Today I have a fairly important test in one of my classes, which means that since I should have been studying last night, I instead decided to bake (of course). Baking is my number one procrastination technique, and the only activity that can cheer me up on even the worst of days.
Chocolate is a staple in our household. The more chocolate, the better. So I was flipping through my shiny new baking cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, and came across her recipe for Midnight Crackle cookies. Dark chocolate, butter, brown sugar – what more could a girl ask for? I was intrigued by her description of the crackly tops and rich center, and since there was no picture to reference I decided I just had to see for myself.
I made some slight changes to the recipe. I had no cloves on hand so I used a little bit more cinnamon, and I baked them for 9 minutes instead of the 10-12 she recommended. I find my oven to run a little hotter than what is indicated, and I prefer my cookies under-cooked rather than over. I do not have a silicone mat or parchment paper, so I just sprayed the sheets with Pam and the cookies came off beautifully. I found the finished product to be delicious and crisp on the outside, with a moist and chocolatey center. I love them!
The dough was a little difficult to work with at the beginning since there is so much chocolate and the mess got EVERYWHERE while I was rolling them out. But all the work was worth it! The recipe made about 45 cookies for me, each one looking perfect.
Dorie’s Midnight Crackle Cookies
* 10 tablespoons butter, cut into 10 pieces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
* 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
* 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (which I omitted)
* 2 large eggs
- Put the butter, sugar and chocolate in that order into a 2 quart saucepan. Put the pan over low heat and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until they are melted and smooth. Scrape everything into the bowl of a mixer or into a large bowl.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
- Working with a mixer with a paddle attachment, if you have one, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the eggs are well blended into the chocolate. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough is smooth and shiny; it will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days. (If the dough is solid, leave it on the counter for 30 minutes before proceeding.).
- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form firm, shiny balls. (If the dough breaks as you work, squeeze and knead it a bit, then reroll it between your palms.) Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and lightly press each one down a bit with your fingertips.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be delicately firm and crackled across the top. (It’s better to under- than over bake.) Remove the sheets from the oven, let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes, then, using a wide metal spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a rack; cool to room temperature.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches. (mine only took two sheets to use up all the dough
The results are incredible and so, so delicious. These cookies look very professional but are super simple to make, and I loved the short cooking time since even the dough smelt delicious. Enjoy!