ONE SMART COOKIE!
Rachel always seems to be baking cookies; almond crescents, almond or gingerbread frosted cut outs, jam thumbprints, English toffee bars, magic bars, lemon curd sandwich cookies. And that was only for Christmas.
Rachel is a very special friend of mine who lives in a very cold, snowbound state in the northern US. Perfect for hanging out in the kitchen, basking in the warmth of an oven and surrounded by the scent of baking cookies. All winter long.
I have been dreaming of making Chocolate Crinkle Cookies for ages. Don’t ask me why, it is just one of those things. Every time I see a photo of Chocolate Crinkles in a cookbook or magazine, usually around holiday time, I get the yen. So when Rachel mentioned her attempt to make them – though she didn’t thanks to the lack of the right ingredients and a snowed-in car, I jumped at the chance!
I asked and she sent me her recipe – but credit where credit is due, she originally got the recipe from her mom. I was so excited. I imagined these to be like bites of rich, gooey, chocolaty brownies with the added plus of being wrapped in a blanket of powdered sugar – two of Simon’s favorite things, in fact. And Clem will eat anything chocolate, so I couldn’t do better.
The cookies turned out to be a breeze to put together and just beautiful to look at warm from the oven. I did let them cool before biting through the crackly, sugary outside and sinking my teeth into the tender, brownie-like center. Dreamy!
Rachel, between designing and hand-making delicate jewelry and beautiful greeting and holiday cards, has given me a taste of her cookie-making magic. Thanks Rachel (and thanks Rachel’s mom). She is truly One Smart and Talented Cookie!
RACHEL’S MOM’S CHOCOLATE CRINKLES
1 ½ cups (300 g) sugar
4 oz (120 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted
½ cup (120 ml) cooking/vegetable oil
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups (200 g) flour
Sifted powdered sugar and granulated sugar for rolling *
* Rachel rolls her cookies twice in powdered sugar. My friend Johey told me that she recently heard an interview with food scientist Shirley Corriher on NPR, who suggested that rolling the cookies first in granulated sugar helps keep the powdered sugar from soaking into the chocolate dough, thus keeping them crispier – and whiter - on the outside and chewier on the inside. So I tried it this way.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar with an electric mixer until thick.
Add the melted chocolate, oil, baking powder and vanilla. Continue beating until combined well.
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the electric mixer
and then stir in the rest using a wooden spoon just until incorporated.
Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until firm enough to handle.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball first in the granulated sugar until coated then in the powdered sugar until coated thickly and evenly.
Place sugar-coated balls on an ungreased cookie sheet spacing them an inch apart to allow for spreading.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes (mine all cooked for 10 minutes, though I did end up rolling out balls that were a bit bigger than 1-inch). The cookies will have spread out and puffed, the top will be cracked. They may look wet inside, but don’t forget that they continue to cook for a bit even after removing them from the oven. It is better to underbake these cookies so the center remains a bit gooey and the cookie is chewy. They get crunchy if overbaked.
Using a spatula, very carefully lift the cookies off the baking sheets as soon as they are out of the oven, transferring them delicately to cooling racks. Let them cool completely. If you have absolutely no self-control, allow yourself to pop one in your mouth while still warm. Call this “testing the recipe”.
Rachel added this thought at the bottom of her letter : “The recipe says that these cookies will keep for a week, but I find that they get stale after a few days, so I eat them quickly.”
Like I said, my friend is one smart cookie!