Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When Life Gives You Chocolate, Make Crackle Cookies

        The other day, I spent the night at my cousin Leah's. She's the greatest for many reasons, one of them being the fact that Leah is the only other baker my age I know. Consequently, she's the only person with whom I can discuss one of my life's greatest joys. We spent most of our time that night talking, laughing, and (of course!) baking. It was wonderful to have a baking partner for a change… I almost always have no choice but to fly solo. Even on those rare occasions when I'm able to force some unwilling individual to bake with me, it just isn't the same as having another baker by my side who revels in it every bit as much as I do.
        Now, before we did anything else the pair of us had to choose what to make. We took our time rifling through a few of her baking cookbooks… and finally settled on these teeny and delightful cookies.
Chocolate Crackle Cookies

        Preparing these cookie treats was all the more enjoyable with a second pair of hands, especially during the rolling process. The batter is first rolled into little balls, then the balls are rolled in both sugar and confectioner's sugar to achieve the beautiful appearance these cookies are famous for. The striking contrast of the powder white against the darkness of the chocolate in the cookie pleases the eye, just as the cocoa flavor and soft, chewy texture please the tastebuds. The cookies themselves reminded me a bit of brownies, which isn't a bad thing (gotta love brownies, people). Give 'em a try, I insist. They're super yummy.
A Chocolate Crackle with Cocoa Meringues
        We also made some fun cocoa meringues, the first either of us have ever attempted to make. Those were a different kind of experience. If you've ever made meringues before then you're probably already aware of the long cooking time. We hadn't, so… we weren't. We ended up staying up past midnight waiting for the meringues to finish their two-hour bake time in the oven. So much for the 10-minute's-work idea of meringues we both believed.
        I came home with about five or so new recipes-- tried-and-true favorites of Leah. I can't wait to try them out myself. Mocha shortbread wedges, individual chocolate souffles… 
        Sigh. Baking is great. Baking partners are great, too. 
        I ought to get one full time.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies
(Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies)
Print This Recipe
Yield: about 5 dozen

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Set aside and let cool. In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla, and then the melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide each piece into sixteen 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar to coat, then in confectioners' sugar to coat. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake until surfaces crack, about 14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cookies can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers between layers of parchment for up to 3 days.

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  1. These are so cute and sound delicious! Will be adding these to my holiday cookie list! :)

  2. These do look tasty, love the cracks and the dusting of sugar. Everyone loves brownies-so based on your description these have to be good. Thanks for sharing.

  3. These are such pretty cookies. Who can resist that lovely crackled look?

  4. You have two of our family favorites here... I'll the the crackles and my daughter will take the meringues!! Nicely done.

    I just found your blog (thank you for finding me on Foodbuzz!) and I'm hooked. I looked down the page and post after post after post caught my eye. Love it! Thanks!

  5. Mmmmm...wish I had one right now! I love crinkle cookies...well, any cookie for that matter! ;)

  6. Alida- They are cute, aren't they? I hope you enjoy them!

    Tina- I think a brownie lover will definitely take to these. Thanks for the nice comment!

    briarrose- I've always loved the look of crackle cookies, too. The white from the icing sugar just stands out so beautifully from the cracks.

    Kim- You made me smile. Thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate it! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.

    sweetpeaskitchen- I'd love another of these cookies, too… it's too bad the batch is by now completely eaten :)

  7. you are simply amazing! I love those cookies and your images are stellar!

  8. Man those crackle cookies look sooo good! Great post and pictures.

  9. I just made these cookies (I am eating my second cookie as I type this)... They are fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  10. That's wonderful! I'm so happy you're enjoying them. Thanks for letting me know-- I truly appreciate it!

  11. Amazing Nicole! Just.... amazing!!!!!!!! I am SO happy that I have an amazing sister who bakes the most delicious desserts(and dinners), every single week! You are the best Nicole! THANKS FOR BEING AWESOME

  12. You're welcome, Robert… Thank you for the very kind and enthusiastic comment ;)

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