April 10, 2006

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies

I found this recipe in Jan./Feb. 2005's issue of Saveur magazine (an excellent magazine by the way. the recipes online simply do not do the sum total of the magazine any justice at all. saveur melds food, history, culture and recipes into a beautiful gastronomic/cultural delight. ... how's that? you're getting a magazine review and recipe in one. ).

i made an almond/chocolate cake for rob's birthday as well as these cookies and he said that of the two, these cookies were hands down the better dessert.

they've got a bit of a kick to them, though. these are not your grandma's chocolate cookies. though rob (and my brother-in-law as well) thought these cookies rocked, i personally didn't really like them.

1/2 cup flour (i, of course, used whole wheat.)
3/4 cup quality dutch-process unsweetened cocoa (i didn't have any dutched cocoa so i made the cookies with what i had on hand. they didn't hold their shape and maybe the cocoa is the reason why. but the taste was still right on.)
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2-3/4 teaspoon cayenne (see where the kick comes in?)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (and another bit of a kick)
1 cup sugar (i used sucanut)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1. Whisk flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl and set aside. Put sugar, vanilla, and egg into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Add butter and continue to beat on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes more. Using your fingers, work flour mixture into butter mixture until dough is just combined.

2. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 9" log. Wrap each log in parchment paper, twisting ends tightly to make a uniform cylinder. Freeze dough logs for at least 8 hours and as long as overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap dough and slice each log into rounds about 1/3" thick. Place rounds 1/2" apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. (I didn't use parchment paper and they didn't stick.) Bake cookies until slightly puffed and tiny cracks appear on the surface, about 8 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to let cool.


  1. counds yummy, mexican choc is great I love hot chocolate with chilli

    thank you for that recipe

  2. Wow, more chocolate than flour? What's the finished consistency?

  3. well, like i said, mine didn't hold it's shape. they came out flattened. but the pics in saveur showed cookies that still held their thick, round, straight from the icebox look. i'm guessing the difference is in the dutching.

  4. Or it might be there wasn't enough gluten in the flour you used to hold a structure. Do you measure your flour by weight or by volume? By weight is the generally best way to go (135g is about 1 cup) since flour is easily packed or aerated, which throws off volume measurements.

  5. i doubt that's it. it's the same flour i use for all my cooking. i really think it either has to do with the cocoa or the freezing (they thawed a little between my house and my mom's and hadn't hardened all the way back up before i cooked them there).

  6. i totally have got to try this.

    i have dessert covered (by my mom & aunt) for Easter or I would totally do it for then!

  7. i bought jason a saveur cookbook and we just love it...the history of the dishes and the culture, etc. i am glad to know the magazine is the same, i may just subscribe! ;-)

  8. i think it's well worth it.

    darryl, do you get saveur? it's right up your alley.

  9. we get cook's illustrated right now. which we love, but a friend pointed out that we can get their yearbook, which has all the info in one volume, thus cutting down on all these volumes and saving trees...so i was looking for something diff on a monthly basis :-)

  10. i've never read through cook's illustrated.

    what i love about saveur is that for them, food is more than just something you eat. it's an experience that involves history, family, ambiance, ingredients, and culture. even when an article is about nothing but meat, meat, meat (which i don't eat) i still often read through the stories because they're so interesting.

    and every once in awhile they'll take one food item (one time it was milk. another was cheese.) and they approach it from every angle imaginable. (what makes one version different from another, what you can do with it, where you can find it, political/environmental issues that are related, etc.) those are my favorite issues. :-)

  11. cook's illustrated has no advertisements, which we like.

    they try hundreds of say, chocolate cake recipes, using different pans, methods, etc and then come up with the best and describe in detail why that method worked best. their directions are somewhat complex becuase they get in to what the batter should look like at each stage.

    they also rate products: cookware, knives, gadgets, different ingredients and tell you where each came in and why.

    it's pretty much the science of cooking.

    but i did love the saveur cookbook and i think i would be really interested in the magazine.

  12. oooooOOOO Another great recipe. Dave loves hot food. I am going to try this and give him the cookies this weekend.

  13. No. I actually don't have any magazine subscriptions right now, except for Software Developer. I don't think I've ever seen Saveur, but will look for it. :)

  14. My two subscriptions are to Sports Illustrated and Wired, both gift subscriptions. I've thought about adding Cook's Illustrated and a local state magazine....hmmm.

  15. i used to get WIRED before the girls came on the scene. i really liked it.

    they had an article about the amish that i thought was really excellent. i liked how they found issues related to technology and then approached them in really fresh ways (like talking about how the amish accept or dismiss technology and why as opposed to having the same topic be from the point of view of a busy exec or a techie teen).

  16. Meg, thanks for the welcome. I am sitting here drooling over your recipes. I am especially interested in the Mexican Chocolate Icebox cookies. I never would have thought chocolate and any kind of pepper could go together until I tried a Lindt Chili Chocolate bar (and then the Cherry Chocolate bar). I like that little touch of heat that follows the chocolate. Anyway, I believe that that recipe is going to be one of the first ones I plan to try out.

  17. let me know what you think.

    i wasn't a big fan of them myself, but for those that like the heat, they're perfect. :-)


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