mokonuts chocolate rye cookies
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I’ve found the cookie-to-die-for recipe, and it comes from Paris. Mokonuts’ cookies are the perfect mix of chewy, squidgy, Japanese, American and Middle Eastern. Rye flour, cranberries and chocolate chips turn out to be the magic formula.
Moko in Mokonuts is Moko Hirayama, of the duo behind the café/bakery du moment: Mokonuts, in 11th arrondissement, Paris. Together with her husband, Omar Koreitem, they create a mix of Japanese, French, American and Middle Eastern flavours in their pastries and breads, lunch plates and cakes. I have not visited, but what I have read of the place and the couple, I liked enormously. Plus the cookies, the recipe for which I found in NY Times Cooking, won my heart at the first bite.
A cookie is a cookie is a cookie, you might say: butter, flour and sugar with a handful of chocolate chips thrown in. I thought so, and I was wrong. Moko’s cookies are a completely different plane of cookie existence, a new dimension of cookieness, hitherto undiscovered cookie quality. They are damn nice and unusual!
Sugar is fairly standard, half and half white and brown, as ever. Butter – so far so normal. The flour is the game changer: rye flour, and the dark variety if you can get it, turns the cookies into the wonder of chewy, soft and squidgy bliss. Who ever knew? Plus the poppy seeds, and I hear Moko uses other seeds for other kinds of her cookies: sesame, maybe sunflower, maybe pumpkin (I’ve only seen the pictures) – what a great idea!
I have since experimented with my own flavours and ingredients but these, cranberry-choc chip are the ones I saw first in NYT Cooking and made first. The process is straightforward but you mustn’t skip the chilling stage when the cookies are shaped – it develops the texture beautifully. I know it’s inhuman to make anyone wait for cookies for 24 hours but trust me – it is gratification worth the delay.
The second awfully important point is the timing of the baking: unless your oven is nuclear powered or to the contrary, barely warm – stick to the ten minutes and not a second longer. Preheat your oven; don’t use fan/convection if there’s such option, and take them out promptly. The flattening is important too as that finishes cooking the cookies – so skip the smashing at your own risk.
mokonuts chocolate rye cookiesServings: 18-20 cookiesTime: 20 minutes plus chilling overnight and 10 minutes baking
- 80g (2/3 cup) dried cranberries
- 130g (1 cup plus 1 ½ tbsp.) light rye flour
- 85g (½ cup plus 2 tbsp.) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 140g (10 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 100g (½ cup) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 50g (1/3 cup) poppy seeds
- 110g (4 oz.) chocolate chips of your choice
1. Soak the cranberries in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes, drain and shake off. Set aside.
2. Stir together the flours, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
3. In another bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer beat the butter with the sugars for 3 minutes at medium-high speed, until creamy. Add the egg and beat for 2 more minutes.
4. Add the flour mix to the bowl and beat at low speed until just combined. Stir in the poppy seeds, cranberries and the chocolate chips. Chill the mix for about 30 minutes so they shape easier.
5. Shape the dough into balls about a golf ball/walnut size and place in a large plastic tub or on a tray. Cover with a lid or wrap in cling film and chill for 24 hours (they will keep a few days in the fridge if you don’t want to bake them all at once but trust me – you will).
6. The next day preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Line a large baking tray with parchment.
7. Place cookies on the tray straight from fridge, well-spaced apart (bake them in at least two batches). Transfer to the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and flatten the cookies gently by patting them with a spatula or a palette knife.
8. Leave them on the tray for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Let the baking tray cool down before you bake the next batch, with dough straight from the fridge again.
9. Serve when cooled to room temperature.