‘Tis the season for sweets of all kinds. I feel like it’s impossible to go anywhere without someone offering to load you up with sugar. The worst part for me is that I’ve got the terrible combination of killer sweet tooth + low willpower, so if there is a plate of cookies left up in the break room at work, I’m the one taking one or two…and then sneaking back for a third. It’s a terrible habit. Most of the time, I battle this lack of self-control by just not letting myself have the things, and by not having them in the house to tempt me. It’s the only way sweets and I can coexist and not leave me with a Santa-style “bowl full of jelly” from overeating. But sometimes…you give in, and you CREATE the thing that is your greatest temptation.
We recently went to a potluck party with my college friends, and since our little group was showing up late, I offered to bring some desserts. And since I was feeling sort of lazy, and it’s close to Christmas, that meant cookies. Cookies are the best thing to make because there is a built-in break in the total cooking time while the baking happens, and also, they’re individually-portioned already if you don’t take more than say, three. So I made a batch of plain snickerdoodles (which – I could share the recipe here if you’re interested, but really, this would become a snickerdoodle blog without too much effort), and a batch of my favorite cookie I’d never made before – chocolate crinkles.
I wish someone could explain the history of crinkle cookies to me. Which clever soul figured out that if you dipped a specific kind of chocolate cookie dough in powdered sugar and let it bake, that the cookie would “crack” and create beautiful beautiful patterns that remind one of snow? Was this a modern thing – and if so, how modern? From the 80s? 60s? Is this someone’s great-grandma’s recipe from the 1920s? In any case, they are a modern cookie classic, and I feel like it’s hard to mess them up. They look SO GOOD. And they’re also soft and tender, even after nearly a week (stored in an air-tight container). Plus, if you’ve got a dark-chocolate-lover in your life (like the Boy), these are a perfect mini-treat. The chocolate taste is strong and dark – nearly bitter – but the addition of the light powdered sugar balances that out. So good. Plus: no nuts of any kind, which makes it safe for sending with the girls to school.
Basically, they’re awesome. If you’re looking for another cookie to add to your holiday baking rotation, this is definitely one to consider. The only thing I would recommend is planning ahead to make them – the dough needs at least 4 hours (!!!) in the fridge to cool/solidify, and it’s time well spent based on how mine turned out. Perhaps the smart thing to do is make this dough at the same time as another, and pop it in the fridge overnight so you can bake one set of cookies one night, and make these the next? Whatever you do, if you make them too, let me know how much you love them. Because I know you won’t be able to resist them either.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on your scoop (I used a tablespoon)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper [Note: I used a silicon baking mat, and they turned out just fine]. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.
Store cookies in an airtight container, where they will keep for at least a week, perhaps longer.