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My Halloween Mexican Chocolate Sugar Cookies have a delicious hint of spice and are so fun! My no-chill dough means and simple decorating means they’re quick and easy to make, too.
Why We Love This Recipe
I love creating festive holiday foods for my family and especially cookies. These Halloween Mexican Chocolate Sugar Cookies are so easy to make and have a hint of spice giving them a unique twist on traditional cut-out sugar cookies.
What makes these chocolate cut out sugar cookies even better is that they are made with a no-chill dough so you can literally have your first batch of cookies out of the oven in 20 minutes or less!
What is Mexican Chocolate?
In doing some research, I’ve learned that what people describe as Mexican chocolate tends to be regional and even varies. But basically, what it means in the states is chocolate, sugar and spices, usually cinnamon and often a spice with a kick like chili powder.
I love this Cherry Chocolate Chip Cut Out Sugar Cookie recipe so when I was trying to think of a fun Halloween cookie idea, I modified that recipe and came up with this one. Paying homage to the Day of the Dead holiday traditionally observed in Mexico, I thought making these cut-out skeleton cookies was a great way to combine the Mexican flavors with the skeletons of the Day of the Dead.
Trust me here when I say the addition of cinnamon and chili powder totally works in these Mexican chocolate cookies. The flavors are not overwhelming (although you can certainly adjust to make them more to your liking if you want).
What Ingredients Are Needed To Make This Recipe?
One of the best things about this chocolate sugar cookie recipe is that it’s made with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
If you’ve been around awhile, you know that I often choose store-brand ingredients to save money. I especially like buying baking ingredients at ALDI as we’ve found them to be great quality for a great price.
One note about the cocoa powder. This recipe calls for unsweetened baking cocoa. You can find this ingredient on the baking aisle of your grocery store. Make sure you’re buying the baking cocoa and not cocoa mix (like for hot chocolate). I get that question often so wanted to mention it!
How to Make These Cookies
To start, make sure your butter is at room temperature. I usually let it sit out about 30 minutes or so.
After you cream the butter and sugar together, add the remaining ingredients to make the cookie dough (1).
Next, you will be rolling out the dough. There are a few tools I use to make it easier but as long as you have a clean surface, such as a large cutting board, you are good to go.
I like to use this baking mat (affiliate link) on my counter because it is large and makes for easier cleanup (2). I learned a tip in a cookie making class to use this multipurpose sugar/flour/powdered sugar shaker (affiliate link). It makes dusting my surface SO much easier before I put the cookie dough down. And then it’s easy to sprinkle a little on top before I roll out the dough.
I also love, love this adjustable rolling pin (affiliate link). It has discs on each end that you can change out for different thicknesses which makes it easier to have an even thickness all over. I like to roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness as that is not too thin but not too thick so that it bakes evenly. (3)
I use a gingerbread man shape cookie cutter (affiliate link) in two different sizes to make these fun shapes (4).
I forgot to include pictures of how to decorate so will update that here at some point. But I use an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients in a medium size bowl. Then, using a decorator tip and bag (affiliate link), create the lines on the cookie to make the skeleton. I just put a big blob on the head to make the circle there.
Make Ahead Preparation Tips
Even though this dough is no chill, you can make it up to a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. Just make sure you allow at least 30 minutes for it to come to room temperature on your kitchen counter so it will be easier to roll out.
You can also make the frosting up to a day in advance and repeat the same process—store in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature first.
Sometimes, I will create a cookie “kit” which is where I combine only the dry ingredients and store in an airtight container or bag (like these reusable bags (affiliate link) ). Then I just add the wet ingredients when I’m ready to make and bake the cookies.
How To Freeze These Cookies
These Halloween Mexican Chocolate Sugar Cookies freeze really well! After you’ve baked them, cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Don’t forget to date and label them (affiliate link).
More Halloween Recipes
We love Halloween in our house! Be sure to check out these other Halloween themed recipes:
Orange Peach Jack-O-Lantern Smoothie
Healthy Halloween Treats Roundup
Halloween Mexican Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½-1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
To Make Cookie Dough
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, chili powder and flour.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture, one cup at a time, mixing until just combined after each addition. The dough will be crumbly at first but then come together and be stiff.
- Do NOT chill dough. Divide dough into two balls and flatten slightly. On a floured surface (I use a big cutting board), roll each ball to about ¼” thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
- On ungreased cookie sheet, bake on middle rack of oven 6-8 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and keep on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Using a spatula, remove cookies to cooling rack and cool completely.
To Make the Icing
- In small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and corn syrup. Slowly add water whisking until combined.
To Decorate Cookies
- In a decorator icing bag (you can buy these at any craft store or some discount stores like Walmart or Target), add about half of the icing. You don't need a metal tip-just snip off a tiny bit of the tip. Pipe icing on to cookie in the shape of skeleton bones. Set cookies on baking rack to dry. Repeat with extra icing and cookies.
- When icing is dry (after about 2 hours), store in airtight container for up to a week or in freezer for up to three months.
Originally shared in October 2016 and updated September 2020 with new photos, content and video.
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I saw these at the teacher luncheon at Reading – they were yummy! Then I saw your blog w/ recipe!! I’m trying them tonight- a day late for Dia de los muertos; better late than never!
Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)
Awesome Sarah–so glad you decided to check them out! Let me know how they go over at your Dia de los Muertos celebration!
The recipe instructions don’t match the ingredient list. Is there a recipe where the ingredients for the Mexican chocolate cookies match the instructions? Thanks
Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)
Hi Ana, I just fixed it! Sorry about that–I have a couple of different similar recipes and guess I didn’t make all the updates as needed.
Weird now I don’t see the recipe at all.
Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)
Thanks for letting me know–I am looking into it. I did recently make some formatting changes on my website so perhaps that is the cause. Sorry for the inconvenience….I’ll let you know when it’s fixed.
Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)
Hi Ana, I have been working on this and the recipe should be there now. I was in the middle of transitioning to a new recipe format display (with lots more features!) and I didn’t have all the settings set up correctly but all should be fixed now. Could you please let me know if you do or do not see it? Thanks and I hope you enjoy the cookies!
I cannot see the recipe at all.
Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)
Hi Cindy! Thank you for letting me know! I have updated the post and the recipe is there now. I apologize for the inconvenience…I’ve had some issues on the backend of my website and some recipes went missing and I’m still trying to sort through them all. I hope you enjoy the cookies!
Just made these with my son, we used cookie cutter that had designs inside. Sugar skulls from Michael’s. They are so tasty!! Great recipe!
quick question, why can’t we chill the dough? Using those cookie cutters we lost a little definition so I wanted to chill them before baking.
My hubs and kiddos can’t wait to make these again!
Thanks so much for the feedback, Emily! I’m glad you all liked them and that’s a great idea to use the sugar skull cutter! You can chill the dough but technically this recipe doesn’t require it normally. Make sure your butter is not too warm (e.g. room temperature yes, but not too soft) and that may help. If you do want to chill, you can pop them in the fridge once they are cut out and on the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes then bake. Enjoy!