Thursday, January 8, 2009



Rachel always seems to be baking cookies; almond crescents, almond or gingerbread frosted cut outs, jam thumbprints, English toffee bars, magic bars, lemon curd sandwich cookies. And that was only for Christmas.

Rachel is a very special friend of mine who lives in a very cold, snowbound state in the northern US. Perfect for hanging out in the kitchen, basking in the warmth of an oven and surrounded by the scent of baking cookies. All winter long.

I have been dreaming of making Chocolate Crinkle Cookies for ages. Don’t ask me why, it is just one of those things. Every time I see a photo of Chocolate Crinkles in a cookbook or magazine, usually around holiday time, I get the yen. So when Rachel mentioned her attempt to make them – though she didn’t thanks to the lack of the right ingredients and a snowed-in car, I jumped at the chance!

I asked and she sent me her recipe – but credit where credit is due, she originally got the recipe from her mom. I was so excited. I imagined these to be like bites of rich, gooey, chocolaty brownies with the added plus of being wrapped in a blanket of powdered sugar – two of Simon’s favorite things, in fact. And Clem will eat anything chocolate, so I couldn’t do better.

The cookies turned out to be a breeze to put together and just beautiful to look at warm from the oven. I did let them cool before biting through the crackly, sugary outside and sinking my teeth into the tender, brownie-like center. Dreamy!

Rachel, between designing and hand-making delicate jewelry and beautiful greeting and holiday cards, has given me a taste of her cookie-making magic. Thanks Rachel (and thanks Rachel’s mom). She is truly One Smart and Talented Cookie!


3 eggs
1 ½ cups (300 g) sugar
4 oz (120 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted
½ cup (120 ml) cooking/vegetable oil
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups (200 g) flour
Sifted powdered sugar and granulated sugar for rolling *

* Rachel rolls her cookies twice in powdered sugar. My friend Johey told me that she recently heard an interview with food scientist Shirley Corriher on NPR, who suggested that rolling the cookies first in granulated sugar helps keep the powdered sugar from soaking into the chocolate dough, thus keeping them crispier – and whiter - on the outside and chewier on the inside. So I tried it this way.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar with an electric mixer until thick.

Add the melted chocolate, oil, baking powder and vanilla. Continue beating until combined well.

Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the electric mixer

and then stir in the rest using a wooden spoon just until incorporated.

Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until firm enough to handle.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball first in the granulated sugar until coated then in the powdered sugar until coated thickly and evenly.

Place sugar-coated balls on an ungreased cookie sheet spacing them an inch apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes (mine all cooked for 10 minutes, though I did end up rolling out balls that were a bit bigger than 1-inch). The cookies will have spread out and puffed, the top will be cracked. They may look wet inside, but don’t forget that they continue to cook for a bit even after removing them from the oven. It is better to underbake these cookies so the center remains a bit gooey and the cookie is chewy. They get crunchy if overbaked.

Using a spatula, very carefully lift the cookies off the baking sheets as soon as they are out of the oven, transferring them delicately to cooling racks. Let them cool completely. If you have absolutely no self-control, allow yourself to pop one in your mouth while still warm. Call this “testing the recipe”.

Rachel added this thought at the bottom of her letter : “The recipe says that these cookies will keep for a week, but I find that they get stale after a few days, so I eat them quickly.”

Like I said, my friend is one smart cookie!


Maureen said...

Yum! I am true chocoholic - I wish your friend Rachel would send me some of those... ;)

Anonymous said...

Now I know both you and Rachel. I know both of you to be intelligent, talented people. I also know you're honest, kind and forthright. In this case, however, I'm not willing to take your word for the wonders of these cookies. I will be checking my mailbox daily for a taste test. :)


P.S. Great blog! I may have to start cooking again. Send cookies anyway.

noble pig said...

These are so, so beautiful...I'm thinking Valentine's Day!

Rachel said...

I am flattered. Jamie is the smartest cookie though.

I had not ever thought to use the regular sugar for the first roll of the cookies and the powdered for the second, but I will do it that way myself next time.

I always think to make these cookies at the Holidays, but I think they could easily be all year cookies.

My first memory of making these myself was when I was a child (8?) I made these with our nanny and we didn't check to make sure we had all the ingredients first, we had no regular vegetable oil so we used peanut oil (which doesn't usually have a lot of peanut flavor)and it worked wonderfully but did give the cookies a peanutty flavor.

I love to read about and see the pictures of all of the wonderful food Jamie is making. She is so inspiring.

Maureen and Connie next time I make them I will try to remember to stick some in the mail for you. This recipe really is quick and simple so if you wanna try them before then give it a shot making them yourselves.

Anonymous said...

This is Rachel's Mom, and I want to say that the idea of rolling these first in granulated sugar is a great one! This recipe originally came from one of those recipe books you write away for from the back of a package-- in this case, Mazola Corn Oil. I wrote for the cookbook (which I still have) nearly half a century ago when I was nine or ten. It had three recipes that I still use, including butterscotch brownies. Nice to have cookie recipes that call for oil instead of butter-- I always have it and it's less expensive.

Bunny said...

I've never made these but want to, maybe this weekend for the guys here watdhing football!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look perfect and ever so delicious! Wonderful cookies!



Maryann said...

These are wonderful! I'm going to go take a look around your blog now :)

Anonymous said...

Like the kitchen Jezebel that I am, I am just sweeping through for a dose of drooling and baking guilt! :)

we are never full said...

well don't you know i was looking at these cookies on another blog before christmas and noted that i HAD to have them soon. thanks for the reminder... but i still need a detox from the holidays first!!

Bobbi said...

Deux fois et maintenant je suis ici et je suis toujours le foie haché! Mais je sais que vous m'aimez de toute façon! Maintenant, je suis obligé de faire ces cookies!

mamadance said...

Hi Jamie! I made these cookies tonight and I love them. Thanks for the recipe. Bye, I must go pop the next batch in the oven right now. See you, Erin

cooknkate said...

I grew up eating these cookies and love them so much. It's so great to see their appreciation all over the blogosphere!


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