Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fab weekend. I had a fairly low-key, but fun one that included a leisurely afternoon of product taste-testing and cooking with Diana, a DVR catch-up session with Mario, and some Christmas prep (I'm usually someone who's finished shopping at least a month early, but I am soooo behind this year!). Most importantly, I submitted final grades for the fall semester, which means I am officially on break for the next month. Woo-hoo! :-)
While I am uncharacteristically behind with my Christmas activities, I most definitely didn't miss out on the start of what my wonderful friend has deemed the Eating Season (she swears it should should have some sort of national holiday designation). My first order of business during the Eating Season? The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! TGFBCS is the brain child of two lovely bloggers. The concept is simple: they match you up with three other food bloggers, you bake & send a dozen cookies to each of your matches, and your matches do the same for you. Not only is there all sorts of cookie awesomeness, but also, the event supports a great cause (read more about it here).
Cookies from my swappers: Chocolate Lace Cookies from Alexa at Simple Eats
Double Chocolate Biscotti from Emily at the answer is always pork
For this year's swap, I decided to take a fun Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownie recipe I've had sitting around and transform it into a sugar cookie recipe. The original recipe called for cinnamon drops, but since I wanted a soft, chewy cookie, I decided to swap out the drops for Hot Tamales candies. I was super happy with the results and actually ended up making these cookies for several cookie swaps. If you're a fan of the sweet/spicy bite of Mexican hot chocolate, or just want a break from the abundance of peppermint everything, these cookies are definitely worth a try!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I used this)
½ cup chopped Hot Tamales candies
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
For rolling cookies:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used this)
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2. In small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder for rolling. Set aside.
3. Chop Hot Tamale candies into thirds. Set aside.
4. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (it took me about 2 minutes). Add egg and mix until well combined.
5. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Once combined, stir in chocolate chips and Hot Tamales candies.
7. Place cookie dough onto baking sheet, spacing about 1½-inches to 2 inches apart. Lightly press each cookie down. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack.