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.