It might seem as if it’s cookie week here at Scratchin’ Central. In a way, it is. As we mentioned on Monday, we were the snack chefs for children attending Vacation Bible School. All kids like cookies, so we made up three kinds: the standard chocolate chip cookie, The Best Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies, and, these, Chocolate Crinkles. While these are from an old recipe, they might be new to you, so try them out.
This recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, presumably written by the staff at General Mills (sorry, Betty Crocker isn’t a real person), and we can tell it’s a fairly old tome by the price on the cover: $1.95. That doesn’t mean the recipes aren’t tasty — one of us remembers these fondly from childhood — they surely are. You’ll note that we did update it to include measurements by weight, making it super easy for those who use a scale instead of measuring cups and spoons.
Ideally, we’d use eggs from free range hens, but, right now, Josh’s Foraging Fowls are laying pullet eggs, which are much smaller than large; we picked up some ordinary eggs at the store (even we sometimes head down that slippery slope of lower quality ingredients) for this batch of cookies. The oil doesn’t have to be canola oil; any neutral (flavorless) vegetable oil will work.
Procedure in detail:
Melt chocolate. We knew we’d be using our stand mixer so we figured we’d just melt the chocolate in that bowl. Since it’s metal, it can’t go in the microwave, so we set up a simple double boiler by placing it over a saucepan with about an inch of simmering water. We checked to see that the bowl didn’t touch the water — the chocolate would scorch — added the chocolate, and stirred until it melted. It might seem to be a bit of trouble, but we had less cleanup this way.
Mix in oil and sugar. Add the sugar and oil, wipe the outside of the bowl dry, and place on the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Beat in eggs. Add eggs one at a time, beating in each one completely before adding the next. Don’t forget to scrape down the bowl from time to time.
Mix in vanilla. Measure the vanilla and mix in. You’ll see that, at this stage, the cookie dough is more like a batter than a dough.
Add baking soda and salt. We wanted to make sure that the baking powder and salt got evenly distributed throughout the cookies because no one likes to hit a lump of baking soda while eating. We knew that this batter would hydrate small amounts of dry ingredients easily, so we added both and mixed thoroughly.
Mix in flour. After adding the flour, start mixing it in by hand. You can either use a spatula or take the paddle attachment off the mixer and use it to stir the mixture. Once started, reattach the paddle if needed, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
Refrigerate. The dough, or, should we say batter, is too liquid to shape. Cover and refrigerate overnight and it’ll thicken right up.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with silicone baking mats (preferred) or baking parchment. Failing either of those, lightly grease the baking sheets.
Shape and roll in sugar. Scoop out teaspoonfuls of the dough and drop into confectioners’ sugar. Note that it’s stiffened up a lot during chilling, making it easier to handle. Since you’ll have multiple bakings, place the dough back in the refrigerator while each batch bakes. With the dough in the sugar, use your fingers to shape the dough into a somewhat rounded ball coated with sugar. Place each on a prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie.
Bake. Into the oven for about 17-18 minutes — at least on silicone baking mats, which insulate the cookies from the pan — or until the cookies have flattened and the edges have set. The centers will still be soft. According to the original instructions: DO NOT OVERBAKE!
Cool. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 2 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. Use a twist and lift action to get the cookies off the sheet and prevent leaving most of the cookie behind. After cooling completely, transfer to an airtight container.
Good cookies with a good chocolate flavor. They’re a bit more trouble to make than many cookies, with the overnight chill, and the rolling in sugar, but they make a nice cookie with a slightly chewy, fudgy center, vaguely reminiscent of brownies. We really like the crinkly look, and, while you might think that powdered sugar will get everywhere when you eat them, most of it does stick to the cookie; some, of course, does fall off, making a slight mess if you’re not careful. Four stars