The definitive chocolate crinkle cookie – the secret is rolling the dough in granulated sugar before coating it in confectioner’s sugar. Add espresso powder to the batter to amplify the chocolate flavor.
Oh, hey December! I didn’t see you there. Isn’t it funny how quickly December creeps up on you after Thanksgiving? The silver lining here is that the holiday season is here which calls for holiday baking!
I can’t even begin to express my love for Christmas. I take absolute joy in Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, gift giving, etc. And don’t even get me started on Christmas music. FYI, I started listening to my Christmas playlist on Spotify (yes I have my own playlist) around Halloween. I regret nothing.
Last night, Frank and I walked over to Dyker Heights to check out this year’s Christmas decorations. For those of you who haven’t heard about this phenomenon, Dyker Heights is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that goes all out on Christmas decorations every year. It’s so grand that there’s a Yelp page for it! Needless to say, I am feeling super festive.
All throughout the week, I’ve been thinking about the perfect recipe to kick off the holiday season. As luck would have it, Cook’s Illustrated recently sent me an email with their chocolate crinkle cookie recipe. I’ve always loved the look of chocolate crinkle cookies. The contrasting colors are so inviting, but achieving that look can be pretty difficult because the sugar often bakes right off and there are never enough cracks.
Not anymore! The thing I love most about Cook’s Illustrated is that every recipe is an immersive learning experience. They take the time to explain the science behind the recipe so that you can understand what made it so successful.
This recipe in particular requires you to roll the dough in granulated sugar before coating it in confectioner’s sugar. The coarse structure of the granulated sugar dries the top of the cookie out faster which creates more cracks and allows the confectioner’s sugar to remain on top. Science.
The result is a perfectly cracked cookie that boasts a bold chocolate flavor, without being tooth-achingly sweet. Much to Frank’s disappointment (he’s a chocolate and vanilla kind of guy), I haven’t baked anything chocolatey lately, so you can imagine how thrilled he was when these babies came out of the oven!
Consider making this your go-to recipe for your holiday cookie exchange/competition. I promise they’ll be a crowd pleaser. Feel free to drop a comment if you do bake them! Happy holiday baking, everyone. 🙂
The Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
A perfectly cracked cookie that boasts a bold chocolate flavor. The secret is rolling the dough in granulated sugar before coating it in confectioner's sugar!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar packed
- 3 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 325F. Line 2 baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
In a large bowl, whisk the light brown sugar, eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla extract together.
Combine the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a small bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted, stirring occasionally.
Pour the chocolate into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Fold in the flour mixture and whisk until combined.
Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes -- this makes it easier to work with as the dough will be quite sticky.
Place the granulated sugar and confectioner's sugar in separate small bowls. Scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough (or use a #40 cookie scoop) at a time and drop the dough ball into the granulated sugar. Roll it around to coat the entire ball. Transfer the dough ball to the confectioner's sugar bowl and roll to coat evenly.
Place the dough balls on the baking sheet, 12 per sheet. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. The cookies will look raw in between the cracks.
Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 20 minutes before serving. The cookies will finish baking while they are on the sheet. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
I used Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, but you can also use Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
The original recipe calls for a bar of unsweetened chocolate, but I used a bar of Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate (56% cacao) and was successful! You can use either, depending on your taste.
Original recipe found on Cook's Illustrated.