December 5, 2018 10:45:20 AM
Rolled in powdered sugar before baking, chocolate crinkle cookies (often called earthquakes) feature chocolaty fissures that break through the bright white surface during baking. While striking in appearance, these cookies often fall short on taste.
Using a combination of cocoa powder and unsweetened bar chocolate rather than bittersweet chocolate (which contains sugar) certainly upped the intensity, and swapping brown sugar for the granulated created a complex sweetness.
At this point, the cookies had deep, rich flavor, but the exterior cracks were too few and too wide, and the cookies weren't spreading enough. Using a combination of baking soda and baking powder helped -- the bubbles produced by the leaveners rose to the surface and burst, leaving fissures -- but the cracks gapped.
We had been refrigerating this fluid dough overnight before portioning and baking the cookies, but the cold dough didn't begin to spread very much until after that dried exterior had formed, forcing the cracks to open wide. The solution was to bake the cookies after letting the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, which was just enough time for the dough to firm up to a scoopable consistency.
CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES
Start to finish: 1 hour
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Spread granulated sugar in shallow dish. Spread confectioners' sugar in second shallow dish. Working in batches, drop 2-tablespoon mounds of dough (or use #30 scoop) directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Transfer dough balls to confectioners' sugar and roll to coat; space dough balls evenly on prepared sheets, 11 per sheet.
Nutrition information per serving: 165 calories; 50 calories from fat; 6 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 35 mg cholesterol; 103 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 22 g sugar; 3 g protein.