Mexican Chocolate Cookies with Hot Peppah Jelly

I made my first batch of 2009 holiday cookies last night: Mexican Chocolate with Hot Peppah Jelly. I concocted them last year as a vehicle for our hot pepper jelly, and I was so happy, I decided to wing them again this year. Adapted from a homemade sandwich cookie recipe by Wayne Harley Brachman (in his Retro Desserts cookbook), I've added a little zing to create a grown-up cookie.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies with Hot Peppah Jelly

• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon (or more, if you'd like) ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl thoroughly mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add butter, egg, and vanilla, and combine until the dough is thoroughly mixed and massed together.

Place small drops of batter (about 1/2-inch) onto a non-stick or greased cookie sheet at 2-inch intervals. With wet fingers, round out and flatten each drop a little. Bake for 8 minutes, turning the pans once, until the cookies are set. Place the cookies on a rack to cool.

Make the sandwiches:
Place a small dollop of Hot Peppah Jelly on one cookie, then top with another.

BTW--the cookies end up crunchy (like Oreos). If you store the sandwiches pre-made with the jelly, they get a bit soggy (which is yummy). But if you want them to stay crunchy, construct just before serving.

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