Years ago when Mr.D first visited Santa Fe we sat down for our first dinner and ordered enchiladas. “Would you like red or green?” And that’s when we learned that if you want both red and green chile, you ask for Christmas.
Christmas every day is a way of life for us now, it’s the best of both worlds. So when I began thinking about a cookie recipe for the holidays, I knew I wanted to somehow use chiles.
I thought about starting with candied green chiles. Or a twisted candy cane shape with half red half green. And then this buttery brown sugar cookie came together so beautifully with pure red chile powder.
These are fun to make since your hands are the best kitchen tools for mixing the dough! Quick and sooooooo easy peasy. Brown sugar goes into a bowl, and flour is sifted in with baking soda, salt and red chile powder. Room temperature butter is creamed together with an egg and vanilla extract. Then mix all together by hand to a crumbly texture. The color is already gorgeous. It was completely worth getting dough on my camera while photographing the steps.
18 walnut-sized balls, flattened a bit.
375 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes. Closer to 8 for a softer center.
Fruity sticky glaze of powdered sugar, a splash of whole milk, and apricot jam. A sweet balance to the chile.
Golden medallions. Layers of flavor. First you get the fruity apricot glaze on your tongue, then deep molasses brown sugar, then that earthy red chile, with a nice warm surprise of heat at the end. Not too much. Just enough to warm your throat.
We love that they’re not cloyingly sweet. And the glaze doesn’t harden, it stays sticky. All the more fun for licking your fingers. The only addition for next time would be toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top, and chopped dried apricot.
Cookies with a kick, and a warm hug from the Southwest!