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Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, April 2010


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

  2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

Cook's Note

Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.

Reviews (51)

  • Sweetietweetie2001 27 Jan, 2015

    So I have a question. So who all used Chili powder and who all used Chile powder? Where do you find the Chile powder? Chili powder has other spices like salt, garlic, onion, cumin, etc... I assume Chile powder is just the peppers? Is that correct?

  • lhwohl 2 Jan, 2015

    Just made these — sticking pretty much to exact directions — and everyone loved them, even my young kids. Used ancho chill powder. Baked at 350 in a convection oven for exactly 14 minutes and they were perfect. Crisp on the outside and soft inside. I added about 6 oz. of semisweet chocolate chips and consensus was that they would have been a bit uninspiring without them. Next time, I'll also add a bit of cinnamon and ancho chile powder to the batter to up the flavor. Easy and quick to make.

  • SandyCorey 8 Dec, 2014

    Made these today. They were delicious. My butter was quite cold - frigid weather, so no extra flour needed. Tried both with and without chocolate chips. Without were less sweet and more to my taste. Will be a go to in my recipes.

  • Randal Oulton 8 Dec, 2014

    Sorry, I'm probably just not seeing it: What's the yield again on this recipe?

  • LizbethS 7 Aug, 2014

    I made these cookies using just a bit of extra flour than the recipe calls for (I use a very soft wheat flour for all my baking), then sandwiched them with a Kahlua buttercream - sensational!

  • Mrs_Koz 5 Mar, 2014

    Made these for a school Fiesta function and they were quite the talking point. Note on the yield: I doubled the recipe and downsized the cookies from Tablespoon scoops to teaspoon scoops - and turned out 152 cookies, over 12 dozen!

  • swisseleanor 31 Dec, 2013

    I made these, but i dont think they were a favorite of mine, just personal preference. Everyone who tried them loved them! I added an extra egg because in Switzerland the eggs are much smaller, so if you live in Europe I would recommend that!

  • kvnsgrl 5 Nov, 2013

    These are very tasty: not too sweet.

  • SherryBlueMoonLuck 1 Sep, 2013

    I made these EXACTLY as the recipe says. They are fantastic and because this recipe uses spices (in the chili powder) with chocolate they reminded of a Rick Bayless recipe. The dough was easy to work with..I used a tablespoon to measure each just like the recipe stated. they baked and were beautifully puffy--crisp on the edges and moist on the inside. I froze them for an hour and then made ice cream sandwiches with them. This is complimenting a mexican menu tonight...a big hit! :)

  • SKS 20 Jun, 2013

    I just baked these tonight, and they turned out beautifully and taste delicious! The chili powder adds a subtle spice and the cookies are crispy yet soft at the same time. I kept the oven at 375 degrees and used 3 teaspoons of baking powder for the cream of tartar, as suggested in one or more of the previous reviews. Martha's cookie recipes have never steered me wrong!

  • Jessica Barker 1 Dec, 2012

    I've made these cookies at least 3 times ths past year and they are always a hit! I make as directed but add cinnamon and chili to the batter. I've not had issues with the dough being too sticky to roll. I added chocolate chips once and they were even better.

  • Dana Hutchens 17 Nov, 2012

    Just made these cookies and they turned out great! I used self-rising flour and left out the cream of tarter and baking soda, I added the cinnamon to the cookies and then used another 2 teaspoons in the sugar mixture with the chili powder. I baked them about 10 minutes and used a baking stone. For anyone who thinks the dough is too sticky to work with, use a cookie scoop and dump in right into the sugar mixture and then roll it the sugar and spices before handling.

  • cocorose 11 Oct, 2012

    great cookies but I made some adjustments - oven 375 bake about 10 mins with rotation. I didn't have CoT so I just used 1.5 t of Baking Powder in place I also left out .5 c of sugar (the amount you roll them in) and put all the spices in the batter. added .3 c of almond butter - and they turned out great, sea salt can definitely add to this and next time i will experiment with different chili - but great texture and taste!

  • JanetM52 5 May, 2012

    This cookie batter was so fluffy and sticky that I could not possibly roll it into balls. I did, however, spoon blobs onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar on the tops. The cookies baked to a nice consistency, soft on the inside. If I make these again, I think I'll add more flour so they're "rollable."

