Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chocolate Crackle-Tops

I was given a cookie cookbook one year as a Christmas present from a good friend who loved baking. I have used this book over and over to make the best cookies ever, hands down. The recipe in this book for roll out/cut out sugar cookies is better than my mom's. The lemon shortbread recipe is to die for. I have tired fancy cookies that looked too hard for me to even attempt, and those came out beautifully! So when I saw this recipe, it was one I had to try.

These chocolate cookies are one of my favorites for the holidays. They are pretty, fun to make with my daughter, and delish to boot. The better quality chocolate you use, the better the taste. The trick to this recipe is to keep the cooking temperature low at 325 as to not melt the powdered sugar coating.

7 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
scant 1/2 unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
scant 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar for coating

1. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate and butter together until smooth, stirring constantly.
2. Remove from heat, Stir in the sugar, continue stirring for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in vanilla.
3. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir into the chocolate mixture in batches, just until blended.
4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour, until the dough is cold enough to hold it's shape.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, Grease baking sheets. Place confectioners sugar in a small deep bowl. Using a round teaspoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop the cold dough and roll in to balls between the palms of your hands. Roll 1 1/2" balls.
6. Drop each ball into confectioners sugar and roll until heavily coated and place on baking sheets.
7. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, until the tops feel slightly firm when touched. When slightly cooled, move the cookies to a wire rack with a spatula to cool completely.

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