When I lived in Mexico, I quickly learned that I did not have access to many of the ingredients I grew up using. I had trouble finding foods like cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, chocolate chips, and brown sugar. I wanted to be able to share many of the American foods that I knew so well, but without the right ingredients, I couldn’t make them for my Mexican friends and neighbors.
So, I began to search for substitutes. One of the very first recipes that I “Mexicanized” was my chocolate chip cookies. Every now and then, I would stumble across a bag of chocolate chips at a Superama, but for the most part I had to break up Carlos V chocolate bars. As far as the brown sugar went, my first thought was to chop up piloncillo. I remember that afternoon in my Cuernavaca kitchen pondering how to crush that cone of piloncillo. My knife wasn’t sharp enough to chop away at it, and I didn’t dare kill my only blender, so I used a wooden kitchen hammer. I put the piloncillo in a plastic bag and begin to hit it with the hammer. I was able to break up the piloncillo, but I ended up with little pebbles of it scattered all over the kitchen. Oops!
In any event, those piloncillo chocolate chip cookies turned out to me a hit. I remember taking them along with some puppy chow to a Mexican Independence Day party at my neighbors’ house. What I loved so much about them was that the piloncillo didn’t totally dissolve in the batter, so the final cookie had these little pockets of sweetness.
Recently, I decided to recreate my Mexicanized chocolate chip cookies, and this time I added some Taza stone-ground Mexican chocolate for added texture and depth. Aren’t they pretty?
My knife was also sharp enough to be able to chop the piloncillo this time, but I still enjoyed how the cookies had those bursts of caramely sweetness.
If you are looking to put a Mexican twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, give these a try!
GALLETAS DE PILONCILLO CON CHOCOLATE MEXICANO
Click here for printable recipe.
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup bread flour (If you don’t have bread flour, all-purpose flour would be fine.)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1 cup chopped piloncillo sugar*
1 TBSP milk
1 vanilla extract
2 cup chopped Mexican chocolate (I recommend Taza Chocolate or Carlos V bars.)
→Heat the oven to 375°F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat.
→Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
→Pour the melted butter in a mixing bowl and add sugars. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until well combined. The butter may puddle slightly.
→Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix thoroughly until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture. When combined, stir in chopped chocolate.
→Chill the dough for about 15 minutes, the scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 14 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Makes 14 cookies
- You could substitute dark brown sugar for the piloncillo, but it won’t give you the same textural effect.
- I love this recipe because you don’t have to let the butter soften.