Fudgy Crackled Chocolate Cookies – just the name makes me smile.
As I bit into my first one, I realized these are the perfect marriage of a cookie and a brownie. Slightly crunchy on the outside, soft and incredibly fudgy on the inside, these cookies beg for a glass of milk. I didn’t eat this whole stack, but I could have – easily.
The recipe is from my blogging pal Miranda Couse of Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt. It’s in her new book, Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook: Simple Recipes for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, Christmas Treats and Other American Favorites. [Disclosure – I received a copy of Miranda’s book from her publisher for review purposes. I was not financially compensated for this post and the views expressed are entirely my own.]
The book is well laid out, with easy-to-read typeface and layout. I don’t mind struggling to read my “classic” cookbooks. However, it is a delight to use a new one that is so simple to follow.
I didn’t count the recipes in this book, but there are definitely enough to satisfy any cookie lover. (In the introduction, Miranda refers to “more than 150 recipes.”) As you might expect, there is plenty of variety. Miranda categorizes the cookies into 6 chapters: Favorite Drop Cookies; New Classics, Shortbread, Slice ‘n’ Bakes, and Cut-Out Cookies; Sandwich Cookies, Whoopie Pies, Thumbprints, and Macaroons; Christmas and other Holiday Cookies; and Brownies and Bars. I didn’t necessarily understand the theme of a couple of chapters. For example, what do sandwich cookies have in common with macaroons? However, that’s hardly a defect when it comes to a cookie book. Give me good recipes and I guarantee you that puzzling chapter titles won’t deter me in the least.
Each cookie recipe has a sweet and often informative introduction and a tip at the end. I love reading recipes when they have those personal touches. I’ll definitely be getting back into this book as the holidays draw near. If my kids were still home, I’d be pouring over the book with them even now, picking out which cookies we’ll make for holiday gifts and parties. As it is, I might just have to whip up some of Miranda’s cookies to send to them.
Notes about the Fudgy Crackled Chocolate Cookies:
- Miranda calls these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and puts them in the “New Classics” chapter.
- Her recipe does not specify whether the cocoa should be natural or Dutch-processed. I thought that Dutch-processed was always required when a recipe used baking powder, as this one does. Dutch-processed cocoa has gone through a solution that neutralizes the acids naturally found in cocoa. It is darker and smoother tasting than natural cocoa. It works with baking powder, which is also pH neutral, but not with baking soda, which is alkaline and counters the acid found in natural cocoa powder. Too much high school chemistry? Just remember. Cakes and cookies with all or primarily baking powder take Dutch-processed cocoa, while those with all or primarily baking soda take natural cocoa powder. At least that’s what Joy the Baker, Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and Sally’s Baking Addiction say. However, King Arthur begs to differ. That source says you can decide which type of cocoa to use when a recipe calls for all or mostly baking powder. I used Dutch-processed, because I’m with the majority. Still, if you use natural cocoa, you have a reputable source to back you up.
- The batter is a bit delicate to handle if you want to maintain a round shape. Except for that, it’s a great cookie recipe for baking with kids.
- In the recipe below, I have used Miranda’s instructions as written in the book. My suggestions and comments are in the notes.
Fudgy Crackled Chocolate Cookies
Slightly crispy and sugary on the outside, soft and fudgy on the inside, these cookies are perfect for holidays, a celebration, or simply because you want a chocolate fix.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1/2 stick)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar + more (1/3 cup) optional for rolling cookies
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, oil, and both sugars until light and creamy. this will take about 3 minute if using an electric mixer or 5 to 6 minutes if creaming by hand. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed or by hand until the dough comes together.
Put the confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl for rolling.
Using a medium (1 1/2-tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls, drop them into the confectioners' sugar, and roll to coat. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until the cookies are cracked on top.
Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
Tip: You can roll the cookie dough first in granulated sugar and then in the confectioners' sugar. This will help dry out the dough, giving your cookies even more of a cracked effect.
For a quarter sheet pan, leaving two-inches between the cookies (they do spread), you can fit about one dozen on the pan. I used three sheets, baking the first two together and the third separately.
See my note in the blogpost just above the recipe about the difference between Dutch-processed and natural cocoa and which to use in this recipe. I used Dutch-Processed.
If you don't have the proper size cookie scoop, use rounded tablespoonfuls.
I followed the tip and rolled the cookies in both granulated (first), followed by confectioners' sugar. I liked the effect that gave to the exterior of the cookies.
The batter is soft and easily dented while rolling. Handle it delicately if you want to maintain well-rounded cookies.