Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies

Lest you think that I am posting all of Maida Heatter’s recipes, be assured that this one is quite popular. It was published in Saveur magazine earlier this year, too. So I have no qualms about publishing it, again, here.

These are icebox cookies, the slice-and-bake variety of cookies that are great to have in your freezer because the dough will keep for weeks and you can baked them off as you crave them. This specific cookie is no ordinary cookie, however. Because of its use of a variety of spices, the cookie tastes much better as it ages and the flavors have a chance to meld. This is a characteristic of many spice-filled products, from chili to gingerbread. The spices included here are cinnamon, cocoa and cayenne pepper. The cookies will have a tiny hint of pepper when they first come out of the oven, but after ageing for several days, the spice will be noticeable.

I love the heat from these cookies. It makes them fun to eat and they pair wonderfully with hot cocoa or coffee. In the summer, though, I think they make perfect little ice cream sandwiches. Use vanilla or dulce de leche for an amazing snack. You can even make the sandwiches ahead of time and store them, wrapped, in your freezer for emergency snacking.

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 tbsp butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla extract and egg. Gradually add flour mixture until dough is uniform in color and no unmixed flour remains.

Shape in two 9″ long logs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Make sure your wrapping is airtight.

Freeze overnight or up to 6 weeks.

When ready to use, preheat your oven to 375F and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should feel a bit firm at the edges. Store in an airtight container when cool.

Makes 4 dozen


  1. YUM!
    These sound great Nic! mmmmm

  2. Oh yeah, looks amazing. You know how I said I’d make the cardamom cookies this weekend? Well, I think I’ve changed my mind, now! :-)

  3. Oh my god! I’m glad to be able to check back in with the food-blogging world and by the looks of your site and the previous posts, I’ve been missing out on a lot of things! Everything looks GREAT!

  4. Helen (AugustusGloop)

    Emergency snacking? Don’t all snacks entail emergency status! =)

    These sound great. Mexicans sure know their way around chocolate!

  5. Clare – Thanks!

    Niki – The only clear solution is to make both, you know. Besides, these get better after time, so you can eat the cardamom cookies while you wait!

    Rowena – Glad you’re back from your holiday!

    A.G. – I definately agree.

  6. Beautiful cookies Nic.

  7. Emergency snacking! I love it. THose look super tasty. I am going to have to remember that one.

  8. Hi Nic,
    Wow, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as French taffy until I went to Economy Candy to get Mariko’s package.

    About marshmallows-fat free doesn’t mean sugar free. LOL. I think you’d have major insulin overdose if you ate 40 in one day.

  9. These sound yummy – 1/2 tsp cayenne sounds pretty spicy! Little ice cream sandwiches are a great idea – I think the ice cream would be a refreshing contrast to the spicy cookies. Were these like a shortbread in texture?

  10. Jessica – I know. But I can always feel a tiny bit better about a few marshmallows than a few truffles! Unless they’re McAuliflower’s Orange truffles, of course.

    Cathy – They are spicy, but it doesn’t kick in right away. That’s one of the reasons I like them with ice cream. They’re a bit more chewy than shortbread, I assume because of the relatively short baking time.

  11. These are wonderful! Who needs ice cream, the bitty kick there at the end is perfect!

    Of course, I still want to go out and get some dulce de leche ice cream to have with them :)

  12. Nic, thank you for reminding me of these! I tore that recipe out of Saveur, put it in my accordion file, and promptly forgot about it! Looks like a pretty perfect ice cream sandwich you’ve got there…

  13. Just made these yesterday and they are sooooo good! Esp with Dreyer’s dulce de leche. I’ve always been a drop cookie girl but I’ll be doing more slice & bakes now. Thanks!

  1. Pingback: Spicy Cookies

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