My favorite Chef and dear friend Karen and I recently made over eight dozen cookies to send to the troops in Afghanistan. One of my favorites we made was these Mexican Chocolate Christmas Trees. They are essentially a shortbread cookie but with all the decadence of chocolate. Adding cinnamon, chili powder and pepper make these cookies spicy, giving them a rich and deep flavor.
I have to admit I have been baking more cookies than even the cookie monster can eat and there are a few tricks I have picked up along the way. One, always use room temperature ingredients unless otherwise specified! When you use room temperature butter and eggs you can really see the difference in your batter. It is also generally good to chill your dough before baking as it will hold better shape when baking. I also like to use good quality butter & eggs as they can really add a lot of flavor!
Mexican Chocolate Christmas Trees
1 1/2 cups room temperature butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 room temperature eggs, beaten
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs one by one and beat until fluffy. Mix dry ingredients together and add creamed mixture. Beat until combine. Divide dough into three balls, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and cut into desired shape. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until firm. Cool & enjoy!!!