Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday afternoon baking- Classic Crinkle Cookies

You all know how I love alliteration. Classic Crinkle Cookies- how can I resist? This is my attempt at the Betty Crocker original, and no, these weren't made at Christmas time in my childhood, I wonder if I was missing out? These chocolate cookies are rolled in powdered sugar, and as they bake they expand, creating a web of cracks that show the dark chocolate center from underneath the powdered coating. The ingredient list is simple, all things I ordinarily stock for baking projects, and while they do take a while to make (up to 4 hours total) most of that time is for the batter to chill, the active prep time is actually quite short, and the preparation itself is simple. Since they require so long to chill in the fridge, I chose to make the batter in the morning and bake them in the late afternoon. In between, a trip to the Children's Museum with some friends seemed like a perfect diversion.

Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes 20-24 cookies
*Note- if you use dark chocolate that does not contain milk ingredients, this is a dairy-free recipe
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 oz Dark Chocolate or Baking Chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

The original recipe claimed to make 6 dozen cookies. This struck me as REALLY A LOT OF COOKIES. So, I got Brian, my math savvy roommate, to help me convert this recipe to a smaller yield. Though I have to say, tasting them now that they are done, I have no doubts 6 dozen would disappear quickly. Also, I once again had trouble doing the math to figure out how many squares of chocolate to use- I usually buy the pound-plus chocolate bars from Trader Joe's and store the left over in the freezer for my next baking project/midnight sugar craving. But, it all turned out. If your planning on using the Dark Chocolate pound-plus chocolate from Trader Joe's, let me save you some time and math: 4.5 squares was sufficient for this recipe.

All of the ingredients in this recipe were basics I usually keep in stock in the house.

1. Melt the chocolate.Start by chopping the chocolate into small pieces. put those pieces in a metal bowl, and set the metal bowl inside a pan with a few inches of water simmering on the stove. stir until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla extract and chocolate, stir together and then add in the egg and remaining ingredients besides the powdered sugar. Stir until blended evenly, then cover the bowl with saran wrap or wax paper and set in the fridge to chill.

3. Allow 3-4 hours for batter to chill in the fridge.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Pour powdered sugar into a shallow dish. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (alternately, you can use butter or non-stick spray on a cookie sheet) 

5.Roll batter into 1 Tablespoon sized balls, then roll in the powdered sugar, coating generously. lay out on your baking sheet leaving sufficient room for cookies to expand.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

These fudgey, rich cookies are easy to make, and will definitely draw attention when you bring them out as an afternoon pick-me-up, or on a cookie plate at a dinner party. They are simple, dairy-free, and bound to be a crowd-pleaser! Also, can I remind you, they have that sweet alliteration going for them.