A Poppy Seed Surprise: Mokonuts' Rye-Cranberry-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The reason that I had rye flour on hand to make Zingerman's Honey Cake and Violet Bakery Rye Brownies is that I had purchased it to make a recipe featured by Dorie Greenspan in The New York Times Magazine: Mokonuts' Rye-Cranberry-Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Mokonuts is a Paris cafe that is open only for breakfast and lunch, run by married couple Moko Hirayama (a lawyer turned pastry chef) and Omar Koreitem. These cookies have so much going on -- Rye flour! Chocolate! Dried cranberries! Poppy seeds! -- that I wasn't sure how the cookies would taste. But I wanted to find out; Dorie's description of the cookies was effusive and she says they were her favorite from the cafe.

The dough comes together quickly but the cookies must be chilled overnight before baking. To make the batter, you beat room temperature butter with sugar and light brown sugar; add an egg; incorporate the dry ingredients (rye flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt); and stir in dried cranberries, poppy seeds, and bittersweet chocolate (I used Cacao Barry extra bitter 64% Guayaquil pistoles instead of chopping chocolate from a block). I used a #20 scoop to portion out the dough and I got 16 cookies from the recipe. I chilled the scoops of dough for 24 hours before baking.
I sprinkled Maldon salt on the cookies before putting them in the oven; they are baked at a relatively high temperature (425 degrees F). I used a spatula to flatten each cookie immediately after taking the pan out of the oven.  The cookies looked interesting. They were fairly round, with cracks here and there (some of which were formed from to the post-bake flattening). The cookies were somewhat grayish in color, with scattered dark golden spots on top and poppy seeds clearly visible throughout.

 I'm not quite sure what to make of this cookie. When I first tasted it, I found it confusing. As I chewed, I had to think carefully about what exactly what I was eating to try to process all of the flavors. I think it was the poppy seeds more than anything that threw me off. The texture was so unexpected that it seemed out of place. The cookie had a nice chewy consistency, but to be honest, I was not a fan. I think I was craving the deep caramel-butterscotch flavor of a traditional cookie chip cookie, and more chocolate overall (there are only four ounces of chocolate in the recipe). But Dorie and many NYT Cooking readers rave about these cookies, so I think I'm in the minority here.

Recipe: "Mokonuts' Rye-Cranberry Chocolate-Chunk Cookies," from The New York Times.