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Concha Spice Christmas Cookies

  • Author: Lisa Keys
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen


Mexican inspired cookies are soft with warm pumpkin spices on the inside and a crisp buttery masa harina shell on the outside


2 cups all-purpose

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder;

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1-cup sugar 

½ cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

1teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract


Crack Frosting

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

2/3-cup sugar 

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup masa harina

Sparkling sugar




  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. For pumpkin spice cookie: in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and spice until blended; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just fully combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, drop 1½-inch balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet, about 2-inches apart.  Place baking sheet in refrigerator while preparing cookie frosting.
  6. In medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add flour and masa harina; continue mixing for 2 minutes or until large clumps form and mixture can be formed into a ball with your hands.
  7. Divide dough into 36 (1-inch) balls. With your fingers flatten each ball into a 1 1/2–inch round.
  8. Remove cookies from refrigerator and gently press 1 round over the top of each cookie.
  9. With the tip of a sharp knife score each cookie shell to make a decorative pattern.
  10. Sprinkle each with sparkling sugar.
  11. Bake for 15 to 16 minutes or until cookie edges are lightly brown.
  12. With a round cookie cutter, trim cookies for perfectly shaped rounds, if desired.
  13. Transfer cookies on parchment to cooling rack. Cool completely. 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: cookies and bars
  • Method: baking

Keywords: unusual homemade cookies, concha cookies, mexican Christmas cookies