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Mexican Hot Chocolate Wedding Cookies

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Ingredients

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup natural dark cocoa powder (preferably Valrhona)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (preferably Saigon)

1 teaspoon finely ground espresso beans

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper

10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

Directions

  1. Position racks in the upper middle and lower middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees (300 degrees if using convection oven). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or nonstick liners.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, espresso, allspice, cloves, and chipotle.
  3. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium for about 3 minutes, until smooth. Add brown sugar, orange zest, and salt and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until blended. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until dough just comes together.
  4. Using a 1-tablespoon ice cream scoop, shape dough into balls and arrange them about 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes (8 to 10 minutes for convection), switching sheets’ positions halfway through, until the tops feel slightly firm and spices are very fragrant. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks. Let cookies cool completely.
  5. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
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