Mexican Spiced Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate shortbread cookies with a little “kick” to them—-Oh, my!  The combination of chocolate, cinnamon and chile peppers is unbelievable; and the buttery, tender cookies just melt in your mouth.  Really they do!  The recipe has been making the rounds in my neighborhood  since one person brought them to our July 4th celebration, and everyone wanted the recipe.  They are that good!…I’ve made them twice since then and I expect I’ll be making them again for the Holidays.

MEXICAN SPICED SHORTBREAD COOKIES

YIELD:  Makes  3 dozen cookies

COOKIES

  • 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour  (about 1  1/2 cups )
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

ICING

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1 % milk
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

NUTS

  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 36 small pecan halves

PROCEDURE

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Baking sheets, un- greased, or parchment lined.

2.  Weigh or measure flour.  Combine flour, cocoa and next 4 ingredients (through ancho chile powder) in a bowl;  Stir with a whisk to blend.

3.  Place 1/2 cup butter in a large mixer bowl;  beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Gradually add oil;  Beat about 3 minutes till well blended.  Gradually add  3/4 cup powdered sugar, beat well.  Add flour mixture; beat at low speed till well blended.  Cover and chill for at least an hour.  This dough becomes quite soft as you mix it and needs to be well chilled before continuing.  I chilled mine overnight.

Ready for the Oven.

4.  Shape dough into 36 balls.  Place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Flatten cookies to 1/4-inch thickness.  Keep formed cookies on a baking sheet in the refrigerator prior to baking so they don’t spread too much in the oven.  Bake at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Out of the Oven.

5.  To prepare icing, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and milk; This mixture will look curdled.   Cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil;  reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat;  cool to room temperature.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla,  stirring with a whisk until smooth.

6.  To prepare nuts, combine 1 teaspoon brown sugar, sea salt and 1 teaspoon butter in a medium bowl.  Arrange pecans on a baking sheet.  Bake at 325 for 10 minutes or until toasted.  Add hot pecans to butter mixture, tossing well to coat.  Cool.

7.  Spread 1 teaspoon icing over each cookie;  top each with 1 pecan half.

SOURCE:  Unknown

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