Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies
I’m posting two dessert recipes in a row! Sorry! (Although, is this really something I should be apologizing for? I’m not sure…)
I usually try to mix up my posts more, but I assume you’ll forgive me. After all, I made you chocolate chip cookies. With mole poblano.
That’s right: these chocolate chip cookies have an extra dose of (Abuelita) chocolate along with a good amount of ancho, pasilla, and chipotle chili peppers, pepitas, almonds, cinnamon, and other spices.
Paula made me mole poblano from scratch for Valentine’s Day
and that is why I’m marrying her and it was her genius idea to take some of that mole sauce and put it into some cookies! An idea she got from eating a disappointingly boring mole cookie at a coffee shop in Santa Barbara… and thinking, “we could do better.”
Have you ever gone out to a restaurant, and been disappointed by the food? This is an all-too-common occurrence in Santa Babara. I’ve found that the disappointment is exponentially worse when I’ve ordered something that’s already within my home cooking skill set — whether I actually muster up the energy/ingredients to make it at home or not.
Those situations always make me hyper-aware of the cost of the offending menu items: you’re charging me THAT much for something that I could have made for myself — for less money, and better — at home? Such are the perils of being a home cook.
(I then immediately start thinking of all the other things I could have done with that money, including going to a different restaurant! I do still love eating out…)
I’m aware of how absurd this sounds — that I often think I could have made something better. Especially since I’m not a chef and I wouldn’t even dare call myself a “self-taught home cook,” of the type lauded by Nigella Lawson; I think I’d need to master many more cooking techniques and dishes before I could consider myself “self-taught.” (Right now a more accurate description would be “self-teaching”…)
Sometimes, though, the perks of being a home cook outweigh the occasional perils. Now that I am trying to cook at home much more often, to save money and because I enjoy it, I have gotten better not just at cooking in general, but in cooking exactly for my own taste (and for Paula’s).
This might be the real reason that restaurants tend to disappoint me: I might find objective ways that their food is better or worse than my own (e.g., quality and freshness of ingredients), but subjectively, I’ve started to prefer my own cooking over that of many restaurants. …even though eating out has been SUCH a beloved pastime/financial black hole/lifestyle for me in all of the other cities I’ve lived in until now.
What I’m saying is: I’m a food snob.
So am I disappointed in Santa Barbara’s restaurants because I’m comparing them to those of other cities? Or because I’ve been cooking for myself more since I moved here? I tend to think it’s the former, but I have to admit it’s probably some of each. I’m grateful that this blog pushes me to continue challenging myself in the kitchen and trying new recipes (even if I grow into more and more of a food snob as a result).
Anyway, it’s not as if Santa Barbara doesn’t have some good restaurants… Sure, my standards may be impossibly high, since I grew up in Madison, WI (whose restaurants could beat Santa Barbara’s hands down in almost every category), but Santa Barbara has better Mexican food!*
Nevertheless, that coffee shop’s attempt at a mole cookie was less than impressive. Paula was right: we could do it better, and we did.
These cookies play off of some of the basic mole sauce flavors: to an otherwise standard chocolate chip cookie, we added cinnamon and toasted almonds, both of which — along with chocolate — are also ingredients in the mole itself.
The mole poblano that we stirred into these cookies also contained some tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chicken broth; this pretty much shocked Paula when I pointed it out, but let’s just ignore that part, shall we? We’re talking deliciously complex — and slightly spicy — chili, chocolate, and cinnamon flavors, all stuffed into a cookie. Let’s focus on those.
* One of my friends is moving from Texas to California this week, and is excited to seek an answer to the controversial question of which of the two states has better Mexican food. She told me, “I assume you’re in the California camp,” and I said “actually, I’m in the Texas-and-California-both-have-better-Mexican-food-than-Wisconsin camp.”
Print this recipe. (PDF)
Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Makes about 30 cookies)
Active time: 25 minutes; Total time: 40 minutes.
~ 2 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
~ ¾ tsp. baking soda
~ ½ tsp. salt
~ ½ tsp. cinnamon
~ ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
~ ½ cup brown sugar
~ ½ cup white sugar
~ 1 egg
~ ¼ cup mole poblano sauce, at room temperature or chilled
~ 1 cup chocolate chips/chunks
~ ½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugars. Then beat in the egg, followed by the mole sauce.
3. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine with the mixer. Repeat until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and almonds.
4. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper or Silpats and use a cookie scoop or a spoon to portion out small balls of cookie dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons each. Use a fork to press down gently on the dough twice, in a crosswise pattern, to flatten the cookies out.
5. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until cookies look slightly browned at the edges, or as desired. Cool 2-3 minutes on baking sheets before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.
Print this recipe! (PDF)
Related recipe posts:
|Mole Poblano||Cinnamon Apple Tamales||Mole Enchiladas||Pumpkin Ginger Walnut Cookies|