetener with zero calories per serving that bakes, browns, and measures like sugar in recipes. Because Sweet Complete™ is designed to measure cup-for-cup with conventional sugar, you can easily swap it into your favorite holiday cookies or even your morning coffee.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to use instant coffee?
Coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Something about the flavor of coffee helps to enrich the flavor of chocolate, so I definitely recommend using instant coffee or espresso powder. If you are concerned about caffeine intake, a decaffeinated version will have the same effect!
How do I grate Mexican chocolate?
I use a box grater to grate Mexican chocolate.
Can I make these dairy free?
Sure thing! Just substitute vegan butter and a plant milk of your choice.
Can I make these gluten free?
Of course! Simply substitute a 1-to-1 gluten free flour mix for the all-purpose flour.
Can I double this recipe?
Absolutely, though I wouldn’t advise making larger than a double batch at a time. Unless you have a professional mixer, a larger batch will exhaust your mixer engine and your beaters will not be able to reach through to the bottom for even mixing.
Need more Christmas cookie ideas?
Check out these other yummy recipes that would make perfect additions to your holiday spread:
- Double Pecan Thumbprints
- Cajeta Thumbprint Cookies
- Cowboy Cookies
- Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
If you tried this Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie recipe, please be sure to rate and review it below so I know how they turned out for you. If you’d like more yummy recipes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my email newsletter. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook to get pretty food pictures in your feed.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, , softened
- 1 cup Truvia® Sweet Complete™ All-Purpose Sweetener
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces Mexican chocolate, grated
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand-held mixer), beat butter and Truvia® Sweet Complete™ at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract, eggs, and milk on low speed until well combined.
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, baking soda, coffee, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until well-combined and no visible flour remains. Fold in the Mexican chocolate and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Refrigerate dough to scoop or roll easier for 1 hour or overnight.
- Scoop balls of dough (preferably using a small ice cream scoop with a spring handle, about 2 tablespoon size) or roll balls of dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each cookie. Bake the cookies, one pan at a time, for approximately 14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time. The cookies should be puffy and still fairly soft when removed from the oven.
- Immediately slide the cookies, still on the parchment paper, onto a wire cooling rack. Cool just a bit before serving, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to three days, but I prefer them on the day they are baked.
- Cookie dough can be made ahead and frozen for up to three months
Photography by Jenna Sparks
This post is in partnership with Truvia® sweetener. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.