Classic icebox cookies get spiced up with Mexican chocolate. For different personality types on your holiday list, we’ve got variations: coconut-date for the racy adventurer, and Meyer lemon and black pepper for the subtle sophisticate, and sugar cookies for the purist. Or maybe they’re just all for you.

What to buy: Mexican chocolate such as Ibarra or Abuelita is available at Latino grocery stores. It comes in disks. If you can’t find Mexican chocolate, you can approximate the flavor by using 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 cups coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate. Add the cinnamon to the dry ingredients.

Game plan: Make extra batches, wrap them in plastic, and freeze for later use. To finish, take them out of the freezer, and then slice and bake them as directed. The dough can be frozen up to a month.

  • Yield: 48 cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 25 mins 
  • Active: 10 mins

Ingredients (11)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups finely chopped Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra


  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a medium mixing bowl to aerate the mixture and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  2. Combine butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add milk and vanilla and blend well. Scrape down bowl, add egg, and mix well. Reduce mixer to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  3. Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a log (approximately 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter), and wrap tight. Place in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour but preferably 8 hours.
  4. When ready to bake the cookies, heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 12 minutes.