Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies.
Taste Tip: A recommended chocolate is Abuelita chocolate tablets, which are available at most Mexican supermarkets and specialty food shops. Semisweet chocolate can be substituted.
½ cup plus 2/3 cup sugar, divided
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3.15 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped (see Taste Tip)
1 tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine ½ cup sugar and 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, and reserve. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and reserve.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Transfer dough to a pastry bag (or cookie press) fitted with a star or ribbon die and pipe 3-inch long sticks, 1 inch apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies a wire rack until they are cool to the touch. Carefully dredge cookies in sugar-cinnamon mixture and return cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
In a double boiler over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and cream (or half-and-half), stirring occasionally until chocolate is melted and smooth (if using Mexican chocolate, mixture will be grainy). Transfer chocolate to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip (or a plastic sandwich bag with one corner removed with a small cut). Drizzle chocolate over each cookie. Allow chocolate to set before serving.
2011 Finalist: Lance Swanson of North Branch, Minnesota