The Aztec nation (which once thrived in central Mexico) arguably invented chocolate and their national recipes for this roasted bean are some of the grandest in all of the culinary world. If you have ever tasted Mexican dishes (real Mexican and not bastardized American versions) featuring chocolate you have probably noticed there is a difference in taste and this difference is due to a secret real Mexican Chef's (and the Aztecs) apply when using chocolate. They add peppers! The addition of peppers is in the dry stage and either a cayenne or a chili powder.
This shortbread recipe, which I have adapted for the American kitchen, is a perfect example of how chocolate is used in Mexico. If you love the richness of pure chocolate (in this case using cocoa powder) you are going to love the delicate denseness of this shortbread.
Ingredients needed to make Mexican Chocolate Shortbread:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbs. vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. espresso coffee powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. chili powder
- Pre-heat your oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
- In a mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients into the mixer and beat just until it comes together.
- Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap in plastic and chill about 30 minutes.
- Remove the plastic from the dough and roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness.
- Using round cookie-cutters or a glass, cut the dough into rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake 7 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet a few minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool before serving.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."