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Friday, December 13, 2013

Mayan Chocolate Sparklers

Mayan Chocolate Sparklers are not  cookies that I've traditionally made for the holidays but the recipe caught my eye once again while going through my holiday recipe collection this year.  Although I've had the recipe for several years it's never been on my "to bake" list.

Thought I would give them a try this morning out of sheer curiosity and regretted not taking the time to make them sooner.

If you are at all fond of very deep chocolate flavour and a hint of sugar and spice you have found the right recipe. The black pepper and pinch of cayenne intensifies the rich chocolate flavour of this cookie while the crisp exterior hides the soft chewy center for a wonderfully satisfying surprise.

No preparation pictures this time since I had not  planned to post this recipe but I felt rather guilty keeping it to myself.  Very simple and straight forward this recipe makes more cookies than you might need so there will be plenty to share.

Right now I can’t think of any another cookie that would be an excellent accompaniment to a tall, cold glass of milk!

Mayan Chocolate Sparklers

½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup shortening
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups dark cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping and set aside.
  3. Beat shortening, butter and sugars until creamy, beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, pepper and cayenne then gradually mixing in until well blended.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar topping and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.  Do not flatten balls.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, cookies should still be soft in the center.
  8. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove and cool on wire racks.
  9. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Cookie balls can be frozen raw and stored in an air tight container until ready to bake.  Roll in topping just before baking.  Add 5 minutes baking time if baking the cookies from frozen.
  • Use good quality dark cocoa for the best flavour.
  • These cookies could make amazing ice cream sandwiches!


  1. Elizabeth, the prodigal daughterDecember 14, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Or a tall glass of soy beverage! Mmm, I think I'm going to have a few of these right now. Most delicious cooking of 2013!

    1. Oh boy...Soy!!
      That will work as well... but I'll stick to the milk!

  2. can I use all butter instead of shortening

    1. When a recipe asks for both shortening and butter I think it's with good reason.
      I'm not an expert but my guess is that the butter will give the richness while the shortening adds to the lightness and chewy center of the cookie.
      Personally, I would stick to the original recipe but if you are feeling adventurous give it a try.
      Of course you won't have the cookies from the original recipe to compare them to so you may end up having the same question in the end.
      Let me know if you dared!!