You know how it’s the sign of a hopelessly dead-end conversation when you need to bring up the weather? I’m a little worried at my consistent desire to bring weather up in my blog posts. So maybe I should avoid mentioning how I chose this recipe this morning… Because I was thinking about snow.
If I were going to potentially up the dead-ended-ness of my blog, I would clarify that I do not mean that I want a crazy Midwestern snowstorm to dump itself cruelly upon us in Milwaukee. But my family in Pittsburgh got snow last week and one of my best friends in Salt Lake City called me this weekend while she was watching snow fall outside of her house. And between these two things I got a little jealous. My friend even got a long list of everything I’d give myself guilt-free permission to do, were it snowing here. These included make hot chocolate, watch TV under a big blanket, eat caramel popcorn, and not leave the apartment.
Well, I’m not a weather god, so I can’t invoke a pretty dusting of snow that magically does not bring with it black ice, grey slush, and negative wind chill. But I can dust some super-chocolatey cookies with a generous heap of powdered sugar. And this cookie looks just as pretty as snow, and tastes much better when you eat it.
These are messy both to make and devour, but are worth the effort (and the wait as the dough chills in the refrigerator). Melted bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder combined with brown sugar make a chewy, fudgy, brownie-like cookie that will leave your hands, shirt, and work surface covered with soft white sugar smudges.
Messy though they are, they do not require you to bundle up in layers and puffy coats to traverse the bitter cold. So it’s cool, Milwaukee, you keep on holding off on the snow for now. I’ll just be here enjoying my cookies, pretending it’s snowing so that I can spend my Sunday drinking hot chocolate and watching TV under a blanket.
Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies
Makes about 50 cookies
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (about 2 cups Ghirardelli chocolate chips)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
1 cup powdered sugar, for rolling
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Combine brown sugar and butter together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add melted chocolate and combine. Add flour mixture in two additions, alternating with milk. Dough will be thick and sticky when finished. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put granulated sugar and powdered sugar in two separate bowls. Remove dough from refrigerator and use a small ice cream scoop to scoop dough into balls of 1-inch diameter. Roll balls in your palms to smooth, then roll in granulated sugar, then powdered sugar. Rolling in granulated sugar helps the powdered sugar stick to the dough and stay intact. Cover the balls completely and very thickly in powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet; they will spread.
Bake for 14 minutes until cracked and slightly puffy. Remove and allow to cool. Keeps for 3-5 days in an airtight container.
Slowing down…Hello there! A quick note: The blog has slowed down while the author is in grad school--but it hasn't been forgotten, fear not! Posts just won't be every single week anymore. Thanks for stopping by!
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