Salted Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies – Inspired by Triple Threats

Triple Threats? Should I Be Scared?

No, you should be impressed! Triple Threats are some of the most talented performers in musical theatre. The term is used to describe a performer who is proficient in acting, singing, and dancing. That kind of talent, skill, and artistry is not easy to come by. It take years of intensive training and experience to truly earn that title. Many performers hit two out of three, but to get all three is a huge accomplishment, and deserves to be celebrated.

Am I A Tripple Threat?

The short answer is not really. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a very strong actor and singer. I’ve been singing as soon as I could talk, and started acting when I was five. I can move well, and have dance traning, but sadly, as I started my dance traning too late, and am not naturally very flexible, dance was never going to be added to my super strengths. Though, I will say, the first professional musical theatre job I ever booked as a performer was in the ensemble of “Gypsy” at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY, and the role was mostly dancing. I like to say that by professional standards, I am a double threat, but by community theatre standards, I can pass as a triple threat.

The Inspiration

Since a performing triple threat has the three components of acting, singing, and dancing, I wanted to create a dessert that had the three major flavor components of sweet, savory, and spicy. My mind immediately went to one of my favorite cold weather treats: Mexican hot chocolate. For those who are not familiar, Mexican hot chocolate has three flavor components that distinguish it from regular hot cocoa. It has the chocolate base (usually dark chocolate), cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. So I started thinking, “what if that was in a cookie?” But I realized, I still needed the savory factor. I’ve recently developed a taste for salted chocolate chip cookies, and it dawned on me that I could combine that concept with the Mexican hot chocolate cookie. And now I have created what may be my favorite dessert to date.

And for those worried that they will be too spicy, they will and they won’t be. I wouldn’t necessarily give them to kids, especially those sensetive to spice. But for adults, it’s not so much a super spicy factor as it is a little kick that makes you go “oooh!” at the end of the cookie. I love spicy foods, but I made a point of keeping the spice to a level that everyone can enjoy. After all, dessert should be about pleasure, not pain.

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla extract.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet in three stages. Clean of beaters between if the dough is clumping on them.

5. Once the dough comes together mix in the chocolate chips. Feel free to use whatever type of chocolate chips you like or have on hand (I’ve used regular semisweet, dark chocolate, and mini chips, and they all work really nicely in this cookie).

6. Using a golf ball sized scoop, form the balls to make the cookies. Be sure to even out the dough on the bottom and remove any excess before rolling the cookie into a ball.

7. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the tray before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. Once the cookies are baked and cooled completely, dissolved the sugar for the topping in the water in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove.

9. Add the chocolate chips for the topping to the simple syrup you just made. Once the chips are almost completely melted, add in the cayenne pepper. Keep stirring or whisking until the mixture is smoothe and velvety.

10. Transfer mixture to a deep but narrow bowl (you should be able to fit your hand holding a cookie in it, but the cookie should touch the bottom of the bowl when being dipped). Dip the tops of the cookies into the mixture, shake off the excess coating, and place back on one of the lined cookie sheets. The cookies can be close to each other but should not touch (otherwise the shells will harded and fuse the cookies together).

11. After you’ve coated about 10 cookies in the chocolate, stop and sprinkle those cookies with a pinch of sea salt for each cookie. Be careful not to go overboard – a little salt goes a long way. Continue topping the rest of the cookies.

12. Chill the cookies in the fridge or freezer until the shells have hardened (you can let them harden at room temp, but it will take a few hours that way). Enjoy!

Yields approximately 44 cookies. Approximately 157 calories per cookie.

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