the moveable feasts

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

with 39 comments

chocolate crinkles

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.) 

chocolate + butter

stiff dough
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.

roll in sugar prepared sheet

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.

straight out of the oven

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?

zoooomed in

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.

Written by Amy

December 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Cookies and Bars

Tagged with , ,

39 Responses

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  1. This is such a lovely story – your brother sounds like the best brother ever! And the cookies look absolutely amazing, and well worth the wait. I love the crinkles and dusting of icing sugar – it makes them feel so festive :-)


    December 14, 2011 at 1:41 am

  2. Amy, I have always wanted to make this cookie and the recipe you posted looks like a good one. I like the fact that you include weight and not just measurement. As a professional chef I do not use measuring cups and spoons but my scale takes a beating. Keep up the good work! Lovely pictures. May I ask what camera you are currently using? I am about to purchase a new one and am asking other bloggers for suggestions.


    December 14, 2011 at 6:58 am

  3. When I get really sad thinking about leaving Ecuador, I read your blog and it always makes me excited to come back and eat yummy food and hang out with you!! P.S. what was the 1st cute story that didn’t make the cut?? I’m excited to see you!

    Abbey Asaayi Davies

    December 14, 2011 at 8:59 am

  4. Wow, flashback for me! Someone in my family used to make these and I loved them. As a kid I always wondered how they crackled at the top! haha. The secret is out! They look wonderful.


    December 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm

  5. I’m going to try these, they look amazing, and your photos are fantastic. I made Martha Stewart;s version and I wasn’t completely satisfied, the powdered sugar absorbed into the cookie as they cooked and they didn’t have that great contrast of color that yours do. These are possibly my favorite holiday cookie.

    • Thanks, Sue! I think they’ve become my favorite cookie as well. Let me know how they go for you.


      December 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm

  6. A friend made a similar version for a little get-together last weekend, I think they were Martha Stewart, and although they were delicious they came out a bit flat. These looks so nice and puffy – do they stay that way or do they collapse when they are completely cool? I’m currently on a chocolate craving streak so I definitely want to try these before (if?!) it ends. Beautiful photos Amy!


    December 15, 2011 at 7:55 am

    • Well they are really puffy when they first come out of the oven (second to last photo), but the first and last photo of the cookies are them completely cooled down. Hope you get a chance to try them out!


      December 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm

  7. This does look like the perfect cookie. I think I will try this one for my cookie tray this Christmas.

    From Beyond My Kitchen Window

    December 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm

  8. I was reading your post when my partner contacted me to say we have guests coming this evening for coffee. So, I swung into action and have your cookies baking now! I’m so anxious to taste one — they look wonderful ;-)


    December 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    • Ah what a nice comment! I’m glad you tried them out and I hope everyone loves them. Thanks for stopping by, Allen. :)


      December 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

  9. Gorgeous cookies, Amy. I’m not much of a chocolate-cookie gal, but there’s a Cook’s Illustrated double-chocolate cookie (looks v. similar apart from the powdered sugar) that even I can’t resist. I’m visiting my parents right now, but I should dig it up for you sometime. I’d give these a whirl, but I’ve got another plane to catch tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure there will already be baked goods waiting for me there.


    December 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    • Thanks! I’ve made those cookies before actually! I really like them, and I actually thought of them when I was eating these crinkle cookies–these have that similar double-chocolate taste, but maybe a bit sweeter. Happy holidays to you, Katie! :)


      December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

  10. Just have to say, I hadn’t had a crinkle cookie before so I had no idea what to expect when I made these. oh my god. perfectly chewy inside, just enough crunch on the outside. chocolate-y and pretty! I added some mint extract just to make them more winter-y and they were such a big hit that my co-workers made me make more. this is going to be a staple around the house.


    December 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    • Ah, how nice! Thanks for stopping by and trying out the recipe. They’re now one of my favorite cookies and I’m pretty sure they’re going to become staple around here, too. :)


      December 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

  11. These look fantastic!
    Has anyone tried them without the choc chips?


    January 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    • I did have someone tell me they made these without them. They liked them a lot, but did say that the dough was softer and more batter-y, so they had to add extra flour. I’m not sure if that’s related to not adding in the chocolate chips or not, but I thought I’d pass it along, haha. I actually prefer less than more chocolate chips in this recipe, though I do think they add a lot.


      January 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

  12. Hi, my mom and I have tried a different recipe for these cookies yesterday and it’s very similar to yours, but our dough is too gooey and won’t roll into balls, even though we refrigerated it overnight. What do you you suggest we should do?


    January 30, 2012 at 8:22 am

  13. what’s the temperature to bake these cookies? :)


    February 25, 2012 at 4:59 am

  14. I tried making those but without chocolates and i failed .. they somehow melted when i put them in the oven .. i tried both 180 degrees C and 275 C temperature , but failed again ..
    What do you think might be the problem ?
    I’m also new in making sweets and stuff (^-^)” .. Please help me .. and Thanks ^^


    August 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm

  15. i’ve tried making these last night but i accidentally melted the chocolate chips in while melting it with butter. It tastes good but my cookies don’t flatten. Could melting the chocolate chips be the reason?


