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Cinco de Mayo Celebration: Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo a day early today at the annual Rhythms Fitness Studio party.  Those Zumba-crazy ladies know how to have a good time! An hour of cardio dance followed by a potluck of Mexican food - and margaritas too, of course.

For my contribution this year, I made Mexican wedding cookies.  But not just any old cookie recipe.  These were double chocolate.  My recipe below is based on a Ghiradelli cookbook recipe, but not having the special ingredients that it called for, I had to improvise and come up with my very own version.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my fellow Zumba ladies did!

Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies

Makes 3 dozen

In a large bowl, cream together

   2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter
   1/3 cup confectioners sugar (aka powdered sugar)
   2 tsp vanilla extract

In a separate bowl, combine

   1 3/4 cup flour
   1 cup finely ground pecans
   1/4 cup hot cocoa mix powder (NOT plain baking cocoa powder)
   1/4 cup finely ground dark chocolate chips (grind them in a food processor)
   3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
   Pinch of salt

Slowly add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture.  Stir it all together until well combined.

Wrap the dough in plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

When the time is up, preheat the oven to 325 F.  Prepare two cookie sheets with a non-stick surface of your choice (grease, parchment paper, or - my favorite - silicon baking mats).

Slice off small portions of dough and hand-roll them into 1-inch diameter balls.  Place them on the cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are very slightly browning on the bottom and look like they’re starting to become firm.  They will still feel soft when you take them out of the oven, but should hold together if you pick them up (carefully! They’re really hot).

Let them cool in the pan for 1 minute.  Then remove them to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the coating.  In a small bowl, combine

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup hot cocoa mix powder

When the cookies are still slightly warm but not hot, roll each ball in the coating. You may want to roll them twice to make sure they are well-coated.  Put them back on the rack to cool completely.  Then store them in a sealed container, with waxed paper in between layers.

Buen provecho! 

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