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Mexican Mocha Cookies with Kahlua Icing

Yesterday was Halloween, and I did the unthinkable.

No, I didn’t put on a leather mask and attempt to kill my younger sister while she was babysitting in her bell bottoms. I also didn’t haunt a bunch of horny teenagers at summer camp and torture them. And sadly, I did not stalk and torment Neve Campbell with my BFF in creepy capes and glow-in-the-dark masks.

I trick-or-treated!

…Why no, I’m not too old, why do you ask?…..

I thought, why the hell shouldn’t I trick or treat? It’s a tradition mainly for children, yes, but who says adults cannot participate? Especially if said adults happen to have put off a few wrinkles thus far and kinda-sorta still look like teenagers?

So me and my ragingly hot boyfriend, Jessie, decided to go trick or treating with my thirteen year old sister (dressed as Minnie Mouse) and my nearing-eighteen year old brother, dressed as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation (he’s sorta obsessed).

Meanwhile, Jessie had to hide the two giveaways of definitely being too old to participate in such an activity: his arm tattoos, and his mustache and beard, which I’m pretty sure children under the age of fifteen do not have.

Jessie went as a paintball player, cleverly using a mask to hide his facial features and a paintball shirt that covered his ink. I went as a ballerina, wearing a tutu I have for recreational wear (yep, I’ve rocked it at school; what’s your problem?), some leggings, a black shirt and pink ballet flats. I thought briefly about going Black Swan-ish but I realized I’m not crazy enough (surprisingly). So off we went.

In our older neighborhood, my siblings and I wouldn’t get a whole lotta candy–mostly because hardly anyone participated, and also because we lived in a scary neighborhood with convicts and people who probably drugged our M&M’s.

However, after moving to a nicer area in a new town, we are blessed with the advantage of having mansions just down the road. We trekked to the sprawling fortresses and knocked on their doors, mostly anticipating parents to give us weird, condescending looks and question our age, but instead, receiving smiles and full-sized candy bars.

Mansion people ROCK.

I was purely TorT’ing for baking supplies. Free candy always results in major poundage, but also in genius dessert baking. (What did YOU do with all your/your kids’ candy?! Use it to make my Trick or Treat Candy Bark, or throw it all into brownie batter and bake it up for some yummy candy bar brownies. Or just, you know, eat it. BUT save the Butterfingers for a yummy recipe coming later this week!!!)

Anyway, now that Halloween is over with, it immediately means the holidays are here. Thanksgiving’s in a couple weeks, and before you know it, you’ll be up at 2 am on Christmas morning ripping open presents like a rabid monkey child…wait, your family doesn’t do that? Weird.

That means I’m starting all my holiday baking early so I know exactly what to stuff treat baskets with to give to my teachers, coworkers, family and friends. Close to Christmas, I always bake up several kinds of cookies, some fudge, and other treats to wrap up nice and pretty and hand out as small gifts. It’s a genius, inexpensive and sweet gift idea–so consider this research for a later date.

I tried these cookies at my friend Katie’s Halloween party over the weekend and my life changed forever. They’re sweet, spicy, and absolutely, downright amazing and I think I should forever be Katie’s friend so she can continue to introduce me to wonderful things my life has been missing for far too long.

These cookies also have a secret ingredient: cinnamon. It makes the cookies warm and spicy, which I LOVE. Then again, I love using cinnamon in e-ver-y-thing: oatmeal, plain cookies, yogurt, apples… you name it, cinnamon goes on it. YUM.

The recipe originally comes from a grocery store exclusive to the Northern California area, but I tweaked it a little to suit my tastes.

Mexican Mocha Cookies with Kahlua Icing *adapted by Raley’s Mexican Mocha Cookies recipe 

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used light)
2 eggs
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder (I spotted this on the coffee aisle, but in a pinch, you could probably use instant coffee granules if needed)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips (I only had mini on hand which is fine by me, but either regular or mini-sized works)
Kahlua Icing (recipe and ingredients follow)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with cooking spray and blot excess with a napkin. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until blended. Then add eggs, the espresso powder and the cinnamon until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet mixture, about 1 cup at a time, until a nice, soft dough is achieved; stir in chocolate chips.
3. Portion dough into Tablespoon-sized balls onto your greased cookie sheets, about 1-2″ apart, and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time to ensure an even baking. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Now prepare your frosting!

Kahlua Icing (this should be illegal)

1/2 cup softened butter
5 Tbsp kahlua OR coffee liqueur
About 3 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the softened butter and the coffee liqueur until blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, or until a soft frosting is reached.
2. Spread or pipe frosting onto cooled cookies in an even layer. Store frosted (or unfrosted) cookies in an airtight container.

What did I tell you? I did do something unthinkable. I made these cookies, and maybe ate a couple–or many–more or less, numbers don’t matter, just like age and trick or treating doesn’t matter. Duh.

Oh, and if you have any leftover Almond Joys in your candy bag, can you save ‘em for me? Sadly, the Almond Joy bandit who cannot possibly be me ate them in the morning right before breakfast so I don’t have anymore. It’s a travesty, really.

Stay tuned for some more yummy recipes this week, as well as a tasty way to use up some leftover Butterfinger candy bars! Ta-ta!

xo, Hayley

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