Merry (almost) Christmas! This has certainly be a crazy year, and I admit that I feel quite conflicted. On a personal level, I routinely pinch myself at how lucky I feel to have my sweet baby boy, wonderful family, and a truly incredible group of friends, both here in Brussels and around the globe. At the same time, a lot of deeply worrisome trends in the world have caused so many of us to lose sleep. I still go back and forth between feeling a sense of despair at what kind of world my child will inherit, vs. feeling determined to advocate for my beliefs and do the most good I possibly can. Obviously – and fortunately – those feelings are not mutually exclusive!
In a complicated world, I truly believe that we need not only large acts of positivity and progress, but small ones, as well. And if sharing a plate of delicious cookies isn’t a small act of positivity, I don’t know what is. I believe you and most anyone else in your life would have a significantly brighter day if it included these chocolate crinkles, in particular.
For a relatively simple cookie, I can’t believe I had never made something like it before, but now that I’ve found it, I’m pretty sure this will be a regular event – certainly including, but by no means limited to, the holidays. The dough yields about just about two dozen rich, chocolate, almost brownie-like cookies. Doubling the dough itself is easy, but – I speak from experience – it will get a tiny bit tedious rolling out four dozen cookies. (Probably not a problem if you, being a normal person, start before 1:00 AM, which I’ll just have to keep in mind for next time.) In any event, it was completely worth it to have a huge batch of these beauties, perfect for snacking and sharing.
May your holidays be bright, delicious, full of cookies and love.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Yield 2 dozen cookies
- 1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz.) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tsp. instant espresso or coffee powder (optional)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped or broken into smallish pieces
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (2 oz.) powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F with a rack in the center of the oven. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the brown sugar, eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Whisk on medium-high speed until well-combined, 2-3 minutes.
- Combine the chopped chocolate and butter in either a microwave-safe bowl, or a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. If using the microwave, warm chocolate and butter at 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each; if using the stovetop, stir chocolate and butter frequently while it melts over the simmering water. Regardless of method, your goal is to have the chocolate and butter fully melted and combined into a smooth mixture.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the stand mixer bowl and whisk it into the sugar-egg mixture until fully incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Place the granulated and powdered sugars in separate shallow dishes. After the dough has rested, scoop out dough balls of approximately 2 tablespoons each. Dampen your hands slightly to help roll them into smooth balls. (I found it worked best to run my hands under the faucet, shake them out quickly, roll about four balls, and repeat.) Roll each ball first in the granulated sugar, then the powdered sugar, and space them evenly on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake one sheet at a time for about 12 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are puffed up and crackled. Transfer the pans to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool completely on the pans before serving or storing. Cookies keep well at room temperature for about 1 week.
Source: Smells Like Home, originally from Cook’s Illustrated, November/December 2014