Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Peppermint Chip Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Because you just have to make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies this Christmas, I'm posting my best, most favourite, easiest and most fudgy recipe ever!

I have had dry awful chocolate crinkles and it makes me want to cry.

Don't be the person to do that. Get rid of all your past crinkle cookie recipes and get with this one!

Few ingredients, easily double- or triple-batchable and made in minutes with a bowl and a whisk. 

You will cherish this recipe.

These cookies have an almost brownie-like texture. They're like biting through a fudgy chocolate truffle if you bake them for 8 minutes and then like a tender soft cookie if you bake them the full 10 or even up to 12 minutes. This is all about your preference but holy heck, do I ever like them fudgy through and through!

What's so special about these particular crinkles aside from their ultimate fudge factor? They're hiding pools of peppermint white chocolate!

If you find peppermint chips then that's great, but I make my own.

Just melt down 3 oz of really good quality white chocolate (Lindt is my favourite) and stir in 1/4 tsp of pure peppermint extract. Spread it out on a piece of parchment paper and then refrigerate until it sets up again. Then chop it up into little bits.

The nice part about making your own chocolate bits instead of using store-bought "chips" is that they will melt better, especially if you use couverture chocolate. Couverture is the special high quality chocolate that confectioners and chocolatiers use for coating, enrobing and dipping when making candy. It has a high cocoa butter content which makes it very fluid when melted for smooth, thin coatings. Its wonderful melting quality means that it leaves these luscious pools of melted chocolate in the cookies instead of chalky sugary studs.

Now, there are a few tricks to getting those crinkles nicely defined.

How to get perfect crinkles on your crinkle cookies:

1) Chill the dough thoroughly. The longer you chill the dough the cracklier the cookies will be because this gives time for the flour to hydrate and there will be less surface moisture on the dough. A dry surface means more cracks.

2) Roll first in granulated sugar then in icing sugar. Granulated sugar will help to bind moisture at the surface of the dough to keep it dry and help with cracking. Icing sugar alone will readily dissolve with the moisture of the cookie dough so that it just melts away during baking, but the initial coating of granulated sugar will help it to adhere better without dissolving instantly.

So, these may look like all the other chocolate crinkles being passed around so many holiday tables this season, but I promise they will stand out in flavour and texture!

Happy Happy Holidays!

Peppermint Chip Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
makes about 16 cookies

For the white chocolate chips:
3 oz (85g) white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract

For the cookie dough:
¾ cup (105g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (28g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking powder
1 large egg
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup (75g) butter, melted and cooled

For rolling:
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 cup (125g) icing sugar

To make the chocolate chips, melt the white chocolate gently in the microwave or over a double boiler until just melted. Try not to over heat it - I pull it off the heat when there are still a few unmelted pieces left and let the residual heat melt them down with stirring. Stir in peppermint extract and pour the chocolate over a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray or a dish. Refrigerate until set and then chop into little pieces.
To make the cookie dough, sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a medium bowl. Whisk to blend evenly and set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine egg, sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk vigorously until pale and thick. Whisk in melted butter. Stir in flour mixture gently until mostly combined and then fold in chopped white chocolate. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper.

Scoop heaped tablespoons of chilled dough and roll into smooth balls. Roll each ball first in granulated sugar and then in icing sugar so that they are well coated. Place balls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes until puffed and cracked. They should still be soft in the center when ready and will set upon cooling. Transfer tray to a wire rack to cool.

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