The cookie games 2019 winner: Mexican chocolate masa cookie recipe

The Cookie Games 2019 Winner: Mexican Chocolate Masa Cookie Recipe

This year’s first place winner of The Cookie Games at the International Culinary Center was created by Professional Pastry Arts student, Hester Farabee, inspired by the delicious flavors of Mexico. Her original cookie recipe, The Mexican Chocolate Masa Cookie, received the highest score among the 10 competitors judged by the likes of Bao Ong (Food & Drink Editor, Time Out New York), the team from Gramercy Tavern — Michael Anthony (Executive Chef) and Miro Uskokovic (Pastry Chef), Emma Bengtsson (Executive Chef, Aquavit) and Mike Chau of @foodbabyny.

The sandwich cookie begins with two wafer-like cookies that pack a crunchy punch. The cookies use standard ingredients like butter, sugar and baking soda, but combine Añejo Tequila and Masa Harina to represent some of the signature flavors of Mexico. A filling of creamy pepitas, Valrhona Equatoriale dark 55% chocolate and spices like cinnamon, chili powder and cayenne are sandwiched between the two wafer cookies. Try out this winning recipe for yourself at home!


Mexican Chocolate Masa Cookie Recipe

Yields 48 cookies (plus extra for breakage)



  • 800g pepitas
  • 14g + 100g vegetable oil
  • 18g kosher salt
  • 300g Valrhona Equatoriale dark 55% chocolate
  • 96g turbinado sugar
  • 8g cinnamon
  • 6g chili powder
  • 1g (1/2t) cayenne


  • 340g butter, chilled & cut into 1/4” cubes
  • 340g sugar
  • 24g milk powder
  • 1.5g baking soda
  • 4g kosher salt
  • 60g egg whites
  • 37g anejo tequila
  • 360g masa harina (preferably Masienda brand)
  • 120g all purpose flour


For the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a bowl, toss the pepitas, vegetable oil and kosher salt.
  3. Spread the pepitas onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast 12-15 minutes, stirring and turning half. way through the roasting time.
  4. Let cool 10 minutes.
  5. In a Vitamix, process pepitas and vegetable oil until smooth, using tamper as necessary.
  6. Add chocolate, sugar, and spices and process just until incorporated.
  7. Let cool to room temperature.

For the cookie:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, milk powder and baking soda until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add egg whites and mix well until emulsified
  4. Slowly add tequila, mixing until emulsified
  5. Add masa harina and mix until thoroughly combined
  6. Add all purpose flour, paddle until incorporated
  7. Divide dough into four balls, wrap in plastic and chill at least one hour
  8. Once chilled, roll dough on lightly masa floured bench to 1/8” thickness.
  9. Cut dough into 3” rounds and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Use cookie stamp to lightly impress design on top of each cookie.
  11. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes, turning half way through.
  12. Cool on sheet 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks


  1. Place filling into piping bag with #4 piping tip and pipe approx 1/4” of filling onto half the cookies leaving. about 1/8” margin at the edges.
  2. Place the remaining cookies on top of the filled cookie to make a sandwich.
  3. Keep in airtight container.

This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.

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