chocolate mint crackles
We are in full-on baking blitz mode here in the Eggs on Sunday household. December usually finds me whirring around the kitchen surrounded by puffs of flour and drips of chocolate, but this year, I have a little 2-year-old elf to help me, which makes it even more fun! (Though the clean-up factor is dramatically increased.)
I’ve been trying to involve her when I bake this holiday season, which usually means that the recipes I choose are fairly easy and have some type of hands-on step in which she can participate. These chocolate mint crackles, from the December issue of Martha Stewart magazine, fit the bill: mix them up in a single bowl (no need for even an electric mixer), roll them into balls, and roll the balls in powdered sugar.
The last part — rolling in powdered sugar — was a big hit with Miss A. Most of the balls of dough made it to the cookie sheet in fairly round form, though I think she couldn’t resist squishing a few down…
They flatten and crackle as they bake, and emerge from the oven looking like a cookie covered in snow-capped craggy mountains. I’ve made these cookies (also called snowcaps, appropriately) before without the peppermint, but that little addition was lovely; they taste like a York peppermint patty in cookie form.
Chewy, chocolatey and minty — they’d made a great addition to any holiday cookie platter!
[For my readers in the Finger Lakes: looking for more holiday cookie ideas with a locavore twist? Pick up the new winter issue of Edible Finger Lakes magazine, out in stores now, to read my article on holiday cookies using locally-sourced ingredients!]
Chocolate Mint Crackles
adapted from Martha Stewart magazine, December 2011
You’ll need to chill the dough before it’s ready to roll into balls, so plan ahead accordingly.
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus more as needed)
1. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler (or heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave in 30-second burst on 50% power). Stir until smooth.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and cocoa in a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and melted butter. Gradually add the melted chocolate and peppermint extract and whisk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture, cover the bowl, and refrigerate until firm — at least 3 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll tablespoon-sized scoops of dough into balls with your hands, then roll the balls in the powdered sugar until coated. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets, spacing each ball about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake until slightly firm in the center, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.