Saturday, August 8, 2009
Chocolate Crackle Cookies: It Don't Matter if You're Black or White
Ever since I won a Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook from a bake-off, I've been slowly baking my way through the recipes. A tough job, I know, but somebody's gotta do it. I've made chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies, a variation on her lemon bars, and rocky ledge bars, which deserve a post of their own. One of the prettiest of the cookies I've tried, though, are these chocolate crackle cookies. Sure, mine spread a little more than the picture, but don't you just love how the black and white play off each other so nicely? It's enough to make Michael Jackson proud.
All random Michael Jackson references aside, these are lovely cookies, and also soft, and chewy, and chocolaty, and I will make them again. Just as a tip, if you roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar before the confectioners' sugar it will help keep the latter nice and snowy white. Also, this recipe calls for Dutch-process (alkalized) cocoa powder which is milder and more soluble than regular. I used Saco premium cocoa which is a combination of both types of cocoa because it's what I could find in the store, and it worked just fine.
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring frequently. Set aside and let cool. Whist together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
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 the 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.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 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.
Bake until surfaces crack, about 14 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.