Two weeks ago (was it really only two weeks?!), life as we knew it was sent packing and most people were sent home for a series of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID19 virus that's causing havoc all over the world. For a couple of days, I went into free-fall and full on panic, thinking what was going to happen to my business, my staff and myself. That day, we cancelled all classes for the foreseeable future, my anxiety levels went through the roof.
I found myself with no late nights that weekend and with far too much time in my hands and a heart full of doom and gloom; unable to control anything that was going on around me, I turned to the kitchen to calm myself down. The kitchen is my safe space. When I get anxious, I bake; it calms me down and so I took to the kitchen to organise my pantry and see if I could make something tasty. I found a large quantity of chocolate chips and a giant jar of pecan nuts and because pecan nuts don't stay fresh for long, I decided to make a few cookies to use them up.
I took a basic pecan and chocolate chip cookie recipe and make a few tweaks on it to produce what I now called my Doomsday cookies! They have Mezcal, not vanilla essence; smokey chipotle chillies, instead of cinnamon & nutmeg; Mexican piloncillo, as suppose to brown sugar. The result was spectacular! These cookies are smokey as the chipotle chilli powder and the mezcal are both smoked. The chilli gives it just a hint of heat and it adds a great savoury twang to a rather sweet cookie otherwise. The Piloncillo has so many layer of flavour is unreal.
We all love them and have made them three times already in the two weeks since I tried the recipe for the first time! - We live in scary and uncertain times and I hope this recipe brings some much needed cheer to your home. Stay safe and let's all do our bit to flatten the curve and stop the spread! Together we can do it! - When all this is over, I'm going to make a large batch of these and gift them to every frontline worker in the health service that I know. They deserve them much more than I do.
Melt 225 grams of butter with the Piloncillo at medium heat, stir regularly until the piloncillo has melted and you have a sauce. Don't worry if it looks a a little weird, the solids of the butter will float to the top and make it look cloudy, but it's ok. This mixture can boil if you don't stir it often, don't worry if this happens, it's ok too, but don't let it boil for long as you don't want to burn the piloncillo or the butter. Set aside to cool.
In a separate pan, melt the 25 grams of remaining butter at medium heat and add the roughly chopped pecans. Mix well and cook the pecans for about five minutes or until they're golden. Set aside.
Preheat the oven at 180c fan or 190c conventional oven. In a bowl, mix flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and the chilli powder and set aside.
By now the buttery piloncillo must be cool and started to thicken, pour this mixture into your stand up mixer with the paddle attachment on, add the caster sugar and mix at high speed until you have a creamy, honey like substance. Add the mezcal and keep mixing at medium speed. Follow by the eggs, one at a time and mixing at medium speed in between each addition. Stop the mixer when everything is well mixed and you have a homogenous mix.
Remove the mixer bowl as you're now going to work the rest of the ingredients by hand. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture, followed by the chocolate chips and the toasted buttery pecans. Mix lightly. Take the bowl and put it in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill and make the mixture a little firmer.
After the 10 minutes, take the bowl out of the fridge and using an ice-cream scoop or something similar, form balls and place them into a baking sheet. Make sure to give plenty of room in between, no more than 8 cookies per sheet, so that they can expand well. Bake in the hot oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until they're just firm. These cookies keep cooking after you take them out of the oven, so don't worry if they feel soft when you take them out. Leave them in the tray for 10 minutes and then gently transfer them into a cooking rack.
These cookies are amazing, smokey, with a great texture, crunchy in the outside but soft and gooey in the inside. They keep very well in an air tight container for up to a week. Don't worry, they're so delicious they won't last that long!