  • Gtherese 6 Apr, 2012

    Amazing! I read some of the reviews and decided to bake at 375 and add 6oz of chocolate chips. I also added a small amount of cinnamon and ancho chile powder to the dough. I made the sugar coating as directed. This cookie is crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, yum!

  • DonnaMarieNJ 19 Feb, 2012

    I made this receipe ALMOST exactly as written. I added vanilla and a few choc chips. I was afraid of the heat of the chili pepper, so I added 2 tsps of McCormick Cocoa Chile Blend, and I am sorry I did... There was NO kick whatsoever.

    Despite the fact that I burnt these cookies, and they spread (I'm embarrassed to say) from rim to rim on the sheet, I LOVED them, and will be making them again.

    My cookies were very crisp (maybe because I overcooked them), and not cakey, which was a plus 4 me.

  • Whnim64 7 Dec, 2011

    My daughter, who is the baker in the family, made these for me last year for a Christmas party and used Chipolte Pepper instead of Chile Pepper and they were the best I have ever had! I am making them this year.

  • amandadj 27 Nov, 2011

    I made these exactly to the letter including cream of tartar and baking soda, and ground chili powder. They were very successful and greatly appreciated as a cookie for adult tastes. I ended up with 38 large cookies, more crispy than chewy as I use a fan oven. Happy baking...

  • mvenzel 19 Sep, 2011

    I also did not have cream of tartar on hand and used some of your advice and did 3 teaspoons of baking powder. I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and added 2 cups of chocolate chips. I did not roll the cookies in the sugar mixture, but added the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the dry mixture and baked it into the cookies. The addition of the chocolate chips takes this to another level. These are quite possibly the best cookies I've ever had!!

  • Eilisha42 28 Aug, 2011

    Sorry, I'm probably just not seeing it: What's the yield on this recipe?

  • AnneN 29 Jul, 2011

    Putting chile powder in cookies doesn't necessarily make them "Mexican." Where is the Ibarra Mexican Chocolate?? Now that's authentic!

  • UNTIE 2 Jul, 2011

    Very easy batter to make. Delicious cookie!!!!

  • nellsie 2 Jun, 2011

    I've made these quite a few times and they disappear quickly! The cookies are moist, and delicious! I haven't tried the chili powder, though. Can't wait to make and share these again.

  • Penelope417 11 Feb, 2011

    Mine came out puffed and cakey, they are delicious but I prefer a chewy cookie. I used 2 tsp of baking powder instead of soda/tartar, is this really what would have made the difference? Does anyone have any other tips? I'd like to make them agaiin but have them look like the photo!

  • ArtistaRaquel 25 Jan, 2011

    Used Pamela's gluten free flour mix, put double the cinnamon and cayenne (in the dough and rolled on the surface), used 1 T baking powder instead of cream of tartar and baking soda, and baked at 350 F on silpat mats. You can actually taste the chile powder and it gives a nice tingle. They're nice and cakey inside with a satisfying firm outer layer. Used my 1 1/2" cookie baller and it (would have) made 52 cookies (if I hadn't eaten about 1 cookie's worth of dough before any were cooked!) YUM!

  • NapaCindy 20 Dec, 2010


  • lhdschmitt 19 Dec, 2010

    I used Cayenne on half of these cookies and just cinnamon and sugar on the rest. I didn't really care for the Cayenne ones, but everyone else who tried these did. Also, I didn't have any cream of tartar so used 3 tsp. of baking powder for the baking soda and cream of tartar. Maybe this is why my cookies puffed up and didn't look anything like the picture. Overall, I probably won't make this recipe again.

  • JasonB 18 Dec, 2010

    I believe that the 400 degree temperature is too high. The bottoms of mine were burning despite the fact that I did use parchment paper. I tried a batch at 375 and then another batch at 350. The 350 temp seemed to work best. Also I would consider adding more sugar if you plan to eat them without hot chocolate.

  • kate_star 14 Dec, 2010

    these are great, but the spices did not come through as much as I hoped. I also added chocolate chunks to half of them, and that was even better!

  • LKGilleland 6 Dec, 2010

    Yum! I really like how cayenne makes the back of your throat warm, so I think I'll try that next time.

