Chocolate Crackle Cookies

I was going to skip the chocolate crackle cookies this year in favor of something a little less hands-on and messy to make.  Lane informed me that the chocolate crackles were pretty popular last year, so they’d be a tough act to follow.  Ultimately I decided that part of what makes a cookie tray so great is the time the baker spends making the cookies, and so I should slow down and take the time to make these.

Chocolate crackles are chewy and kind of puffy and have a gorgeous white coating of confectioner’s sugar that not only sweetens the cookie, but makes it super pretty as well.  In order to achieve a good coating of confectioner’s sugar that’s going to hold up and stay white (instead of being completely absorbed into the cookie and becoming transparent), you have to really coat the balls of cookie dough in the confectioner’s sugar.  I mean really really coat them, with a pile of confectioner’s sugar that you’ll think looks like a ridiculous amount until you pull the beautiful finished product out of the oven.  Don’t fear the confectioner’s sugar!  Yes, rolling the balls of dough and then coating them in powdered sugar is a little more time-consuming than other cookies where you drop dough and bake, but it’s completely worth the effort.

chocolate crackle cookies

Chocolate Crackle Cookies


  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 C. packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C. milk
  • 1 C. confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling


Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, over a pan of simmering water then set aside to slightly cool.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt into a small mixing bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl using a hand mixer), beat butter and light-brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined.

Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.

Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, mixing to combine after each addition.

Mix on low speed until just combined.

Divide dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

On a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar, use your hands to roll each portion of dough into a log 16 inches in length and about 1 inch in diameter.

Wrap the logs in plastic wrap, and transfer to a baking sheet.

Chill for 30 minutes.

Cut each log into 1-inch pieces, and toss pieces into the confectioners’ sugar, a few at a time.

Using your hands, roll the pieces into balls, then roll the dough balls in confectioners’ sugar again to coat completely.

Place cookies on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake until cookies have flattened and sugar splits, 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

May be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2003



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