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Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 20, 2014

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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.

Making Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.”

Mole Poblano Sauce for Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Mole Chocolate Chip CookiesPin it!

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…)

Making Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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”…)

Mole Chocolate Chip CookiesPin it!

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).

Making Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Mole Chocolate Chip CookiesPin it!

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).

Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Mole Chocolate Chip CookiesPin it!

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.

Mole Poblano Sauce for Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Mole Chocolate Chip CookiesPin it!

* 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.”

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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.

Cinnamon added to dry ingredients for Mole Chocolate Chip CookiesMixing the wet ingredients for Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Lightly toasted almond slivers for Mole Chocolate Chip CookiesAdding almonds and chocolate to the batter for Mole Chocolate Chip Cookies

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)

Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Mole PoblanoPin it!

Related recipe posts:

Mole Poblano with chicken, pinto beans, and Spanish rice Cinnamon Apple Tamales Mole Enchiladas Pumpkin Ginger Walnut Cookies
Mole Poblano Cinnamon Apple Tamales Mole Enchiladas Pumpkin Ginger Walnut Cookies
50 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2014 9:15 am

    those sound fantastic..and I forgive you for posting 2 desserts in a row ;)

  2. February 20, 2014 9:20 am

    Genius! This is spot on. I’ll have to do these, I better get a batch of molé going. Always love your posts and photographs! Sigh.

    • February 20, 2014 9:26 am

      Aw, that’s so nice of you to say! (And just like last week’s recipe, these were Paula’s genius idea, not mine…)

      Glad to hear you’ll be making some mole; it’s always good to make an extra large batch so you can save some in the freezer!

      • February 20, 2014 9:30 am

        Yes, an “extra” large batch for sure! Too often we finish it off and never have leftovers!

      • February 20, 2014 9:36 am

        I know the feeling! Our recipe makes 10 cups, and the first time we froze 8 cups right off the bat, but this time we’ve already consumed nearly 6 cups (along with rice, beans, chicken, tortillas, and in enchiladas, etc., not to mention in these cookies) since Paula made the mole (on Valentine’s day) — that means only 4 cups went into the freezer! We might need to make more soon…

  3. February 20, 2014 9:39 am

    i have been on a cookie kick lately, it’s kinda detrimental to my desire to eat healthier. i think a cookie that is delicious and uses unique/different ingredients makes up for my lack of being healthy etc.

    did you taste any of the savory components in the cookie, like the garlic, or onion or chicken broth?

    • February 20, 2014 9:47 am

      Haha, I know! With all of the baking I’ve been doing recently, I keep encouraging Paula to bring some of our treats to work to share them with her co-workers (yet whenever I remember to bring some to my campus, I just end up eating them all myself while grading Japanese homeworks…).

      I also have a desire to eat healthier in general, but as long as I keep the cookie-baking to only a moderate frequency, and as long as they’re cookies from scratch rather than the even more processed kind from the store, then I don’t feel bad — especially when it’s for the blog! :)

      And good question, but no; the only savory component that shines through in the cookies is the chili peppers! (Although actually Paula forgot the sesame seeds in this most recent batch of mole, so it ended up spicier than usual… I have no doubt that the sesame would have improved the cookies — and the mole — but it also might have dulled the spice factor in the cookies, which I actually enjoyed…)

  4. February 20, 2014 10:23 am

    Wow. This is my kind of cookie. Chocolate and spice, mole, yes! Your photos are wonderful and I really just like the way you guys eat. I can only imagine how these taste. Almond slivers? Oh man. I’m making these.

    • February 20, 2014 10:38 am

      Thanks, Amanda! Yep, Paula actually wanted to use pecans or walnuts instead of almonds, but I wanted to stick with the theme of already-in-the-mole ingredients… (Actually I think pecans, or pepitas, would be good in these, but maybe not walnuts. The toasted almonds were great!)

  5. February 20, 2014 10:31 am

    There is never a need to apologize for two dessert postings in a row ;) these look fabulous! It’s such an interesting sounding cookie but the flavors all play off so well against each other, bravo! I will definitely be making these beauties!

    • February 20, 2014 10:41 am

      Yay! Thanks so much for your comment!

      I knew most people wouldn’t be opposed to the double dessert… it’s just that what I personally look for in a food blog is more like easy weeknight dinners than sweets (usually) so I’m trying to keep things up to my own standards, while also posting things people will want to make/eat! I’m sure this is just me overanalyzing everything… :)

      • February 20, 2014 10:43 am

        Can’t argue with that logic ;) maybe because I am the same way…but your blog is fabulous and I’ve been excited looking around it, so many great recipes!

  6. February 20, 2014 12:13 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! I hate the feeling of ordering something sub par at a restaurant and knowing you could have made the same thing for better (and cheaper) at home… so frustrating! These cookies sound fantastic! The mole poblano sauce is such a unique twist… I’m lovin it :)

    • February 22, 2014 11:24 am

      Thanks, Heather! I know; I felt a little whiny (/snobby) posting about that, but it’s super frustrating, and I’ve noticed that it (my frustration/snobbery) has been getting worse!

