Mexican Chocolate Cherry Rounds

These cookies have a spicy kick which gives them an unusual taste in the holiday season; but crackled powdered sugar shell gives them an refined appearance.

9     oz.    Ibarra Mexican Chocolate
2-1/4 c. Flour
2 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Salt
1 t. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 t. Cayenne Pepper
1/4 t. Ground Cloves
1 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
3 Lg. Eggs
1 t. Vanilla Extract
2/3 c. Powdered Sugar
30 Candied Cherries
  • Stir chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth; cool. 
  • Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl. 
  • Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla and chocolate. 
  • Gradually add dry ingredients, beating just until combined. 
  • Chill dough until firm, about 2 hours. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets. 
  • Place powdered sugar in shallow pan. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in sugar to coat shake off excess sugar. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-1/2 inches apart. 
  • Press 1 cherry half into center of each cookie. 
  • Bake until cookies puff and crack but are still soft, about 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.

Total time: about 3 hours
Time to prepare: about 30 minutes
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
Makes: about 5 dozen 
Notes:  Cookies can be prepared ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week, or freeze up to 1 month.  Original recipe called for 6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 2-1/8 cup flour, 1-3/4 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon; modifications were made to suit authentic Mexican chocolate.