"I am still convinced that a good, simple, homemade cookie is preferable to all the store-bought cookies one can find." James Beard
James Beard had this one right. There is nothing better than homemade cookies. And in this, the season of cookie over-load, is the best time to hit that sentiment home. I hope you will take some time this busy season and make a cookie (or two or three) from scratch. I have shared a couple easy holiday cookie ideas with you already here and here. I also provided links to find some of my favorite cookie recipes on the net here . Today, however, I will share another family favorite that I have played with over the years. It is a soft, chewy , delicious chocolate cookie that you can take and transform into three different cookies. One dough, 3 cookies..... "that's a good thing," to quote Martha (yes, that Martha). You may want to double the recipe so you have more than enough to try all three variations. Get out your mixer. preheat you oven, and let's tackle the basic dough and 1st variation. (I apologize in advance for not including more photos, just got so wrapped up in making them, I completely forgot to take photos along the way)!
Chewy Cocoa Crinkles
10 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour*
2 Tablespoons fine quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder **
1/8 teaspoon instant esporesso powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for dipping
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Colored sprinkles or non-pareils of your choice
* as with other recipes I have had good success using Bob Reds Mill 1 to 1 baking flour in place of all-purpose if you want Gluten Free cookies
** if you live at 5,000 feet altitude like I do, reduce the baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In microwave-safe bowl or in a bowl over a bain marie (double boiler) place chopped chocolate. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat (or microwave) and set aside.
3. Sift together, flour baking powder, espresso powder and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer place butter and sugars. Beat on medium-low speed to combine. for several minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl, as needed.
5. Reduce the mixer to low and add in the eggs and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-low and continue to mix until well combined.
6. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add in cooled chocolate. Combine well.
7. Stir in flour mixture in 2 or 3 additions until just combined. DO NOT over-mix.
8. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Chill dough for about 30 minutes to firm up slightly. If the dough is already more thick than runny, you can skip this step. You can tell if it's ready if you form a ball and it retains its shape.
9. Scoop out rounds of dough using an ice cream scoop. I favor the Piazza number 40, but a similar scoop about 1 3/4 inches in diameter will work fine.
10. Dip the flat bottom of the dough into granulated sugar. Dip the mound part in sprinkles of your choice. I used holiday colored non-pareils. I alter the colors based on the holiday, occasion or time of year. Place sprinkle side up on prepared baking sheet, about 2 " apart. Pat down on the dough ball slightly (if dough was refrigerated for a long time,. you may have to pat down by half. Experiment with one or two before baking a whole sheet.
11. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until done. DO NOT over-bake. Cookies will puff up slightly and then flatten out and crinkle if you rap baking tray on counter. Center should not look raw anywhere. This may takes some trial and error as chocolate cookies can be a little tricky. But I find by 10 minutes tops, if your oven is accurate, they should be done. Once they cool they will be firm but soft in the center.
12. Remove tray from oven and let cool completely. They store great in the freezer, if they last that long.