Mexican Compost Cookie Bars





who wouldn't want a cookie with some Bugels on top??
One of my favourite cookies is my Compost Cookie Bar  - I used to make Compost Cookie Bars for the kiddies when The Kid was at his Magical Unicorn School, using fun junk like Cap'n Crunch, caramel corn, Bugels, candy canes. I was very popular at his school.




I needed a dessert to serve with Chili Verde, Vegan Jackfruit Pozole and a Beet and Roasted Fennel Salad with Pepita Crema for a drop in dinner at The Depanneur. I guess I could have gone the more traditional Mexican cookie route but where's the fun in that?

Green & Black had sent me a few bars of their Organic Maya Gold  to play around with and , after tasting it, I knew it would make the perfect base for Mexican Compost Cookie Bars. The 60% dark chocolate bar's flavours are taken from a traditional Mayan drink from Belize so it's full of nutmeg, cinnamon and orange - a love match with salty, porky, chicharron.

When i say CHOCOLATE! 
You say PORK RINDS! 

When i say CHOCOLATE! 
You say PORK . . RINDS! 

I went to my favourite Mexican grocery store and bought a whack of Mexican junk food and a bag of freshly made pork rinds and came home to play. Not everything worked in the cookie so it took a few tries before I got the combination I liked but it's really personal so you should have some fun with it. In the end I settled on the pork rinds, salted tortilla chips, Choco Krispis, some weird Japanese style candied nuts and Pipoca Vovozinha. I thought that last thing was going to be popcorn but it turned out to be sweet, popped hominy. You just want to make sure there is a good balance of sweet to salty with plenty of crunch and you will be good.

Oh, and I am happy to report that the cookies sold out, proving, once again, that pork rinds are always a good call.

*Again, I received a few bars of Green and Black's Maya Gold to play with but no further compensation. I apologize for the absence of better photos of the finished cookies but they sold so fast that we are all lucky that I got any photos at all.

Mexican Compost Cookie Bars



makes 1 9'x13" pan

Cookie Base

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour



Toppings

approx 170g or 1 1/2 cups chopped Dark Chocolate (I used Green & Black's Maya Gold)

1 1/2 cups add ins:


I used a combination of sweet popped hominy, salted/roasted pumpkin seeds, Choco Krispis, chicharron, salted tortilla chips and candied peanuts

Directions:

Put your rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375F

Line a 13x9x2" metal or glass baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to form handles that you will use to pull the cookie out with after it cools. I put a couple of small dots of butter on all four corners before laying down the parchment to sort of glue the paper in place.

Beat 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter for 3 minutes in your stand mixer at medium speed. Add both sugars and salt and beat for another three minutes. Throw in the vanilla and then start to slowly add in the flour, mixing until it's all fully incorporated and you get a sticky, wet dough.

Scrape the dough into your paper lined pan and use your fingers to pat the dough out, spread evenly over the entire bottom of the pan. I had a little bowl of flour sitting close by so I could flour my finger tips and I patted and spread the dough - it's pretty sticky.

Put the cookie base in the oven and bake it for 22 minutes. Remove it and scatter the chocolate as evenly as you can, covering the entire surface of the hot cookie.  (you can make the cookie base up to a couple of days ahead and store it at room temp until this step)

While your base is cooking, get your toppings together . Make sure to chop or crush everything up into small chunks, mix them up in a bowl and set aside.


Put it back in the 375F oven for 2 minutes, take it out and use a spatula to spread the chocolate around so that every nook and cranny of the cookie base is covered with chocolate.

Scatter your toppings all over the cookie base and press lightly into the chocolate. 

Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing the cookie using the parchment paper overhang as handles. Let the whole thing cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before cutting it into squares. Because these are pretty rich, I cut them into smallish squares and I got about 25 or so out of one pan.

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