Crackle-Top Chocolate Cookies
About 2-1/2 dozen cookies
These used to be a popular cookie, but they've fallen out of fashion.
That's too bad, because they're not hard to make, they look festive,
and they'll keep for a couple of days at room temperature if stored
airtight; they also freeze perfectly. In addition to all of their
other positive attributes, they have a nice chocolate flavor, accented
here with some coffee and miniature chocolate chips (of course,
the coffee and/or chips can be omitted, if you wish).
the dough is made, it must chill for at least 2 hours, but it will
also sit happily in the fridge overnight (tightly covered, please).
I make these by hand, with a large spoon, but you can also make
them with a hand-held electric mixer. A nonstick, broad-bladed metal
spatula and nonstick cooling racks are nice to have when removing
these cookies from the baking sheet and while they cool, but neither
is a necessity. These are fun cookies to watch as they bake, if
your oven has a window!
tsp. instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp. hot water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup tasteless vegetable oil (I use corn oil)
2 eggs, graded "large"
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
About 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
small cup, dissolve coffee in hot water; set aside to cool. Place
chopped chocolate in small bowl. Set bowl over simering water on
low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until
chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water;
set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. Into a separate small
bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
medium bowl, combine sugars, pressing out any lumps in brown sugar
with back of a spoon (a few small lumps remaining is OK). Add oil
and stir until mixed; mixture will resemble wet sand. Beat in eggs
and dissolved coffee until well-mixed. Stir in chocolate, which
should still be slightly warm. Add sifted dry ingredients and stir
until almost combined; stir in miniature chocolate chips just until
evenly distributed. Dough will be soft.
into a small bowl. Chill at least 2 hours (or overnight), covering
tightly when cold. While dough chills, adjust rack to center of
oven. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil, shiny side up.
15 minutes before you want to bake the cookies, preheat the oven
to 350 degrees F. Place confectioners' sugar in a small bowl near
cookie sheets (it's not necessary to sift the confectioners' sugar,
but if it is lumpy you'll want to break up the lumps with the back
of a spoon).
a very well-rounded teaspoon (not a measuring teaspoon) of chilled
dough for each cookie. Pick up the dough with one teaspoon; with
another (or with a spatula) push it off directly into the confectioners'
sugar. Keeping your hands lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar,
roll each portion of dough into a ball, making sure to coat the
balls heavily with confectioners' sugar (the finished cookies will
look more attractive if the confectioners' sugar coating is a heavy
one). Place each well-sugared ball onto a lined cookie sheet, leaving
room to spread between cookies (I place 12 cookies on a 15-1/2 by
10-1/2 inch sheet; these will spread considerably as they bake).
As the cookies stand on the sheet as others are being formed, they
may begin to absorb their confectioners' sugar coating--OK, just
re-sugar them before baking.
one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 8 to 11 minutes,
depending upon the size of your cookies. Turn sheet back-to-front
once about halfway during baking. As cookies bake, they confectioners'
sugar coating will split into small sections on top, and the cookies
will spread out and puff up. When done, the tops will still be only
semifirm. Do not overbake!
baked cookies to stand on cookie sheet about 30 seconds (they'll
begin to flatten out during this time). Remove to cooling rack with
broad-bladed metal spatula. Cool completely before storing airtight
at room temperature or freezing.
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