Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog redesign & Taza Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Welcome to my redesigned blog! I’m so happy with how it turned out and I have lots of exciting changes. I’ll be integrating beauty info along with actual recipes of desserts, instead of just posting pictures about them. This format fits my personality and interests and I hope you like it enough to subscribe! Now on to chocolate…

My sister lives near a chocolate factory.... so jealous. It's called Taza Chocolate and is located in Cambridge, MA. It is really unique chocolate because they use a Mexican-style method. This method makes the chocolate slightly grainy because of a larger sugar crystal that doesn't dissolve, so it's not your typical smooth chocolate. Nonetheless, it tastes fantastic. They have permanent and seasonal flavors and they're all in dark chocolate. I think their specialty, and what really sets them apart, are these chocolate discs. They recommend melting them for baking or for making a delicious hot chocolate. 

Taza chocolate discs
Taza has a lot of fantastic recipe cards throughout their store, so I picked up a few and decided to make their Taza chocolate cookies... with my own spin on it, of course. There’s a hint of cinnamon in these cookies, which give it that “Mexican Chocolate” vibe. When I took these cookies out of the oven, my daughter, Ruby, came running into the kitchen sniffing the air saying, “Mama! Chocolate! Mama!”. Yes, I have created a mini-me chocolate loving monster.

Taza Chocolate Chunk Cookies
slightly modified from here
(makes 24 smallish cookies, or 12 larger cookies)

Recipe Notes:
- Let’s talk about the chocolate. Taza is a local company that is expanding to more boutiques and specialty food stores. You can purchase directly from Taza online (which would be a special treat!) or substitute the 5 ounces of Taza with your favorite 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (I really like using the Ghirardelli baking bars- they’re accessible and affordable).
- There was no salt called for in this recipe and where I bake with unsalted butter, salt is crucial. After reading Taza’s recipe, I made a mental note to add ½ tsp. of salt in the cookie dough. As it turns out, I have a horrible memory. It wasn’t until the dough was formed into balls on the cookie sheet that I realized my mistake. My quick fix? Sprinkle fleur de sel over the top of the cookies. I felt trés chic and right on trend, since this is a very “foodie” thing to do nowadays. So you could say my error turned into a transcendent note. I’ve written the recipe so that you can do either salt in the dough, or fleur de sel on top of the dough. You be the judge.

- I’m a texture girl, and these cookies were just too plain for me. There’s nothing really wrong with that, they just didn’t seem that interesting to me. So I added chopped walnuts, white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips. If I had thought ahead, purchasing the chocolate nibs from Taza would have been a fantastic addition, instead of the dark chocolate chips.
- As you’ll find with my recipes I’m a little obsessive over Vanilla Extract… especially in a recipe with chocolate. An extra amount of vanilla enhances the flavor of the chocolate so I think it’s really important. Therefore, I typically double the amount of vanilla called for in a recipe.
- These cookies really are better the day-of. They're not bad the next day, they just tend to dry out over time.

2 Packages of your favorite flavor of Chocolate Mexicano (approx. 5 ounces) or 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
¾ Cups all-purpose flour 
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon 
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt (or about 1 tsp. of fleur de sel)
1 heaping cup sugar
¼ Cup unsalted butter (or 4 Tbs.), softened 
1 large egg 
2 tsp.’s vanilla extract
½ Cup chopped walnuts
½ Cup white chocolate chips
½ Cup dark chocolate chips (either semi or bittersweet)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt (omit the salt if your going to sprinkle fleur de sel on top instead).
3. In a separate bowl cream sugar and butter together. Add egg and beat well. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla. Beat until just blended.
4. Add flour mixture and mix until mostly blended. Add nuts and chocolate chips, mix.

5. Drop spoon-full’s of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or greased cookie sheet. Or if you’re like me and want larger cookies, use a cookie scoop and fill it so the dough overflows out of the scoop (this is the time to sprinkle fleur de sel on top of the cookie dough if you didn’t add salt to the dough already. About 1-2 tsp.'s, for all the cookies, should do the trick). 
6. Bake at 350° F for 10 minutes or until almost set. These cookies are best if they’re on the softer side so don’t over-bake. If you doubled the size, like I did, then they may need 12 minutes instead of 10. Just watch them and err on the side of taking them out early so that you can have a softer, gooier cookie.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for another 5-10 minutes or until set. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.


  1. These look so good! I will have to make them. I love your new look on the blog!

    1. Thank you! Please let me know if you make them and how they turn out.

  2. These turned out amazing! The fleur de sel was a perfect addition to the cookie and really helped to balance the sweetness. By the way, the blog looks great!

    1. Thank you Jenny! I'm so glad you liked the cookies and that you like the blog :)