Mexican Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen
Adapted from Living Tastefully

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup lightly packed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for coating the cookies
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Sift the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, pepper, and salt together twice onto a piece of waxed paper. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture. Stir and knead the dough (it will be dry and crumbly at first) until it is moist, dark and supple. Between 2 sheets of waxed paper, roll the dough 1/4-inch thick as evenly as possible. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

3. Cut out the cookies with a 2-inch round cutter. Spread the coating sugar on a plate. Lightly press the top of each cookie in the sugar, so that the sugar clings to the dough. Arrange the cookies, sugar side up, on the prepared sheets, spacing them well apart.

4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until crisp and firm. Transfer cookies carefully to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with any remaining dough.

Printed from Playing House