    November 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    • Hmm, how do you mean they didn’t flatten? Do you mean that when you took them out of the oven all puffy, they didn’t flatten down? Or they just stayed in balls while baking? The extra chocolate might be the reason that happened though — maybe the additional chocolate made them more truffle-like instead of cookie like. Shame that happened, though!


      November 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

      • They didn’t flatten when I baked them. I’m going to try and make them in different sizes to see if that will help. Either way your recipe was way better than the last two that i tried! I will try making a new batch soon and will update you


        November 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      • Hmm yeah that is strange… hopefully they won’t do that again if you don’t melt the chocolate chips in with the rest of the chocolate. And yes, please let me know how the new batch goes!


        November 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  16. What brand of unsweetend chocolate did you use? Semi sweet chocolate?


    September 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    • Semi sweet chocolate has sugar in it – the recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate. You can get it in big bars in any grocery store. A really common brand is Baker’s unsweetened chocolate (it’s the orange box, I believe)


      September 20, 2013 at 12:59 am

      • Thank you. do i need to melt the chocolate chips ?


        September 24, 2013 at 3:02 am

      • No, you only melt the unsweetened chocolate.


        September 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

      • Thank you. Its so good:))


        October 2, 2013 at 6:40 am

  17. I made these cookies because they are my families favorite, I used oil because that is what my cookie book called for as I usually do and did, this time the cookies came out flat??? idk why they did almost always they come out nice and puffy and fluffy texture, this time they are flat still taste the same tho..I am going to try your recipe due to its little changes by adding the semi sweet chips at the end of mixing and use powdered coco, as I normally used unsweetened chocolate squares and also try the butter instead of the oil.. I will let u know if there is a difference in thickness later..By adding the chips im sure they will have that extra surprise for my family..Our favorite cookie with a surprise inside..mmm sounds so good. tx.

    Patricia Clevenger

    December 9, 2013 at 7:28 am

    • as to above, an added comment, I will get a fresh baking powder also, this could have been why they didn’t rise as well as they usually do.. if you have any comments please feel free to do so. tx

      Patricia Clevenger

      December 9, 2013 at 7:31 am

      • Make sure you chill your dough before you scoop and bake the cookies — it helps cookies retain the puffy soft chewiness rather than spread out flat. Let me know how it turns out though, and good luck! x


        December 9, 2013 at 11:53 am

  18. Always leave it overnight, tonight I am going to mix up your recipe and tomorrow morning I’ll bake them up let u know how they turn out tomorrow.. I think I know where I went wrong the first batch was a bit runny I noticed and the second batch was more firm, my mistake was I condensed both batches in one bowl to conserve space in my frig and whatever had happened to my first batch was mixed with the second, should have never done that maybe the second batch would have been more puffy.. ugh.. live and learn.. keep all batches separate for me for now on..

    Patricia Clevenger

    December 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm

  19. so far so good with the mixture, came out the texture I was looking for..I do like the way you mentioned to use a double made the chocolate creamy with the butter NICE>> to be continued tomorrow.

    Patricia Clevenger

    December 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

  20. HI Amy, today I baked up the cookies the texture of the mix was great and the cookie baked up nice and high, the only thing I am not fond of is that I used semi sweet chips idk why I used them prob cause that’s what your recipe called for, next time I will use milk chocolate instead, which is my favorite type of chip. Also found that these didn’t spread out but are really high, happy that they didn’t go flat. I also shifted my flour so they wouldn’t be too heavy glad I did and also shifted my powered sugar it went on nicely and the sugar stayed on better after baking. Tomorrow I will try your recipe again with a few of my changes, 1) use oil instead of butter, 2) use milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet..This is how new recipes are born trial and error..thanks for the recipe these are delish, tomorrow a new type to be born.. ( ;

    Patricia Clevenger

    December 10, 2013 at 8:26 am

    • Haha thanks for keeping me and everyone else updated. :) I’m glad you’re getting closer and closer to your goal cookie. And yes, these are pretty seriously chocolate – if you prefer a creamier flavor, milk chocolate might be a good bet. I like the double-chocolate flavor though.


      December 10, 2013 at 11:39 am

  21. […] recipes? Some holiday-appropriate ones that I’ve already posted about on this site include: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (probably my personal favorite cookie), Raspberry-Almond Linzer Cookies, Nanaimo Bars, Homemade […]

  22. Finally! the recipe that i have been long looking for :) Chocolate+cocoa= Perfection!
    I made my first crinkles, i put too much butter over calculated it actually so the cookies came out flat! but tastes soooo good because of the semi-sweet chocolates(without cocoa powder), yesterday i made another batch, then i used cocoa (instead using chocolates) it turned out perfect, looks perfect, chewy but not as good and tasty as the first crinkles that i baked (using chocolates)….now i have decided to follow my instincts, this is the best recipe ever! Thank you for sharing!!!! Will definitely try this…


    January 23, 2014 at 8:16 am

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