I Love Chocolate

by Stephanie Zonis


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).

Once 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!


1 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
1/2 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


In small cup, dissolve coffee in hot water; set aside to cool. Place chopped chocolate in small bowl. Set bowl over simmering 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.

In 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.

Turn 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.

About 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).

Use 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.

Bake 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 semi-firm. Do not overbake!

Allow 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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This page created November 2000