  • Yankiwi 3 Dec, 2010

    These were great and they looked just like the pictures but I made them gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour mix and adding 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. Otherwise I did everything exactly as in the recipe. The flour mix I used was 2 parts fine brown rice flour, 2/3 cups potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca but I think any all purpose gluten free flour blend would work.

  • anne928 30 Nov, 2010

    I made this recipe for a friend for her birthday, it was a huge success! These cookies are delicious although next time i will add hotter chile i really liked the warming sensation and it could only get better with a hot chile. :)

  • talesfromanoven 29 Nov, 2010

    I am in love with the Martha Stewart Cookies App for iPad! I baked these cookies today and used the 1/2 teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper. I admit that I was very nervous, but the chipotle powder really enhances the chocolate flavor of the cookie and there's a nice warming effect afterwards. These cookies are perfect for the cold rainy weather we seem to be having here today.

  • illag 29 Nov, 2010

    Recently a lot of my Martha baking recipes have turned out just "ok.l. But these are phenomenal! I made the recipe exactly as is, except used half the chili powder because I was admittedly fearful of the spice in a cookie. But it's a great addition; next time I will use the full amount. I used McCormick "chili powder" as that's what I assumed the recipe meant (I didn't watch the video so I haven't seen these being made). They came out about 2" and cakey; unlike the photo.

  • aaamy98 29 Nov, 2010

    These taste just like Mexican hot chocolate. They're so good. I actually wasn't sure which chili powder to go with but decided on 1/2 teas. of Chipotle, it was perfect. Thanks, Martha.

  • mlmisco 28 Nov, 2010

    These cookies are awesome! I made 1/2 with chili powder and half with out and I liked the one with chili powder more. You can't taste the spice at all, but there is a little more flavor. Even my spiceaphobic boyfriend liked them!

  • Beth4158 27 Nov, 2010

    It'd be helpful to be more explicit about chile powder in the list of ingredients. Some might think chili powder is what's being called for, the blend of cumin and oregano and chile and such that's used in savory chili recipes.

  • Ynda 26 Nov, 2010

    quit asking for nutritional information. If you are so concerned, use your head and think before you eat! A little hint...if there is sugar and shortening in it - don't eat it. Let the rest of us that have some control, enjoy.

  • leaavon 26 Nov, 2010

    It will soon be the year 2011...could you please come out of the Dark Ages and provide nutritional information!!!

  • soberski 26 Nov, 2010

    Gingeram - in the video Martha says you can freeze the dough and then slice and bake.

  • Gingeram 23 Sep, 2010

    Can these cookies be frozen successfully?

  • Gingeram 23 Sep, 2010

    Can these cookies be frozen successfully?

  • MarthaandMeBlogger 8 Jul, 2010

    I loved them too! You can see how mine turned out here:

  • JenLikestoCook 20 Jun, 2010

    I went on a baking spree and baked 3 types of cookies, this being one of them. My family and friends absolutely loved it. They stayed pretty well in plastic ware for a little over a week.

  • agfdurkin 6 Jun, 2010

    Delicious! They taste just like hot chocolate :) Just finished making these and both hubby and I gave them a big thumbs up. Made 2 dozen without chili powder and 1 with. Assumed it meant a spicy chili powder so I used cayenne... Overall it gives the cookie more depth of flavor and tones the sweetness and there is just a hint of spicy aftertaste YUM!

  • gmlnyc 23 May, 2010

    i absolutely LOVED these. i dont like things too sweet so i only used a little more than half the sugar. i cannot wait to make these again. killer. also it's super easy to make a few tame ones, in the same batch. since the spices are only in the powder you roll them in, not in the dough themselves. A

  • Olbay33 7 May, 2010

    I used regular mexican chocolate and added less sugar, they are really tasty!!!!!

  • metaphor 3 May, 2010

    cerine, baking powder can be used as a substitute for [cream of tartar baking soda]. In other words, leave out both the 2 tsp. cream of tartar AND the 1 tsp. baking soda, and substitute 3 tsp. baking powder.

  • cerine 1 May, 2010

    can I replace cream of tartar by baking powder ? I never use them and do not know what they are used for in baking!

  • sainterdog 30 Apr, 2010

    I would love to try some of these recipes, but I need nutrition info. Why is it never given, or am I missing something?

  • Joit 29 Apr, 2010

    Good chocolate flavor. It's a little crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Don't taste the chili powder though. Delicious!

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