The holidays are all about traditions, memories, and enjoying the magic of the season with your family. Holiday baking is one of our family traditions. We bake cookies and quick breads for ourselves and to give away as gifts. This year we’ll be handing out these Spicy Double Dark Chocolate Snickerdoodles to friends and neighbors. Nothing says friendship and holiday cheer quite like chocolate.
Growing up, there wasn’t a holiday that went by without cookies. As a girl, I loved my grandmother’s baking, especially her cookies. Every year, she made her legendary Sour Cream Twist Cookies, German Lebkuchen, and Kringla cookies. You could visit any time and she’d always have those cookies ready when you got there. On Christmas Eve, my father’s side of the family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all of the cousins) gathered at my aunt’s house for her annual Clam Chowder dinner. She’d make two types of chowder and her decorated sugar cookies. In our family, you can’t have a holiday without cookies.
Now my children and I bake together every holiday season. We make my aunt’s decorated sugar cookies, my grandmother’s recipes, my mother’s Jan Hagel recipe, and something new. We’ll package the cookies we make and hand them out to our neighbors, teachers, colleagues, and friends. It a holiday tradition that is focused on giving and showing others you care.
A pint sized mason jar makes a great package for these cookies. Stack 5-6 cookies in the jar. Top with a flattened cupcake liner and screw on the jar lid. Tie a decorative string or ribbon. You can add a decorative tag if you like.
Snickerdoodles are a great cookies to bake with children. Younger children can help roll the dough into balls, roll the balls in cinnamon sugar, and tap the balls down with a jar. This recipe is easy enought for older children to make anytime. Everyone can help package the cookies to give as gifts.
Holiday baking makes this the sweetest time of the year. These Spicy Double Dark Chocolate Snickerdoodle cookies will spice up the season. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder and Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips make a great snickerdoodle cookie irresistible. With a touch of cayenne, you get a mild bite that brings out that dark chocolate flavor. I used a 1/8 of a teaspoon for a mild heat, which my children like. If you want more heat, increase the cayenne to a ¼ teaspoon. If you aren’t a fan of dark chocolate, you can substitute Hershey’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and Hershey’s Cocoa Powder in equal amounts.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons cane sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups white unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400®F.
- Cream together softened butter, 1/2 cup cane sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy; about 1 minute with a stand mixer or 2 minutes with a handheld mixer.
- Add eggs and vanilla to creamed sugar. Mix well.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, allspice, and cayenne.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Stir in Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 Tablespoons of cane sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Using a dough scoop or melon baller, take enough dough to make 1 inch balls. Roll in between hands to shape into balls.
- Roll each ball into cinnamon sugar and place on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat. Space cookies 2 inches apart.
- Flatten each cookie with the bottom of a cup or jar until dough is 1/4 inch thick. Place the bottom of the jar in the cinnamon sugar in between cookies to prevent sticking.
- Bake for 8 minutes or just until barely set. Even if the cookies look underdone, they will firm up as they cool. All cookies to cool slightly on cookie sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Store in airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for later use.
The Hershey Company will inspire you get creative in the kitchen, whip up great memories with your family, and start #NewTraditions.
This year we are starting a new holiday tradition. I recently read about the Icelandic Christmas tradition of giving a book on Christmas Eve called Jolabokaflod, or the “Christmas Book Flood.” Books are given on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading. My children love reading and listening to stories we read aloud. Pair this with these Spicy Double Dark Chocolate Snickerdoodle cookies and milk, and I know they will enjoy this new holiday family tradition.
What unique holiday tradition are you planning to celebrate this holiday?