Blogging has proven to be something I find less and less time for; disheartening, considering this is the reason I decided to be a pastry chef… Good thing is, I finally found time to make something and blog about it this week. This might be the best cookie I’ve ever eaten. That’s saying something. And I don’t mean that to pat myself on the back since I wrote the recipe or anything…. ;)
This past week some friends of mine took me to Michael Voltaggio’s ink.sack extension of his restaurant, ink in LA. The concept is simple: gourmet sandwiches and really well-done simple desserts that are packed with flavor.
Needless to say, the cold fried chicken sandwich that found itself in my stomach was exactly what I needed that day. And the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie wasn’t too bad either. Nice toasty cinnamon, pockets of dark chocolate, a hint of salt. It was pretty good. Saying I’d pay $2 for another one is an understatement.
But, like with all desserts I eat when I go out, I immediately thought, “can I make this?” “I can make this.” “I can so totally make this.” and I did. I went home, I wrote a recipe based on the first recipe I ever wrote for a cookie, and went from there, and surprisingly, they turned out amazingly. It just so happened that I had a dinner party to go to where I cooked two roasted chickens and root vegetables with an arugula salad, with fresh burrata and heirloom tomatoes and balsamic reduction where I could serve these cookies with espresso as dessert.
These cookies were warm, crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle, with the perfect balance of cakey and crunchy. The Saigon cinnamon I used gave a really great smoky and toasted heat to the cookie, while the dark chocolate instantly gave this deep, earthy and slightly fruity flavor to round out the bite.
I decided to go a little heavier on the salt with my version of this cookie, because 1. I like things really salty, and 2. I like for the contrast in flavors to be a little more intense and up-front than the cookie I had at ink sack. Nothing against theirs by any means, I just wanted to make my own version of this cookie instead of copying theirs.
Serve this cookie warm or with ice cream sandwiched between two for a gourmet treat that’ll blow any dinner guest’s socks off.
Salted Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
A Crumberry Bake Shop Original
Yield: About 15 2” cookies
- 2 cups All-Purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 4-5 Tb good cinnamon (you can adjust how much or how little cinnamon, depending on how cinnamon-y you want the cookies to be)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bag of really good quality semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp Mexican Vanilla (or whatever vanilla extract you have)
- Coarse grain sea salt for finishing
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F
- Mix all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
- In a bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Slowly add dry mix and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix the cookie dough here or you’ll have really tough cookies.
- With a wooden spoon, fold the chocolate chunks into the cookie dough until they’re evenly incorporated throughout.
- Using two tablespoons, spoon the cookies two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 9-11 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
- As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, finish the tops with coarse sea salt, and allow them to cool completely before serving them, that way the salt sticks to the cookie and you get a nice salty, cinnamony, chocolately bite each time.
Michael Voltaggio, let me be first in line to say I love ink.sack
And special thanks to Chuck D. Willis for shooting this after I’d styled it. The dinner party was a huge success :) (Also, thanks for featuring these cookies on your lifestyle blog)