It all started with a cone of piloncillo and a craving for chocolate chip cookies. For those of you not familiar with piloncillo, also known as panela, it’s a Mexican brown sugar. It’s a pure, unrefined form of cane sugar that tastes very similar to brown sugar with a hint of molasses to it. This stuff is rock hard so if it can’t be melted down for your cooking purposes, it will have to be grated or chopped. If you wanted to get creative with it, you could bake with it anywhere you’d use brown sugar. I can’t wait to try it with a banana or pumpkin bread.
So this is pretty much a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe with the exception of the piloncillo. Start off grating the piloncillo. I did this by hand – I just wanted to give it a try. Takes a little effort but it’s not a terrible ordeal. The grating disc on a food processor would make easy work of this job. After that, it’s the usual routine of combining dry ingredients, creaming butter and sugars, adding eggs and mixing it all together. The original recipe calls for Mexican chocolate, which I didn’t have on hand. I opted to substitute dark chocolate (60% cacao) baking chips and a teaspoon of cinnamon for the Mexican chocolate. Not authentic but still delicious.
Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Your interpretation of a tablespoon is totally your business, hehehe. I usually make mine on the smaller side when I’m expecting the cookies to be mostly eaten at home. When I make cookies that are going elsewhere, I usually drop heaping tablespoonfuls.
Bake for 8 -10 minutes. These cookies will be just a little darker then your usual chocolate chip cookie. Mine were perfect at 8 minutes – just keep an eye out for golden brown edges on the cookie.
So, what did everyone think, you ask..? I absolutely loved them! The piloncillo gave the cookies a hint of a molasses taste, almost an earthy sweetness – plus the dark chocolate and cinnamon combo in the cookie was to die for. The cookie was lightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. My husband also loved the cookies and enjoyed the dark chocolate chips but said he didn’t notice a different taste from the piloncillo. Hmmm – he also claims splenda (yuck) tastes like regular sugar, so his opinion on sweeteners isn’t the best.
This recipe will make 4 – 4 1/2 dozen cookies. I got the higher end of it since I make my cookies on the smaller side.
These cookies got devoured at my house and I can’t wait to make them again. Next time I’ll try them with Mexican chocolate. Yum…Mexican Chocolate makes the BEST hot chocolate too…
Thanks for reading…Happy Baking : )
Recipe adapted from La Cocina de Leslie – check out her blog for lots of wonderful Mexican food.
- 2-1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅔ cup butter @ room temp (approx 1 stick, 3 tablespoons and ⅓ tablespoon)
- ¾ cup grated piloncillo (packed) - I had a 8 oz cone
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375°
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Cream together the butter, sugar and grated piloncillo in a large mixing bowl with electric mixers.
- Mix in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla.
- Stir in flour mixture, by hand, until well blended.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375° for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a minute.
- Transfer cookies to wire/cooling rack to cool.
- Enjoy : )
- Recipe adapted from La Cocina de Leslie - Mexican Chocolate Chunk Cookies - www.lacocinadeleslie.com