I love chocolate crackle cookies. These festive cookies, with their craggly white tops and paths of chocolate peeking through, are the ultimate Christmas cookie to me.
I decided that I wanted to change it up a bit, though, and add some mint to the mix. I've been loving chocolate and peppermint this season (but do NOT love the new Peppermint Mocha flavor of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts. Gross.), so I decided to experiment a little with these. And I am glad I did, because the peppermint really adds another delicious dimension to one of my favorite cookies in the land. These are like winter in a cookie to me - minus the whole freezing my butt off as I walk to the subway while cursing the slushy snow and hoping a cab doesn't drive through a puddle and spray me with grey gook part.
Minted Chocolate Crackle Cookies adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes about 4 dozen
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Chop bittersweet chocolate into small bits, and melt over medium heat in a heat-proof bowl or the top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and light-brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add melted chocolate and peppermint extract. With mixer on low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until just combined. Divide the dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
On a clean countertop, roll each portion of dough into a log approximately 16 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, using confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and transfer to a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut each log into 1-inch pieces, and toss in confectioners’ sugar, a few at a time. Using your hands, roll the pieces into a ball shape. If any of the cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in confectioners’ sugar again to coat completely. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies have flattened and the sugar splits, 12 to15 minutes (I actually had to bake mine for 20 minutes, so check accordingly).
Transfer from oven to a wire rack to let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.