Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
These cookies almost came with a cute story, but alas, they didn’t. But just to humor you, here’s the second-rate story:
My older brother was over at a friend’s house about two years or so ago, and while there he had fresh chocolate crinkle cookies baked by his friend’s mom. He liked them so much that he asked for the recipe in order to pass it on to me. Yes, I know I have the best brother in the world. Anyway, when he gave me the hand-written recipe, I was of course flattered that he associated nice food with me so I folded the recipe up in neat quarters to save for one of those cookie-making times. (As a side note, isn’t it funny how all moms kind of have similar hand-writing? When I see the familiar half-cursive half-print words smoothly written out I just think, ooph, there’s a mom.)
Anyway, one of those cookie-making times swiftly arrived, as they always do, and so I baked up a batch. They were delicious, don’t get me wrong. But just not quite as memorable as I thought they should be. Fast forward to about a year and a half later (aka a few days before this last Thanksgiving), and I decided to try my hand again at chocolate crinkle cookies–but this time with the recipe from my trusted Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Bakingcookbook. Should I feel a little guilty here? It’s hard to stomp over a hand-written recipe trusted to you and you specifically in order to bring back memories of happy times and delicious cookies. But you know what? It’s even harder to resist a perfect, well made cookie. So yes, the potential of finding the perfect cookie trumped my conscience on this.
As it turns out, perfect cookie I did find. These are just about everything I want in a cookie: double chocolate for lots of flavor, chewy yet still soft, and of course, pretty. Although they first come out of the oven gooey and cakey (which some people love), they cool into the most satisfyingly chewy chocolate cookies you can find. It doesn’t take long to wait, and it’s completely worth it. These have easily become one of my favorite cookies, and guess what? They’re one of my brother’s favorites too. When I brought home a few of them to share with my family over Thanksgiving break, my brother claimed he likes them even more than those in his memory at his friend’s house.
So there you have it. I almost had the perfect story of a classic cookie recipe passed down from a mom to my brother to me. But that’s fine, just fine with me. Because instead of having the ideal story, I ended up with an ideal cookie. And that’s a pretty fair trade-off, wouldn’t you say?
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking
Makes about 30 cookies (this recipe halves well, by the way)
Amy’s Notes: If you like a lot of pure chocolate bite in your cookie, up the amount of chocolate chips to 1 1/2 cups. I prefer more cookie than chocolate chips in mine, personally.
4 ounces (125g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 60g) butter, cut into rough pieces
1 1/2 cups (235g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (45g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
2 cups (500g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (190g) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
Place butter and chocolate in a double boiler (glass or stainless steel bowl over a simmering, shallow pot of water) and heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter and chocolate melt. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl fitted with a stand mixer and paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until light in color and think, about three minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture on low speed until blended, scraping down the bowl afterward. Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Scrape down again. Mix in the chocolate chips. The dough should be sticky and be held together well.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll into balls, about two hours. Don’t skimp on this–otherwise you won’t end up with beautifully “cracked” chewy cookies. The dough should be cold–it can be made ahead of time and left in the fridge overnight if it helps.
Once the dough is sufficiently chilled, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick mat. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.
To form each cookie, roll a rounded tablespoon of dough between your palms to form about a 1 1/2 inch ball (mine were a little larger–you can get away with varying the size, just try and keep it consistent and adjust the time by a minute or two if you make them bigger). Roll the rounded ball in the powdered sugar, covering it really well. Place cookies 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet, making sure to set it firmly so it will stay in place.
Bake the cookies until the tops are puffed and crinkled and feel firm when lightly touched, about 13 minutes. They won’t look completely done, but don’t let that deceive you; they will firm up completely as they cool. To see what my cookies looked like when I took them out, look at that picture third from the bottom: the “ridges” don’t look completely done. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the rolling and baking until the cookie dough is used up. While each sheet of cookies are baking, make sure to store the dough in the fridge. It’s important to keep it chilled as to have a pretty and well-shaped cookie. The cookies can be kept for about 3 or so days left at room temperature–they honestly just keep getting better and better with each day.
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