Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Now this is a recipe that is a little un-Christmasy but that is okay because many Christmas and holiday themed recipes and posts are on their way! I was inspired to make these after seeing a container of Abuelita hot cocoa disks in the store a few weeks ago. I used to inhale that stuff when I was younger. We would make it in our elementary Spanish class while singing songs about it. When I opened the package the smell whisked me back to those days.

A little bit of cinnamon brings that flavors forward without overpowering them. It’s basically a little mug of Mexican hot cocoa in a brownie. These are absolutely worth making if you are looking to change up your brownie game. I had my mom bring the remainder of the batch to her office and they were gobbled up in minutes.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Now let’s talk about the consistency of these. There is an everlasting debate between cakey and gooey brownies. These are truly somewhere in between, They do have a cakey quality but are moist, and even a little gooey.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies
Cakey but moist brownies with the flavors of Mexican Hot Chocolate
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C salted butter
  • 1/4 of one Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate disk (about 0.8 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1 C + 1 T granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/3 C dark chocolate cocoa powder (I use Hershey's special dark)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
Instructions
1. In a small pot melt the butter. As the butter melts, add the chopped hot cocoa disk. Whisk until butter is fully melted and chocolate is incorporated. Take off the heat and let cool for 3 minutes.2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides. 3. In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, add the sugar. Add the butter mixture and beat at medium speed until incorporated. While beating at medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Continue beating and add in the vanilla, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Scrape down the sides as needed. 4. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. 5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking doneness with a toothpick. When a toothpick comes out clean, they are ready. Cool for 5 minutes in dish then, using parchment paper, pull brownies out to finish cooling.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8x8 inch pan
Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Listening to: Christmas carols!

Spiced Snickerdoodles

This riff on Snickerdoodles adds a little bit of spice and some fall flair. This all butter dough comes together in one bowl and makes 3 dozen cookies, perfect for a crowd, or the freezer.

Spiced Snickerdoodles

These cookies have a slightly crisp exterior but a chewy, buttery interior that will keep you coming back for more. I am a huge fan of snickerdoodles but I like them on the chewy and soft side, not on the crisp side. I actually feel that way about most cookies.

The Flour&Finch blog is about a year old and I am surprised to see that most of the recipes I have pumped out this year are cookies. I would not have thought a year ago that cookies are my favorite thing to make but yup, I love cookies and am unashamed about it. I’m glad my blog has made this clear to me. Cookies are customizable, crowd pleasers, and relatively easy.

Spiced Snickerdoodles
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Spiced Snickerdoodles
An autumn version of the cinnamon sugar cookie, chewy and buttery!
Ingredients
  • 1 C salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t cream of tartar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 2 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 t ground ginger
Instructions
1. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. 2. Beat in the cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour. Beat until the mixture comes together, scraping the sides down if necessary. 3. Place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes*. 4. Preheat oven to 350 F5. In a small, shallow bowl, mix the 2 T of sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and ginger. Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and roll into the sugar and spice mixture. 6. Place cookies, at least 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes then move to cooling racks. *The dough can sit in the fridge overnight. If making ahead, only complete through step 3. Take out of the fridge, scoop and roll, then bake. If the dough is very hard, baking time may vary.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 dozen
Spiced Snickerdoodles

Listening to: The Black Keys

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

As I contemplate the closing of 2016, I look forward to the new year. I currently have only two solid plans for 2017. The first is a dentist appointment on January 4th and the second is a series of culinary classes in Lake Tahoe until February. Other than that, 2017 is a blank canvas that I can’t wait to fill.

cookies

The end of the year always brings with it nostalgia, at least for me. I go over the significant events and ponder the small ones. I had some great things happen to me in 2016: I graduated college with a business degree, I farmed for a month in Alaska and learned countless lessons while there, I found my true calling (food), and I moved to Lake Tahoe. I thought a perfect way to end the year was with a nostalgic recipe, cinnamon sugar cookies.

To be clear, these are NOT snickerdoodles. They are buttery, chewy, cinnamon morsels. The trick to these bad boys are undercooking them. This recipe is one that my brother found when he was young in an old cookbook and made often when we were kids. They were his cookie specialty but he gave me permission to put them on the blog. What’s even better is that he is here helping me bake them and, more importantly, eat them.

The two of us are back near our home base at my grandma’s beach house and even more nostalgia comes from seeing the beach house, old high school friends, and old hang out spots.

cookies

These cookies are seriously good, be aware of the uncooked cookie dough because it is addicting. 

This recipe originally appeared on page 419 in the 1986 issue of Junior League of San Francisco’s San Francisco Encore. The addition of ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts are welcomed, just not by my brother.

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Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Crispy, chewy cinnamon sugar cookies! Optional: add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 C granulated sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 2. Cream the butter with 1 cup sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, beat well. 3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir into butter mixture until combined. 4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in remaining sugar. 5. Place sugared dough balls on an ungreased (but NOT nonstick*) cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. 6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then move to wire rack. *a nonstick pan may cause edges to burn prematurely and create a cookie that is not evenly cooked
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 20 cookies
cookies

As far as this blog goes, the future is bright. I hope to get more creative, improve my food photography and styling, as well as begin to develop my own recipes. Stay tuned!

And finally, Happy New Year!

Listening to: the loud crash of ocean waves, the best sound to bake to