The title I’ve given this post is a bit of a misnomer. These cookies aren’t made from Mexican chocolate. But they are inspired by some crazy delicious cookies I was obsessed with a couple years ago. It was a short-lived romance, as the baker had a limited supply of Mexican chocolate that she brought back from a trip abroad, and it ran out far too quickly.
I hadn’t thought about those cookies in a while, but they came to mind when I was working with this recipe. The two are nothing alike, texturally, but once I got the thought of chocolate + warm spices into my head, there was no turning back.
These cookies aren’t your typical crinkle cookies, and it’s not just the spices that make them unusual. I want to really love crinkle cookies, every time I eat them. But almost all of them seem to disappoint me on the second day, when they start to taste stale and less decadent than they had been when they were fresh from the oven. So, in my quest for a super fudgy version, I happened upon this recipe.
I will never not be intrigued by an unusual recipe. And a flourless cookie made with egg whites and a whole lotta melted chocolate? That is not the norm when it comes to crinkle cookies. The result is a fudgy, decadent cookie. Reminiscent of a brownie in texture, with a crispy meringue-like outside. They are different, for sure. They are also delicious.
A couple warnings: The dough is a teensy bit tricky to work with, as it’s quite wet and close to being a batter. But once you get the hang of handling it, it isn’t so bad. Also, these didn’t turn out to be the prettiest crinkle cookies for me. The ones in the original post look great, so it could just be my oven. But I don’t really care what these things look like, because they’re so darn tasty. Also, I’d dare say they’re better on the second day, once the bits of chocolate have completely hardened and the outsides have turned perfectly crisp. The cinnamon, cayenne, and ancho chile powder add a very nice flavor to the cookies, balancing out the chocolatey decadence. All in all, a great cookie. (And a gluten free one too!)
1 1/2 cups of high quality semi- or bittersweet chocolate (depending on your preference), chopped and divided into 1 cup + 1/2 cup portions
3 egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, divided into 1 cup + 1 cup + 1/2 cup portions
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp ancho chile powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Melt 1 cup of the chopped chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat, or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave.
Sift together 1 cup of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and spices and set aside.
Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly beat in the other 1 cup of powdered sugar. Continue beating until the mixture resembles a soft marshmallow creme. Beat in the cocoa powder mixture, and then the melted chocolate. Then stir in the remaining half cup of chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 5–10 minutes. (It may look very runny at first, but it will stiffen up as it rests.)
Put the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop tablespoons of dough, drop them in the powdered sugar, and roll them around until well coated. Place two inches apart on your baking sheet.
Bake for around 10 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed up and begun to crack. Let cool for 10 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a rack.