Monday, December 22, 2014

Judith's Mole Cookies

Mole Cookies

This recipe also appears this week on Dallas Decoder, representing Judith Ryland in the Dallas Decoder Holiday Bakeoff III: Sue Ellen vs. Judith.

Like Sue Ellen, Judith Ryland doesn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but she does have a few recipes nestled among the tricks up her sleeves.

Take these mole cookies for example. She got the idea from her drug-dealing buddy Luis. They are inspired by the flavor of mole sauce, the complex and spicy sauce from the Oaxacan region of northern Mexico. Judith grew to love mole during her "business trips" and thought it could be clever to incorporate the sauce's nuts, seeds, spices, chocolate and chiles in a cookie.

They sure beat the socks off Sue Ellen's Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, a recipe so easy a child could make them. Pity poor Candace lost her hands. Judith could have put her to work making these.

The cookies also represent Judith's tumultuous relationship with her son Harris, as they are finished with a kick.

Mole Cookies

Mole Cookies

Makes 3 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground clove
1 tsp. ancho chili pepper (use more or less as desired)
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers (see note)
1/4 cup unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until combined. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove and chili powder. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat a few more times to combine. Stir in the toasted almonds, pepitas and raisins.

3. Spoon golf-bowl-sized balls of dough 2-3 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Bake until the cookies look dried out and browned around the edges (it can be hard to tell they are browned, since they are, well, brown, but they will color a bit on the edges and look somewhat dry), about 12-14 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Note: To toast almond slivers, heat in a small frying pan over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes.


Sue Ellen's Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

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