Sure there are variations of these cookies all over the web: peppermint, cinnamon, Mexican chocolate with chipotle spice, orange, the list goes on and one (and I list a few alternatives after the recipe, as well as a way to alter these to your own taste in the recipe). Some people even call them by a different name, the chocolate crinkle cookies! But whatever you call them, the basic, simple chocolate crackle cookie is timeless. One of the biggest secrets to making sure the outside of the cookie gets that snowy white dust of powdered sugar is to double sugar coat the cookie dough. First roll the cookie dough in granulated sugar then roll it in the powdered sugar afterwards. The granulated sugar protects the moist cookie dough from absorbing the powdered sugar too much AND adds a nice little crunch to the cookie when you bite into it. Keep in mind that the cookie dough needs to rest in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight before you make them so allow time for that. By the way, if you really do want to mess with a classic, feel free to add a teaspoon of peppermint, orange or almond extract to make the recipe your own. Or throw caution to the wind and add a teaspoon of CHOCOLATE extract to give the cookies an extra boost of chocolate. Because you can’t go wrong with even MORE chocolate in your life. Right?
8ozdark chocolate225 g, preferably between 65-75% cacao
1/2cupunsalted butter115 g or 1 stick, at room temperature
1 1/2cupsdark brown sugar330 g
1 1/2teaspoonvanilla extract
1teaspoonflavored extractoptional, see headnote above
1/2cupDutch-processed cocoa powder70 g
1 1/4cupall-purpose flour175 g
1cupgranulated white sugar200 g
1cupconfectioners’ (powdered) sugar120 g
Chop the chocolate into small 1/2 inch chunks and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat another 2-4 times, microwaving in 30 second intervals and stirring between times, until melted and smooth. Place aside to cool.
Place the butter, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together until the butter forms a paste with the brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the egg, one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the second one. Add the vanilla and flavored extract (if using) and beat to incorporate. Add the melted chocolate to the batter and beat to incorporate.
Add the cocoa powder to the dough and beat to incorporate. Add the milk and beat to incorporate. Add the flour and beat to incorporate and a sticky dough forms. Divide the dough into 4 parts (about 250 g each if you have scale), flatten and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
Once they have chilled, preheat an oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or silpat. Divide one of the dough sections into 16 pieces (cut the dough into quarters than each quarter into quarters again). Roll each piece into a ball (your hands are going to get messy and chocolatey so be prepared and if the dough gets too soft, stick it in the fridge or freezer for a little bit to firm it up). Roll the ball in the granulated white sugar than in the confectioners’ sugar afterwards. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing each cookie about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are just barely set (don’t overbake). Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.