I love anything sweet and savoury, so this cookies recipe 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 savoury context.
You may find chicharrón at some Mexican grocery stores, and they may offer a few 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, chicharrón in packets works, which is available online from specialist Mexican food suppliers.
Makes about 32 cookies
– 275g plain flour
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 2 medium eggs
– 150g caster sugar
– 165g light soft brown sugar
– 225g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), chopped into 5mm chunks
– 115g chicharrón (Mexican pork crackling or scratchings), crumbled
1. Whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and both sugars for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy and doubled in volume. Reduce the speed and mix in the butter and vanilla until well combined.
3. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just combined. Gently stir in the chocolate and chicharrón, being careful not to over-mix.
4. Cover the dough with clingfilm and refrigerate until firm – at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Drop the cookies by mounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking tray, spacing them 5cm apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the edges just start to brown and the middles are still soft.
6. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking tray for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
– To crumble the chicharrón, if it’s very hard, place it in a plastic bag and whack it with a meat mallet or the base of a heavy frying pan.
– The cookies taste best if you chill the dough overnight in the fridge – resting time allows the dough to develop more flavour.
They’ll keep for 4 days in an airtight container.
Lesley Téllez grew up in a Mexican-American home in California and moved to Mexico in 2009. A love letter to the intricate cuisine of Mexico City, Eat Mexico unlocks the culinary identity of the city and showcases food from the city’s streets, markets and casual fondas.
Recipes range from the familiar tacos, enchiladas and burritos that we all know and love Mexican cuisine for, to the entirely unfamiliar. With stunning location photography, new ingredients to explore eclectic recipes to share and cultural adventures to engage in, ambitious cooks and armchair travellers alike will enjoy this book.
EAT MEXICO by Lesley Téllez is published by Kyle Books, and is available to buy on www.amazon.co.uk as a Hardback, priced £19.99.