Baked Sunday Mornings is celebrating Christmas in July… and I like it. We’re embarking on our last 5 recipes from Baked Occasions, which is really hard to believe! Most of our remaining recipes are holiday cookies, and Exceedingly Chocolaty Crinkles are among my favorites, as this was one of the recipes that I tested when our blogger group did the recipe testing for this book back in 2013. (How could it be that long ago?!) Also, I am enjoying this things-that-taste-like-brownies-but-aren’t-brownies streak that we’re on– our last recipe, Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake, was a shameless foray into chocolate gluttony, and while these cookies aren’t quite that decadent, they are like fudgy brownie bites. The recipe intro by Matt Lewis of BAKED describes them as “the most chocolaty cookie I could create that is not just a slab of chocolate”, which begs the question, why don’t more cookies try to resemble a chocolate slab? We should really get on that.
If this didn’t convince you, you should also know that these cookies are very easy to pull together. The most time-consuming part is rolling the dough into balls after chilling, but the active time for this recipe is quite reasonable, especially considering the chocolaty payoff. After combining the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt), I melted the chocolate and butter together, then added espresso powder– often a great addition to chocolate recipes because it deepens the chocolate flavor. Once this mixture had cooled, I paddled together white and dark brown sugars with eggs until the mixture was the color of “a very light cappuccino”– I love this description from the book! After incorporating vanilla extract, the chocolate/butter mixture gets added, followed by the dry ingredients. The resulting cookie dough looks more like a thick, gooey brownie batter than the average fluffy cookie dough… which, for the record, I support 100%.
The dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours, which is plenty of time for it to firm up for scooping. In fact, it was so firm that my spring-loaded ice cream scoop couldn’t handle it, so I used a regular spoon to shear off pieces of dough. Because I didn’t have scoop-shaped chunks, I had to
squish knead them a bit to coax the dough into balls that I could roll between my palms– I didn’t find that the texture of the baked cookies was compromised in any way, so don’t worry if you have to do that as well. Incidentally, I wore latex gloves for the rolling, which made the process quicker and less messy, and all my dough balls came out perfectly smooth. I chilled the dough balls in the fridge for 10 minutes just in case the dough had softened too much. (This might not be necessary if you’re actually making them at Christmastime rather than in the summer months.)
The final step is covering the cookie balls in confectioners’ sugar. I remember that when I tested the recipe, I had to do two passes, but this time the first coating stuck quite well, so a second dip was not at all necessary. I suspect this had to do with either chilling the dough balls and/or using gloves for rolling, but I have no scientific evidence to support either one. Anywho, the rolling process was a breeze, and in the oven they went!
The cookies only bake for 9-12 minutes, and I pulled mine out right at 9 minutes so they would be slightly under-baked in the middle. Even at 5 minutes, they had barely changed shape, just starting to flatten out on the bottoms; I love these because they remain plump, compact little buttons, rather than spreading out a bunch. The sugar crinkles look like each cookie suffered a mini earthquake, each one unique and delicate, and somehow elegant.
They are delicious warm or at room temperature, and I can’t imagine an occasion for which these cookies would not be welcomed with open arms. (If not, who are you hanging out with?!) I recommend these little nuggets of indulgence with utmost enthusiasm– they are perfect for a holiday cookie exchange or dessert table if you’re making them in December, and at any other time of year, they are equally great for shoving in your face with reckless abandon. (What, they’re tiny…) You can find the recipe for Exceedingly Chocolaty Crinkles at Baked Sunday Mornings, and please take a peek at the other bakers’ excessive chocolate use too! 🙂
© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2017.