Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The confectioners’ sugar coating the cookies melts to a kind of frosting and gives the cookies a gorgeous high-contrast appearance.

5 ounces, CACAO RESERVE BY HERSHEY’S 65% Extra Dark Chocolate, chopped*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of about 1 1/2 inches of nearly simmering water, whisking until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and beat until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, one-third at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl and beating just until well blended after each addition. Transfer the dough to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm, or up to overnight.

About 15 minutes before baking, position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 3 large baking sheets.

Place the confectioners’ sugar on a plate. Shape the dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll each ball in the confectioners’ sugar to coat thoroughly and heavily. Place the balls at least 1 1/2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes and transfer to the racks to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

*Note: If you don’t have the specific chocolate called for, substitute another chocolate with about the same intensity - the higher the percent of cacao solids (labeled as % cacao) in a bar, the more intense the chocolate flavor. Bars labeled simply as bittersweet, semisweet or dark can be used in any recipe calling for chocolate of less than 70% cacao.

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