These chocolate crinkle cookies are pretty much a holiday staple in this house. The cookies are thick, yet soft and chewy, and have a beautifully cracked top. These fudgy little cookies are so simple to whip up, you’ll be making them all year long (like me!).
The history of chocolate crinkle cookies
Did you know that the chocolate crinkle cookie made its first real appearance in Betty Crocker’s cookbook, Cooky Carnival around 1957? Since then, these little chocolate cookies have quite literally taken over.
The chocolate crinkle cookie has become a holiday tradition and are present on most, if not all, Christmas cookie platters. It’s easy to see why too, they look so fancy and taste delicious, but are actually simple to make.
The step-by-step instructions
- In a good size bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar together with your handheld or stand mixer on medium speed for a couple of minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat them in for another minute or so, until the dough is nice and smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
- Add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough comes together (it’s pretty thick). Once dough comes together, transition to a regular spoon and hand mix the remaining flour. Just don’t overdo it.
- Then, grab your 2 TBS cookie scoop and scoop the dough. Using your hands, gently roll the dough into a ball. This part is kind of messy, the dough is sticky. Then plop the dough ball into the powdered sugar and coat it generously. Seriously, there’s no amount that’s too much. Haha.
- Place the coated cookies on a lined baking sheet 2-3 inches apart and bake them at 350 degrees for 9-ish minutes. Remember to rotate the pan halfway through, as most ovens are uneven in temperature. This helps the cookies bake evenly.
- Let the cookies sit for a minute on the baking sheet after coming out of the oven. Reshape them with the flat side of a spatula if needed (to round them out) and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. During the cooling process, the tops of the cookies should fall and accentuate the cracks created during baking.
The cookie details
These little babies might be small, but brace yourself, they are incredible. They’re loaded with chocolatey-fudgy flavor. In fact, they’re almost as chocolatey as a brownie, and they’re super thick and chewy without being overly sweet. Literal MMM!
The very outside edges of the cookies come out crispy (which I know you love), but the centers stay soft and gooey. They are chocolate cookie perfection.
Notes for the baker
- In order to ensure the cookies come out as you’d expect, make sure to weigh your flour and sugars on a food scale. Too much flour and these cookies won’t spread. Too much sugar and they’ll spread too much.
- This dough doesn’t require any chilling, and because of that, it’s a stickier dough. The rolling process is slightly messy – full transparency. Try to handle it as little as possible. When rolling the balls, they don’t have to be perfectly smooth, just round-ish and then plop them in the powdered sugar.
- Speaking of powdered sugar, there is no such thing as too much. Generously coat them and I mean generously (see below for more on powdered sugar).
- It’s difficult to tell when these cookies are done, because of their dark color. You definitely don’t want these cookies to brown, at all. In fact, the best way to tell if they’re done is right around 9 minutes, they should be fairly puffed up, cracked open on top, and the edges set. That’s what you’re looking for. As the cookies cool, the tops will fall and create the gorgeous (and famous) crinkle tops.
- These cookies freeze really well. After they’re cool, place them in an airtight container and remove as much air as possible before popping them in the freezer. They’ll stay nice and fresh for several months.
Powdered sugar can be tricky
When exposed to heat, powdered sugar tends to melt. So, if you find that you’d like a thicker coating of powdered sugar on your cookies or you’re having trouble getting the powdered sugar to stick to your cookies, try adding cornstarch to the powdered sugar before rolling the cookies.
To add cornstarch to powdered sugar, whisk in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch per 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, so for this recipe you’d measure out 1/2 cup powdered sugar and whisk in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch before rolling the cookies. Extra powdered sugar will add extra sweetness.
Now, grab this recipe and make these cookies as soon as you can. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter, unsalted (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)
- 1/2 cup chocolate, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy. About two minutes.1/2 cup butter, unsalted, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar
- Add egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing for an additional minute.1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt.1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix just until no flour remains but do not over-mix the dough.
- Fold in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (if using)1/2 cup chocolate, chopped
- Using a 2 TBS cookie scoop, scoop dough and carefully roll in powdered sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Bake cookies for 9 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Cool cookies on the pan for 1-2 minutes prior to transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.