1. Cooking

On the fifth day of Christmas Cookies: Mexican Hot-Chocolate Balls

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Published Dec. 5, 2014

These cookies had me at first bite.

We first tested Mexican Hot-Chocolate Balls in 2009 and they've been on our hit parade ever since.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Balls are another variation of the snowball, just like the Pistachio & Cranberry Snowballs

It is uncanny how much they taste like Mexican hot chocolate. Rather than the traditional milk, serve them with a cup of strong coffee. Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate.

I've made these several times, once adding a healthy pinch of cayenne pepper to the dough. This adds another flavor dimension.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Balls freeze beautifully after they are cooled completely. After they thaw, freshen with another sprinkling of cocoa powder.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Balls

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, divided use

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided use

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided use

1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and vanilla until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer; stir in the remaining flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and pecans.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Combine remaining 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll cooled cookies in the sugar mixture.

Makes 4 dozen.

Freezeworthy: Yes, but cool completely first.

Submitted by Linda Spurgus, New Port Richey


  1. "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle," the new light projection show at Universal Orlando, will open this weekend, running on select nights through Nov. 15. Universal Orlando
    Death Eaters, Voldemort and other creepy creatures from the world of Harry Potter star in the nighttime display.
  2. Brothers Duane and David Hogg, of Hogg Batch Coffee. Courtesy of Joey Clay Studio
    Two brothers from St. Petersburg have started a small coffee company.
  3. Chocolate chunk sea salt biscotti. MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Italian treat is crunchy yet chewy, with chocolate and almond flavors.
  4.  LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI  |  Special to the Times
    They’re topped with a buttermilk brown sugar glaze.
  5. Marinated zucchini MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    You’ll hardly recognize the vegetable.
  6. Honey chipotle chicken tacos MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    And for the toppings, try these quick pickled red onions.
  7. Enjoy la dolce vita with Limoncello Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake With a Biscotti Crust.
    Plus, the crust is made from crushed-up biscotti.
  8. Top Turkish Feta Zucchini and Carrot Pancakes with whipped feta and yogurt sauce. [LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI   |   Special to the Times]
  9. Celebrate stone fruit and summer with Peach Pie With an Easy Top and Bottom Crumb Crust. [LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI   |   Special to the Times]
  10. Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Pumpkin and Chipotle MICHELLE STARK  |
    Think of it as a transition recipe into fall foods.