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Like every recipe, including the very simplest, this one has gone through a number of permutations. This variation includes espresso powder; it gives the chocolate flavor a boost while adding the merest aromatic hint of itself. (For a mocha crinkle, increase the espresso powder to 1 tablespoon or more, to taste.)
1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups (7 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
confectioners' sugar* (for coating)
Note: For a peppermint twist, substitute 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil for the vanilla.
*We often call for our glazing sugar to be substituted for confectioners' sugar, as it's a "purer" sugar: it doesn't include cornstarch. However, in this case, go with confectioners' sugar; the cornstarch keeps the sugar from melting atop the cookies as they bake.
Dough: Place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, and heat or microwave till the butter melts. Remove it from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, vanilla and espresso powder. Stir in the chocolate mixture, baking powder and salt, then the flour. Chill the dough for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight; it'll firm up considerably.
Shaping: Put about a cup of confectioners' sugar into a shallow bowl. Using a teaspoon-sized cookie scoop, a spoon, or your fingers, scoop out heaping teaspoon-sized portions of the dough; they should be roughly 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Drop the dough balls into the confectioners' sugar as you go. Once about five or six are in the bowl, shake and toss the bowl to coat the balls with the sugar. (If you try to do this with too many balls at a time, they'll just stick together.)
Baking: Place the coated dough balls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between them. Bake the cookies in a preheated 325°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, switching the position of the pans (top to bottom, and front to back) midway through the baking time. As the cookies bake, they'll flatten out and acquire their distinctive "streaked" appearance. Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
Yield: about 5 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies.
Nutrition information per serving (2 cookies, 28g): 113 cal, 6g fat, 2g protein, 5g complex carbohydrates, 8g sugar, 30mg cholesterol, 33mg sodium, 38mg potassium, 38RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 10mg calcium, 25mg phosphorus, 6mg caffeine.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 1, Holiday 2000 issue.