Spicy, Sweet and "Oh so YUMMY!"
I have been making Mexican Chocolate-Cherry Rounds for years, since I first saw them featured in Bon Appetit in 1996. I stick to the original recipe, most of the time, but this year I substituted Ibarra Mexican Chocolate for unsweetened chocolate. To be honest, I just didn't feel like going to the store to get unsweetened chocolate when I had bittersweet, semi-sweet, and pounds of other chocolate. Anyway, the cookies turned out great. My husband, the skeptic, noticed the cookies were flatter than before, but he thought the flavor was the best this year.
I may not ever tell him what I did...ha, ha.
Mexican Chocolate-Cherry Rounds
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate or Ibarra Mexican Chocolate, chopped
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 T ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup powdered sugar
60 candied cherry halves
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. If you are using the Ibarra chocolate, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the chocolate when melting; cool.
Combine flour, baking powder and spices. In an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and cooled chocolate. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Gather the dough together and chill for at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with either a silpat or parchment paper.
Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar, repeat with all the dough. Place the dough balls on baking sheet 1 1/2 -inch apart. Press 1 cherry half into the center of the dough.
Bake until the dough cracks, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.
These cookie will stay fresh up to 1 week in an airtight container or frozen for 1 month.