Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and there will be festivities all across America and Mexico to celebrate. Whether you want to bring a dish to a party you’re attending or simply desire to serve some Mexican inspired cuisine at home to family then I have just the dessert for you.
Spicy Mexican Shortbread Cookies combine different elements of Mexican cuisine into one delicious cookie, making them the perfect dessert addition to any party table or family dinner. The cookie base features the rich combination of cocoa and cinnamon with a hint of spice from cayenne pepper, all reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate. The icing is designed to replicate the flavors of dulce de leche and compliment the cookie without conflicting with its complex flavors. Lastly, the sweet and salty pecan topping adds a crunchy texture to an otherwise extremely delicate shortbread cookie base.
Whether you plan to make these cookies as a last-minute treat for Cinco de Mayo or enjoy them at other times of the year, you can’t go wrong with this stellar combination of pecans, chocolate shortbread, and dulce de leche flavored icing!
Spicy Mexican Shortbread Cookies
- 6.75 oz. (1 ½ cups) All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
- ½ cup light Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
- ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
- ½ cup 1% Low-Fat Milk
- 1 ¼ cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Nut Topping Ingredients:
- 1 tsp. Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
- ¾ cup Chopped Pecans
- To prepare cookies, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl; stir with a whisk.
- Place ½ cup butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer). With stand or hand mixer set to medium speed, beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add oil and beat 3 minutes or until well blended. Gradually add ¾ cup powdered sugar and beat well. Add the flour mixture and beat at low-speed until well blended. Form dough into a long uniform log, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°. Meanwhile, unwrap chilled dough from plastic wrap and slice into ¼ inch thick slices. Bake for 20 minutes (DO NOT turn off oven after last tray of cookies is removed). Cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and milk; cook 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, stirring with a whisk until smooth. If mixture is too thin, add more powdered sugar until icing is thin enough to drizzle over cookie.
- To prepare nut topping, arrange pecans on a small baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until toasted. While pecans toast, combine 1 tsp. brown sugar, sea salt, and 1 tsp. butter in a medium bowl. Once pecans have finished toasting, add hot pecans to butter mixture. Immediately toss pecans well to coat. Cool completely.
- To assemble cookies, drizzle 1 tsp. of icing over each cookie then sprinkle with chopped pecans. Enjoy!