Okay, it’s a couple of (maybe one) day left for Christmas. I have two cookies left to meet my 12 cookies objective. You know as an ex-banker it’s all about meeting targets! So I came across this recipe from the LA Times, a contest winner by Deborah Pappalau, which I just knew I had to make when I saw it,  Now I didn’t make the original recipe – but only because I couldn’t locate the ingredients quickly enough to make them before Christmas. But, I will search these out, I think I know of a store that specializes in Mexican food items, and then make and add the pictures – and my comments, to the file.

An interesting recipe I must admit. Not a new idea but new to me. So this is a Chocolate Cinnamon Cookie and is Christmas Cookie #10. I liked the way everything came together, a bit time consuming waiting for each stage to get ready, but totally worth the wait. I used Lindt Dark Chocolate for the filling. I did have my doubts but it turned out absolutely fine. A pretty cookie especially when you bite into it. You get this surprise chocolate taste. So yes, I must locate the Mexican chocolate and vanilla.

I like the way there is a repetitive influence, it is supposed to be a Mexican Chocolate Christmas cookie. So it uses Mexican Chocolate – Abuelita or Ibarra brand, and Mexican Vanilla – a deeper tasting vanilla. More so than Tahitian vanilla (which I think is more aromatic than tasty) and deeper than Madagascar vanilla. Again, something I will look for and buy. So make this cookie and if you are fortunate to have the chocolate and vanilla in your pantry, call me over for a cookie! As always – enjoy!

1 1/2 disks (4 ½ ounces) Mexican chocolate, preferably Abuelita or Ibarra – I used Lindt dark chocolate
3 tablespoons 35% heavy cream
1 cup Churn 84 butter, softened – I used salted
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
2 cups (9 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar

In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate with the cream over low heat, gently stirring until the mixture is smooth
Pour the chocolate into a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 40 minutes.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment
Remove the chilled chocolate from the refrigerator and scoop about ½ tsp of the chocolate mixture onto the cookie sheet, try and keep this rounded if you can, freeze this chocolate for about 1 hour
Heat the oven to 350f degrees
Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar until light and creamy, then add in the vanilla
In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter until it starts to form a dough, beat for an additional minute – note the dough will be like wet sand – but easy to clump together and form around the chocolate pieces – see pictures below
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the remaining cinnamon with the granulated sugar
Scoop about 1 tbsp. of dough (I got 35 cookies making 1” diameter balls) and flatten in the palm of your hand, place a chocolate piece in the center and bring the cookie dough over and cover the chocolate
Using your palms, round off the ball
Place the balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1” apart
Bake the cookies until they are lightly golden, 15 – 18 minutes – note at 12 minutes I removed the cookies from the oven and sprinkled with the cinnamon sugar then returned to the oven for an additional 5 minutes (that’s 17 minutes in my oven, this will vary)
You could also roll the balls in sugar and then bake – either way – deliciousness will abound!