Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

chocolate crinkle cookies

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Every Christmas, as the snow began to blanket our neighborhood, there was one tradition that I eagerly awaited more than any other: Mrs. Thompson’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Mrs. Thompson, a sprightly woman with a contagious laugh, lived two houses down from ours. She had been our neighbor for as long as I could remember and had watched me grow from a toddler playing in the snow to a teenager helping shovel her driveway.

Each year, a few days before Christmas, she would knock on our door, holding a plate piled high with her famous Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. These weren’t just any cookies. They were a delightful blend of rich chocolate, perfectly baked, with a snowy layer of confectioners’ sugar on top. They looked like miniature snow-capped mountains, with deep valleys of rich chocolate peeking through a pristine white blanket of sugar. Every bite was a perfect mix of fudgy chocolate goodness and a slight crunch from the sugar crust.

As years went by, these cookies became more than just a treat; they became a symbol of the holiday season, of warmth, love, and the joy of sharing. I remember cozy winter evenings, sitting by the fireplace with my family, sipping on hot cocoa, and savoring these cookies while listening to Mrs. Thompson’s stories from her younger days. She often spoke of her travels around the world, of the different cultures she had experienced, and the myriad of foods she had tasted. But she always mentioned that no matter where she went, she never found a cookie that could rival the Chocolate Crinkle.

Years later, during a solo trip to Europe, I found myself in a quaint little bakery in Belgium. Amidst an array of pastries and cookies, I spotted something familiar. A cookie that looked strikingly similar to Mrs. Thompson’s creation. Intrigued, I bought a few and took a bite. Instantly, a flood of memories washed over me. The taste, the texture, it was almost identical to the cookies from my childhood. That moment, in a bakery thousands of miles away from home, I felt a deep connection to my past, to those winter evenings, and to Mrs. Thompson’s infectious laughter.

Inspired by this serendipitous encounter, I decided to delve deeper into the world of these delightful cookies. I wanted to understand their origin, what made them so special, and how to recreate that magic. And today, I’m excited to share my findings and a special recipe with all of you.

What makes cookies crinkle?

Crinkles in cookies are a result of the contrast between the outer layer of the cookie and its inner dough. As the cookie bakes, the outer layer sets first, forming a sort of ‘shell’. As the inner dough continues to expand, it pushes against this shell, causing it to crack and create the characteristic crinkles. The generous coating of confectioners’ sugar on Chocolate Crinkle Cookies further accentuates these crinkles, making them stand out beautifully against the dark chocolate background.

Why do crinkles not crack?

While the crinkles give the appearance of cracks, they don’t actually compromise the integrity of the cookie. This is because the crinkles are formed by the controlled expansion of the cookie dough during baking. The outer layer, which sets quickly, provides enough flexibility to allow for the inner dough’s expansion without causing the cookie to fall apart. This results in a cookie that’s not only visually appealing but also retains its structural integrity and delightful texture.

Is crinkles made of chocolate?

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, as the name suggests, are indeed made of chocolate. The primary flavor comes from unsweetened cocoa powder, which gives the cookies their rich, fudgy taste. Combined with other ingredients like sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil, the cocoa powder ensures that every bite of a Chocolate Crinkle Cookie is a delightful chocolatey experience.

Why are my chocolate crinkle cookies flat?

If your Chocolate Crinkle Cookies turn out flat, there could be a few reasons. Overmixing the dough can lead to flatter cookies as it can deflate the air incorporated during the mixing process. Additionally, if the dough isn’t chilled adequately before baking, it can spread too quickly in the oven, resulting in flatter cookies. Using expired or insufficient baking powder can also affect the rise of the cookies. To ensure perfectly crinkled cookies, always follow the recipe closely and make sure to chill the dough as instructed.

How to Store Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Proper storage is essential to maintain the freshness and flavor of Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature. This will keep them fresh for up to a week. After this period, they might begin to lose their moisture and become crumbly.

How to Freeze Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Freezing is a great option if you want to enjoy these cookies at a later date. For baked cookies, layer them with parchment paper in an airtight container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to three months. For unbaked dough, freeze the balls (without the sugar coating) on a sheet pan until solid. Then, transfer them to a container or bag for freezing. When ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge, coat with sugar, and bake, adding a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.

How to Prepare Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar, white
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, for coating

Step by Step Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, combine cocoa powder, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Blend well.
  3. Introduce eggs one by one, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
  5. Cover the dough and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours, preferably overnight.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Shape the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and generously coat each with confectioners’ sugar.
  8. Place the sugar-coated balls on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Once baked, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What causes the unique appearance of Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?

The unique crinkled appearance comes from the contrast between the confectioners’ sugar coating and the inner dough expanding during baking.

Can I enhance the flavor using dark cocoa powder?

Using dark cocoa powder enhances the chocolate flavor, though it may change the cookie’s final color and taste.

How long does the unbaked dough last in the fridge?

You can refrigerate the dough for up to 48 hours. Beyond that, it might lose some leavening power.

Is it possible to use butter instead of vegetable oil?

You can use butter for a richer flavor, but it might slightly change the cookies’ texture compared to using vegetable oil.

What causes cookies to crinkle less?

For better crinkling, ensure proper chilling of the dough and avoid overmixing, as these factors affect the crinkling effect.

Can I add extras like chocolate chips or nuts?

Feel free to add chocolate chips or nuts for extra flavor and texture. Adjust the quantity to suit your taste.

How do I tell when the cookies are perfectly baked?

The cookies are ready when they look cracked, feel firm to the touch but remain soft in the center.

Can I make these cookies with a gluten-free recipe?

To make these cookies gluten-free, replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Also, check other ingredients for gluten.

chocolate crinkle cookies

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

From ingredients to baking tips, our Chocolate Crinkle Cookies guide has it all. Achieve bakery-level perfection at home!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 32 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cups white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer) beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and vegetable oil.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla and beat in thoroughly.
  • On low speed, mix reserved dry ingredients into cocoa, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not overbeat.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for four hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place the confectioner's sugar in a shallow bowl or glass pie plate.
  • Scoop out a rounded teaspoon of the chilled dough and using your hands roll them into an approximately 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls.
  • Roll the balls in the confectioner's sugar and place on the cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. (Mine took 12 minutes)
  • Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for a minute or two on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

TIPS
- In between scooping the dough on to the cookie sheet, keep the mixture chilled.
- I used a small 3.5 cm diameter scoop to help form the cookies, but a teaspoon would work too.
- You may be tempted to dampen the scoop, but don't. I have tried it before and it muddles the "crinkle factor"! The chocolate and white colours won't be as distinct.
- I use this SEQUENCE to make the cookies: Scoop enough for one pan - roll these into balls - wash and dry your hands and then roll dough balls in icing sugar - bake.
Keyword Chocolate

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