Cookie Season 2016: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Seven years ago, I made these really awesome chocolate crinkle cookies for Cookie Season 2009.  Remember how I said that this blog was meant to be a repository of recipes that I can refer back to on the interwebs, so I can access recipes I loved so long as I had access to a mobile device or computer and had wifi?  Well, it’s too bad I can’t go back to 7 years ago and remind myself of this because when I blogged about them, I was too lazy and thought that linking back to the original recipe was enough.  Well my laziness has bitten me in the arse because the blog that the recipe came from is no longer, and I threw away the printed recipe, thinking that I would always have the blog to refer back to.

royfacepalm
I love The IT Crowd.  If you haven’t heard of it, Google it.  But don’t type “Google” into Google.  You might break the internet.

Apparently, the Internet is only forever as long as you don’t delete your blog and people copy or re-post your content like mad.  Anyway, I don’t remember anything about the recipe except that the cookies were amazing and they looked like this:

Cookie Baking Season 2009

The recipe came from a blog called “What Geeks Eat” — http://www.whatgeekseat.com/, to be specific, not to be confused with other blogs of the same title.  Clicking on it will result in some empty, ugly yellowish/beige-ish page that says some kind of nonsense about server maintenance that doesn’t really mean anything.

I know chocolate crinkles are very common and there are literally thousands of recipes out there for them just like the ubiquitous chocolate chip cookie, because this cookie is a classic, and so on, but not all cookies are made equal.  I will not settle for just any recipe, because I am trying to recreate the experience I had the first time.  The Betty Crocker recipe I tried for these did not live up to my expectations the first time I tried making them, which is what pushed me to find the What Geeks Eat recipe in the first place.  Where did you go, What Geeks Eat?  I need you!  😦

Because the WGE recipe is lost to me forever (or for the foreseeable future until I might bump into it again on the internet), I had to search for a new recipe and decided to give the Cook’s Illustrated recipe a shot.  It stood out because it’s one of the few I’ve come across that includes melted chocolate and butter (a lot of the recipes out there use veg oil, which I don’t quite understand because a cookie recipe without butter is just…meh!).  Mmmm…MELTED CHOCOLAAAATTTTE…BUTTERRRR…mmmm.  And also espresso powder.  Espresso does magical things to the flavor of chocolate.  And so I gave it a go.

Behold, the glory of CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES 2016!!!

20161220_144113

20161220_135933

I do not need words to describe just how wonderful these cookies are.  The pictures speak for themselves.

And with no further adieu, here is the recipe — recorded here for posterity because I am not going to risk losing it again!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

  • 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 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (I used silpat). Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in bowl and set aside.

Whisk brown sugar, eggs, espresso powder (if using), and vanilla together in large bowl.

Place chopped chocolate and butter in a medium metal bowl.  Heat about 1 inch of water in a saucepan until simmering and place bowl on top of saucepan, stirring until the mixture is completely melted.

Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined. Fold in flour mixture until no dry streaks remain.  Chill dough, covered, for at least an hour or overnight.

Remove dough from fridge.  Place granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar in separate shallow dishes.  Using a teaspoon to measure out approximately 1 1/2 tbsp of dough, roll into balls. Drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Transfer dough balls to confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat evenly. Evenly space dough balls on prepared sheets (12 per sheet).

Bake cookies until puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), about 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before removing and placing on cooling rack to cool completely.

I say “adapted” above because I made a few tweaks, both to the ingredients and technique — I reduced the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup (and used light brown sugar because it’s all I had) and I chilled the dough overnight (though at least an hour is probably sufficient).  The reason for these adjustments is because I wanted puffier cookies than the ones in the picture included with the original recipe.  Reducing the amount of sugar in a cookie recipe and chilling the dough are two ways you can make your cookies puffier if you prefer them puffy.  Allrecipes.com has a very useful article on what adjustments you need to make to achieve your “perfect” cookie, and it’s worth checking out!  I also changed the way I melted the chocolate because I never use the microwave for melting chocolate.  I just prefer to use the bain marie method I describe above.  It takes longer but reduces the risk of overheating the chocolate.  Also, since I wanted smaller cookies, I ditched the cookie scoop and used a teaspoon to measure out smaller amounts of dough.

The cookies were brownie-like, dense and moist.  And so deeply chocolatey, with the chocolate flavor enhanced by the espresso powder.  Chocolate + Espresso Powder = Pure Dark Magic.  The granulated sugar coating under the powdered provides a hint of crisp as you bite into the cookie, and also helps the powdered sugar adhere better and not melt while baking.  I took these to an office holiday party and my co-workers were absolutely addicted!

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