Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

My good friend Jonathan threw his annual Tremendous Tamale Throw Down last weekend, and I baked these cookies in keeping with the theme.  People loved them, and I didn’t even mention that they were vegan.  They were a delicious finish to the amazing tamales, salsas, and strong margaritas.


Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance baking sticks or vegan margarine, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
6 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s brand, which happens to be vegan), optional
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chile powder

-Whisk together the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
-Preheat the oven to 375 F, with racks in upper and lower thirds.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat margarine and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2  minutes.  Scrape down the side of the bowl.  Add the flax seed mixture and beat to combine.  With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine.  Add chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
-In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder.  Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake until cookies are set in the center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.  Let cookies cool on sheets set on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.