Midnight Crackles

chocolate spice cookies

These cute little cookies are a treat created by one of my favorite bakers, Dorie Greenspan. They are called midnight crackles for their color and crackly texture. Personally, I think a better name for them would be chocolate spice cookies. Not nearly as catchy, but definitely more descriptive of their flavor. They are exactly that- chocolate cookies with a hint of spice from cinnamon and cloves. Chocolate spice cookies.

It’s been a goal of mine to gradually bake my way through Dorie Greenspan’s book. I am determined to try all of her recipes to find her true gems. Some of them flop for me, but most are beyond dependable. This particular recipe left me torn. It was a delicious cookie, don’t get me wrong… the method was just frustrating. Here, let me show you-

chocolate spice cookies

Easy enough, you begin by melting together the sugar, butter and chopped chocolate.

chocolate spice cookies

While the chocolate mixture cools mix the dry ingredients.

Another level of chocolate from cocoa powder and some extra flavor courtesy of cinnamon and cloves : )

chocolate spice cookies

Add the melted chocolate mixture to a bowl of a mixer.

Or use a regular bowl with an electric mixer!

Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.

Add in the flour and mix until just combined and no flour remains.

chocolate spice cookies

The cookie dough will be very soft. You will need to refrigerate it for a few hours or until hard.

THIS is where I would make a change in the method…

chocolate spice cookies

The recipe has you break off chunks of the hard dough and roll it into balls.

Not an easy task. Kind of a huge pain in the butt. Especially trying to get the balls even.

Anyways, I thought it would have been much easier to make the balls first and then put the into the fridge to set until hard.

Then, shape them accordingly.

I hate recipes that have you do annoying things like this.

But I am almost positive taking my advice will allow you to make this yummy, chocolate spice cookie

without having to deal with the difficult task of molding hard chunks of dough into one ball.

chocolate spice cookies

Despite the difficulty of the shaping process these cookies are very good.

They have a great depth of chocolate flavor and a wonderful texture.

And if you love spiced chocolate than this is the cookie for you!

Midnight Crackles

  • 10 tablespoons butter — cut into 10 pieces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1¼ cups light brown sugar — packed
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate — coarsely chopped
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs

  1. Put the butter, sugar and chocolate in that order into a 2 quart saucepan. Put the pan over low heat and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until they are melted and smooth. Scrape everything into the bowl of a mixer or into a large bowl.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Working with a mixer with a paddle attachment, if you have one, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the eggs are well blended into the chocolate. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough is smooth and shiny; it will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days. (If the dough is solid, leave it on the counter for 30 minutes before proceeding.).
  4. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.
  5. Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form firm, shiny balls. (The dough will break as you work- squeeze and knead it a bit, then re-roll it between your palms.) Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and lightly press each one down a bit with your fingertips.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be delicately firm and crackled across the top. (It’s better to under- rather than over-bake.) Remove the sheets from the oven, let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes, then, using a wide metal spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a rack; cool to room temperature.
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Adapted from ”Baking From my Home to Yours” by Dorie Greenspan

Laura is the publisher of Laura’s Sweet Spot- a blog making regular contributions about baking, cooking, and blogging tips!

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