Dark Chocolate Chicharrón Cookies
Yes, you read the title correctly. These are chocolate chunk cookies with pork cracklings! Really, it makes perfect sense. We have had cakes and pies with bacon, why not chocolate chunk cookies? The slightly salty and savory aspects of chicharrón are a great flavor and textural complement to the extra dark chocolate. These come from Eat Mexicoby Lesley Telléz, who also brought us a summery tomato cheese pie – her Tomato Milpa Pie. Be sure to check it out and make it while summer’s tomatoes are at their best.
Excerpted with permission. Eat Mexicoby Lesley Telléz. Published by Kyle Books 2015.
I love anything sweet and savory, so this snack makes perfect sense to me: chicharrón—fluffy, salty, fried pork skin—is mixed with dark chocolate in a buttery, dense cookie. It’s not too far removed from chocolate and bacon (another fabulous combination), but with a heartier crunch. My sense is that most chilangos would be weirded out by this pairing, because in Mexico City, chicharrón is always used in a savory context.
You can find chicharrón at most Mexican markets, and they may offer a couple varieties: thinner, lighter sheets, and thicker sheets curled at the edges, speckled with bits of meat. For the purposes of this cookie, it’s best to use the lighter, meatless variety. (The meatier stuff is great with salsa, though.) If you can’t find it, packaged chicharrón works—I like the Baken-ets variety, which is available at most grocery stores.
- 21/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 7 ounces dark chocolate (at least
- 70% cacao), chopped into
- ¼-inch chunks
- 1 cup crumbled chicharrón (pork cracklings)
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the eggs and both sugars until light and fluffy and doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Lower the speed, and mix in the butter and vanilla until well combined.
- Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the dry mixture into the wet until just combined. Gently stir in the chocolate and chicharrón, being careful not to over-mix.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator until firm, at least hours, or ideally overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Drop the cookies by mounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown and the middles are still soft.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Lesley’s Tips: To crumble the chicharrón, if it’s very hard, place it in a plastic bag and whack it with a meat pounder or a frying pan. The cookies taste best if you chill the dough overnight in the fridge—resting time allows the dough to develop more flavor. They’ll keep for 4 days in an airtight container.