This visual culinary surprise, comes from a recipe book titled “The Art & Soul of Baking”, a hefty 500 page recipe book. There was no accompanying photo with this recipe, I was drawn to it simply because it had “Mexican” in the title. So you can imagine my surprise when I took a peek in the oven and saw the spectacular form taking place!

The actual title of the American recipe is “Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies”, however to save confusion for our family and other Australian readers, I refer to them as “cracked chocolate cookies”, as they are far from the children’s party treat we all know so well.

Although the recipe itself is not too advanced, you will need to plan ahead with this one. Once the yummy chocolate mass has been put together (butter, brewed coffee, chopped chocolate, eggs, sugar, flour, toasted almonds, cinnamon, baking powder & chili powder), it will need to be refrigerated for 1-2 hours, before making them into chocolately balls of goodness, ready to coat in sugar (granulated), and then more sugar (icing).

Why the reference to Mexico?
As far as I can tell, it’s only due to the addition of the chili powder in the list of ingredients. While this can be omitted, the spiciness from the chili is only slight and adds a nice warming aftertaste. It’s nothing to shy away from, and worth trying out.

If you wanted to make these cookies more Mexican, you could use traditional Mexican chocolate instead. You can buy Mexican chocolate (and other Mexican foods) from El Cielo.

These are so good looking, you’ll want to invite friends and family over for morning tea to show them off. You could even package a few of these up in clear cellophane bags sealed with a mix of green, white and red ribbons, and a hand written tag that says “Muchas Gracias“, for perfect little ‘thank you’ gifts.

The recipe states that they are best eaten same day and that any left overs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. They are very more-ish so they probably won’t last the next day, however we have successfully kept these for a few days, uncovered.

Being the hostess with the mostess
This little tip in the book is fantastic, although I have never tried it myself. If you wish to create some for now and some for another time for almost “spur-of-the-moment cookies”, place the uncoated balls of chocolate on a tray in the freezer for 30-60 mins, then transfer them to a plastic freezer bag! You can freeze them for up to 3 months and when required, coat them in sugar and pop them in the oven and bake for about 16 minutes.

Full recipe ingredients and method can be found in:

Title: The Art & Soul of Baking, © 2008
By: Sur La Table with Cindy Mushet
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Page: 286

Styling notes:
Saucer with grapevine, from Daiso


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