  7. February 20, 2014 12:39 pm

    I’m completely intrigued by this. I love mole! My boyfriend’s mom just sent him home with some this past week and we had it for dinner. It was amazing! I might have to put aside 1/4 of the leftovers to try this.

    P.S. two dessert recipes in a row is great!

    • February 22, 2014 11:26 am

      Oo that’s awesome that you might actually have a spare 1/4 cup of mole on hand to bake these cookies with! Yay! (I was a little worried that people would balk at that one ingredient, since making it involves so much—although then again it’s also possible to whip up some storebought mole; it doesn’t have to be from scratch…) I’m sure your boyfriend’s mom’s mole is better than the storebought stuff though! Since we started making it from scratch, we haven’t gone back!

  8. February 20, 2014 12:56 pm

    Mmm mole, thank you for introducing me :D
    Delicious job!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. February 20, 2014 1:03 pm

    There is nothing to apologize for… These look and sound amazing!

  10. bec {daisy and the fox} permalink
    February 20, 2014 3:06 pm

    i always love a good cookie and these wonderful! :)
    great post!

  11. February 20, 2014 5:08 pm

    Love the cookies! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. February 20, 2014 6:09 pm

    I had mole tacos tonight. My first mole- so good. Then I see these. Must by synchronicity :)

  13. February 20, 2014 6:51 pm

    Must make these for my husband…he’ll absolutely go ga-ga!

  14. February 21, 2014 8:38 am

    I am exactly the same way about eating out. Even if something is high priced, if the value of the food reaches that then it does not bother me that I have spent the money but when the food is not worth the cost, I feel disappointed and upset. I also have a somewhat higher standard due to the same reasons. It is not even just my own cooking but also the fact that I grew up with a mother who turned leftovers into a ridiculously gourmet meal. I typically stray away from ordering items I would make at home because often times I find I make them better, at least when cost is also a factor. Anyways, these mole cookies look awesome!! I love the fun idea!! I totally want to make these! :)

    • February 22, 2014 12:05 pm

      Yes! My feelings exactly! I also don’t mind going out to eat if the food is good and/or not something I would/could make at home. But like you, I stray away from ordering items that I would make at home—and in fact I often feel incredibly GUILTY about ordering dishes that I know I * could * make at home, even if I rarely actually make them! :(

      You are lucky that you grew up eating such gourmet leftover meals at home… and I know we are both lucky that we enjoy cooking now and enjoy our own cooking… it’s just too bad that all comes with the price of higher standards and more restaurant disappointments!

      • February 25, 2014 8:12 pm

        OR maybe that is a good thing! Higher standards is not a bad thing- I feel if you are paying a certain amount, they should really be able to meet your standards. With that being said, I am also not the person to go to a restaurant where I clearly know what I am getting (not the greatest example but bar food) and then complain about it in a review. It drives me crazy when people do that! Typically I know what I am getting at a restaurant or I know at least the quality it should be at and I try to judge based off of that. A joke between my bf and I is a guy that complained about the size of the burger at one of our new favorite burger places…luckily, by the end of the review he said well I guess it does say it a 1/3 lb burger…at least he finally caught himself but maybe at that point he should have realized his review was pointless and chose not to share it with all of us. lol

  15. February 21, 2014 9:34 am

    NEVER apologize for making me chocolate chip cookies with mole. NEVER. :)

  16. February 21, 2014 10:28 am

    I lloovvvee desserts with a little bit of spice!

  17. February 21, 2014 2:12 pm

    I’ve love mole, but I’ve only ever had it on enchiladas. I will have to give these cookies a try!

    • February 22, 2014 12:25 pm

      Yes, I hope you get to try them out! Paula and I both love mole enchiladas, too. That’s the other thing we made with our leftover mole, besides these cookies!

  18. February 21, 2014 7:06 pm

    what a unique sounding cookie. chocolate is good in chili so I bet it’s really good in these cookies. thanks for sharing.

  19. February 22, 2014 5:05 am


  20. February 24, 2014 11:20 am

    First of all, you never have to apologize for anything involving chocolate or poblano chili. It’s a law of the universe.

    Second, you baked us cookies! So even if you had something to apologize for (see previous point) all would be forgiven.

    Now to clean the drool off my keyboard…

  21. February 24, 2014 3:08 pm

    never apologize for posting 2 desserts in a row! These cookies sounds insane!

  22. March 4, 2014 2:09 pm

    These sound really interesting and awesome!! I agree with you about the perils about being a home cook when eating out – it’s certainly hard to justify ordering something that you know you could make just as well (or better) at home. By the way, I’m envious of the Mexican food you have access to in Santa Barbara!

    • March 4, 2014 3:15 pm

      Oh yes, I know—we are pretty lucky to live here with all of the great Mexican food available in town (in both restaurants and Mexican grocery stores). But in the same way that I’m reluctant to go out for Japanese food, or to order certain Indian/Italian/Thai/whatever dishes that I know I can also make myself at home—because I’m just so snobby about them—Paula is not always 100% enthusiastic about going out for Mexican food, since she can make so much of that for us at home!

      • March 4, 2014 5:19 pm

        Ooh yeah, that definitely makes sense about not being super enthusiastic about going out for Mexican. I should learn how to make better/more authentic homemade Mexican food…

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