A Sweet Paris Trend: Cocoa Crumbs (and a recipe to play with)
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 (packed) cup light brown sugar (lump-free)
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I recommend Valrhona)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 1/2 tablespoons (2 3/4 ounces) cool unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Toss the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt together in a bowl. Drop in the butter, reach in with your hands, and start rubbing and squeezing the ingredients together until you’ve got a rocky-road mix and you no longer see butter. Cover and chill the streusel for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Turn the crumbs out onto the baking sheet and, using your fingers, rub the streusel so that you don’t have any (or at least not many) large lumps.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, mixing, stirring and turning the streusel twice, until the crumbs have separated into small grains. The crumbs will look sandy and you’ll have a few pebbly pieces here and there. Let the crumbs cool on the baking sheet — when they’re completely cool, they’ll be completely crisp and ready to have fun with.
I’m keeping my crumbs in a tightly covered container on the counter, but they can be refrigerated or frozen.