Monday, March 14, 2011

Crisp & Spicy Mayan Chocolate Cookies


Most of the time I'm a sucker for thick, soft and chewy cookies.

Most of the time isn't happening right now.

Today I'm a sucker for thin, crispy, flaky cookies.

I love love love these Crisp & Spicy Mayan Chocolate Cookies. See that stack? It was gone sooner than my camera could take a flash.

Mayan refers to a culture or civilization of indigenous people mainly in Mexico who had a big hand in discovering the wonderful world of chocolate.

Chocolate did not begin in solid form, believe it or not. It was first consumed by the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec people as a hot, unsweetened bitter drink that they called xocolatl. It was made by first roasting and grinding up the cocoa beans into a paste (much like the beginning steps of chocolate-making today). This bitter paste was combined with hot water and spiced with native, local ingredients, such as cinnamon and chili peppers.

The Mayan people would use a tool called a molinillo to froth up the drink and make it nice and foamy


I have one, see? It's from Mexico. It's hand-carved and it's sort of like an old-school whisk except way cooler.

I also read books about the history of chocolate. I might have a huge obsession with chocolate....I'm working on it. Ok no I'm not. This is not an addiction I care to fix. I like it.

This cookie dough is much like a pastry dough. Well, actually it is pastry dough. This makes the perfect crispy cookie because it lends a flaky texture. The dots and streaks of butter throughout the dough create little pockets of steam when they hit the heat of the oven and separate layers of dough to keep it light, crisp and flaky.

Although they are crisp, they are also tender since pastry dough is not meant to be handled intensively to prevent the formation of tough, elastic gluten proteins.


I brushed these delicious cocoa cookies with a bit of cream and topped them off with heaps of spicy cinnamon sugar. You can add more or less cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you are. It lends a warmth that creeps up in the back of your throat after you've eaten the cookie. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Don't have a light hand when applying the sugar because the more the better in this case. It gives the cookies a shimmery sparkle and a lovely crunch. I typically apply it 3 times over for each cookie. When you put the sugar on the first time, most of it dissolves in the cream. So by the third time, it will still be visible, and some of the crystals will caramelize forming a crunchy, spicy, cinnamony caramel on top of each cookie.

Did you hear that? A crunchy, spicy, cinnamony caramel.

Wow...I love these guys.


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23 comments:

  1. I can understand those cookies disappearing quick - gone in a flash! I can almost hear the crunch!

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  2. These cookies look amazing! I won't be able to stop at one...

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  3. These look lovely. I want to make them soon, but until then, you've certainly given me a chocolate craving. I'm headed to the kitchen to open up a brand new bar of Mast Brother's chocolate!

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  4. the cookies look delish and lovely! I have an old school whisk like that except its Indian - will have to find a way to use it now : j

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  5. These look great! I've always wanted to try a spicy chocolate cookie!

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  6. Delicious sounding and looking. I'm saving this one and sending some buzz!

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  7. I'm with you... most of the time I want a big, soft, chewy cookie, but then there's those other times where I need a cookie that is crispy and flaky... and I want it so bad right now because I saw your recipe! The photos are gorgeous... I wish I could snap the cookies right off the screen.

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  8. Ohh woww...they looks amazingly delicious! I love your photos too!

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  9. I have never heard of cayanne pepper on (or in) a cookie before! I'm sure these cookies are spectacular though- I am really intrigued by the sweet and spiciness. Just wow!

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  10. Whoa....this reminds me of the movie Chocolat. haha I need to make them asap, my mouth is watering...

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  11. Oh yes, heard you loud and clear! - Crunchy, spicy, cinnamony caramel - that all sounds divine to me!

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  12. these look so great. I have discovered a serious love of cinnamon and chili in chocolate, although I usually reach for the chipotle. They just warm up the chocolate in such a great way. That stack would have been gone pretty quickly in front of me too!

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  13. I love how you embrace your obsession with chocolate... that stack of cookies looks irresistible!

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  14. i love chocolate with warm spices! these cookies look great...i love the triple spicy-cinnamon-sugar application!

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  15. making these now. will let you know how they turn out.

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  16. ... OH MY GOD. These are GODLY. I think this will be my new death by chocolate christmas cookie. I can just imagine the throws of passion the Mayans were in on such cocoa highs. In fact I might make a living hustling bags of these to strangers in dark alleyways... these cookies open up doors.. :O

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  17. I'm gonna ship these to my dad for his birthday :)

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  18. Delicious! I love spice with chocolate, it's also my favorite way to make hot chocolate in the winter!

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  19. these look fabulous- but is there supposed to be any sort of leavening in the recipe? i know they're crispy cookies, but just checking :-)

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    1. Nope - no leavening. This dough is based on pastry dough to give it flakiness.

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