You know how you return from vacation and although it is good to be home, you can’t help but have a bit of the vacation blues? If you are like me, it can put you into a little slump wishing you could still be lying on the beach in Mexico, strolling down the Champs Elysees or skiing down the Rockies for example. That’s why I have decided to declare it “Mexico Week” at Satisfy My Sweet Tooth. You don’t mind if I extend my vacation through food with you, do you? We started with enchiladas, so I bet you know what that means! Time for the sweet stuff!
When I was in Mexico after dinner one night I asked for a hot chocolate. What I received was not your ordinary hot chocolate. It was Mexican Mayan chocolate melted by pouring steamed milk over it. It was creamy, slightly spicy from the cinnamon and utterly comforting. When I asked our server Emilio about it, he said that this was the traditional way to make hot chocolate in Mexico and that there is one main brand of chocolate that has been produced for over 70 years called Abuelita. The brand was recently purchased by Nestle but you can still only purchase it in Mexico. On the menu they called it “Grandma hot chocolate” and I’m guessing that has something to do with the adorable woman on the package enticing you to have a cup.
I have always enjoyed the combination of chocolate and cinnamon.
It just seems to warm me from the inside. I remembered that I had this recipe for Mexican chocolate shortbread that incorporates this flavor combination and so as a tribute to Grandma Abuelita and Emilio, here it is: warm, chocolatey, spicy shortbread. After making these, I can truly say, they may change your life. No, I am not that delusional to think that a baked good could actually change your life but it’s about the little things. And if tasting this delectable treat can make you smile and feel comforted, well then that is life-changing enough for me 🙂.
Mexican Chocolate Shortbread
Keywords: bake dessert chocolate cookie Mexican
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 Tbsp sliced almonds, plus more for topping
- 6 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powser
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tsp for topping
Preheat oven to 350
Butter 9-inch baking dish (*I save the butter wrapper after I put the butter in my bowl and wipe the inside of the wrapper around my dish-easy and clean) and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all 4 sides
Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground then add flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper and pulse to incorporate
Beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy
Add flour mixture and beat until just combined
Press dough evenly into prepared pan (I rubbed my fingers on a butter wrapper before doing this to prevent sticking and tantrums as a result of frustration from the potential sticking)
Prick the dough all over with fork, then using a knife cut into long pieces, (about 12 pieces) top with almonds and sprinkle with remaining sugar
Refrigerate dough until firm, about 10 minutes
Bake until slightly puffed and firm 30-35 minutes
Remove from oven and immediately retrace the strips with a knife and cool completely
Lift parchment to remove shortbread from pan and separate into bars