Cinco de Mayo Chocolate Cookies

Cinco de Mayo is a few days away  and a decision on a dessert to serve needed to be made. I originally thought of a flan, then maybe some kind of a churro dessert. I then considered traditional Mexican cookies such as wedding or polvorones.

I finally settled on these flavorful cookies full of 2 kinds of chocolate and cocoa powder, then spiced up with traditional Mexican ingredients such as cinnamon, chili powder and cayenne (I did leave this ingredient out). Chocolate and spice sounds good, right? I think these are more Tex-Mex but still a good dessert to serve as Cinco de Mayo is more of an American “holiday” when Mexican-American culture is celebrated.

This recipe is adapted from the Cooking Channel and Nealey Dozier.

Cinco de Mayo Chocolate Cookies, Adapted

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon – there is a Mexican cinnamon available)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (use the heat level you like – mine is rather mild)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional – leave out if you do not want a “kick”)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
  • sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring until  smooth. Cool to room temperature.

Using your hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat both sugars, vanilla and eggs on low speed. Pour in the cooled chocolate and continue to mix until just combined.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne (optional). Add to the chocolate batter until you can no longer see any flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes. Why?

Chilling the dough controls spreading, improves the flavor, changes the texture of the cookies and allows you to shape the cookies, especially chocolate ones! Some even chill the dough overnight… which is what I do with my Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make 12-16 heaping balls using a 1 -1/2 tbsp. scoop allowing enough space between each ball. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. The cookies should still be puffy and fairly soft when removed from the oven.

Carefully transfer the warm cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool for about 10 minutes.

Bake the other pan with 12-16 cookie balls as above.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving if desired.

Cookies are usually best eaten on the day they are made but they can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

Comment: Vietnamese cinnamon is sweeter and more aromatic than the cinnamon sold in grocery stores. It has a higher oil content. I buy it from King Arthur Flour (KAF).…hocolate-cookies/  

Linking to Angie @ Fiesta Friday #222 and Antonia @

18 thoughts on “Cinco de Mayo Chocolate Cookies

  1. Beautiful presentation. As much as I like the typical finds at a Cinco de Mayo celebration, these cookies are a lovely idea and a great way to display the use of Mexican ingredients. They look delicious!


  2. Oh no! I’ve bought desserts from Sam’s Club for tomorrow’s celebration. Wish I had seen this recipe earlier. I actually saw it in my reader, liked the sound of it, but didn’t realize it has chili powder and cayenne! That’s such an amazing idea! I may need to add this to my menu. I have all the ingredients, including the Vietnamese cinnamon. No excuse, right? 😀


    • Thanks Angie – the cookies are very good! I left out the cayenne as some younger guests are coming and I wasn’t sure they would like the taste! I didn’t change the recipe except for dusting with confectioners’ sugar and leaving out the cayenne. I got more cookies than the author did too! Do make them sometime as they are worth it – will be a favorite when I want an intense chocolate flavor with a little something “special” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These look great Judi! I love that you went in this direction for Cinco de Mayo, awesome! Thank you for bringing your festive and tasty cookies to Fiesta Friday! Happy Cinco de Mayo and Fiesta Friday!


  4. These are such pretty cookies! When I catered, I used one chocolate refrigerator dough (the slice and bake kind of dough) that was foolproof, since I’m not much of a baker, and it had cocoa, black pepper, and cayenne in it. Fabulous!!!


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