Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Easy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These cookies are so easy, you should smudge your face with a little flour before you serve them so your friends and family will think you've been working really hard all afternoon. (Remember those old '80s Rice Krispies commercials where the mom tosses flour on her self because her family was too stupid to know that Rice Krispie treats are ridiculously easy to make and she figured manipulation is a good a way as any to have fun and get attention?) These cookies are great for dunking in milk and are also good for breakfast!

Remember: Always use the finest ingredients you can afford. It makes all the difference in the world.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
(Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's "Essentials of Baking")

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs (room temperature)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract (splurge on Nielsen-Massey or Penzey's brand ("Double Strength" if you can find it.)
1-1/2 cups (9 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Melt the butter and chocolate on top of a double boiler, over simmering water, and stir often. Remove and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients — flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla and beat 2 -3 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture until blended. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. The dough will be very stiff! Mix in the chocolate chips.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 325F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (This keeps cookies from sticking to the pan or overbaking on the bottom. It also makes for easy cleanup.) Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl.

Roll a rounded tablespoon of dough between your palms into a 1 inch ball (don't make them any bigger unless you want GIANT COOKIES), and roll it in the powdered sugar. Place the cookies about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the tops are puffed and crinkled and feel firm when lightly touched, about 13-17 mins. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

These cookies will stay fresh for up to three days when kept in a sealed, airtight container and stored in a cool place.

Today's post is courtesy of my daughter Annie, who is in the middle of a baking marathon. I can only hope she is gearing up for St. Lucia's Day (December 13), the beginning of the Christmas season for Swedes. I'm counting on freshly baked Lussekatter.

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