Crinkle cookies are my childhood favorite cookies. I remember going to the 3rd closest “sari-sari store” (convenience store) from our house in Manila to buy them for 2 pesos (7 cents). There are two cookies packaged in a clear plastic with a white cardboard bottom, presenting these snowy-dark-chocolate-cookies ever so beautifully. I remember running home, straight to the room I share with the women of the house (my sister, an aunt and my grandmother), locking the door and enjoying every bit and morsel of it – crusty on the outside and chewy-chocolatey inside. My over eagerness to eat them always bring me to a coughing fit as I inhale a mouthful of powdered sugar, which I did not want since it calls for attention, which means I might get some spanking -- sweets are not allowed in the house since they are “junk food and bad for you”. Worst, I might have to share my cookies. Eventually, I came up with a solution— I lick off the powdered sugar before devouring the cookies, haha!
Amaretti cookies are my grown up favorite cookies. It’s toasty, chewy, almond-y sweet and light. Over my baking years, I managed to convince myself that it’s the healthiest among all cookies since it’s mainly almonds and eggs, requires less sugar than most cookie recipe and NO butter. Don’t get me wrong, I love butter, and I’m thankful that I am not in Norway just now, what with their butter shortage. I do not agree with Paula Deen in a lot of ways, but I salute her for revering the butter. The best part about baking these cookies is the smell. We all agree that the smell of baking cookies are heavenly—the smell of amaretti baking in the oven takes that heavenly smell a couple of notches higher.
I urge you, my dear readers to bake some—to devour and to share. Happy holidays!
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Recipe by food scientist Shirley Corriher
as featured on NPR
Makes 3 to 5 dozen, depending on size
By rolling the dough balls in plain sugar first, the confections' sugar does not soak in so much and stays on the surface better. Corn syrup in the dough helps prevent crystallization to produce the soft chocolate center. Oil greases flour proteins to produce a tender to the point of gooey chocolate center.
1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
In a medium bowl, beat together well the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50 percent power for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for 15 seconds more and stir. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together 2 1/2 cups of the sugar, the oil, and corn syrup to blend. Beat in the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla. Then on low, beat in the melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture and beat in on low speed. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, arrange a shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/163 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with Release foil, parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Take out about one-quarter of the dough at a time to shape. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 to 2-inch balls. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar into one bowl and the confectioners' sugar in another bowl. Roll each cookie dough ball lightly in granulated sugar first, then very heavily in confectioners' sugar. By rolling in plain sugar first, the confectioners' sugar does not soak in so much and stays on the surface better.
Arrange cookies 2 inches apart. For crisp cookies, bake 12 to 14 minutes.
Note: You can have several sheets of foil covered with cookies ready. When one sheet is done, you can pull off the foil and move cookies to a cooling rack. Rinse the baking sheet with cold water to cool and then slip the sheet under another sheet of foil with cookies on it and get it right back into the oven. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Grace’s Sweet Life
Makes about 6 dozen
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cup caster (superfine granules) sugar*
1.1 lbs almond flour, whole blanched, very finely ground*
Confectioners’ sugar, for rolling
In a large bowl, using a whisk beat the egg yolks. Gradually add sugar, whisking until well combined. Add the almond flour; whisk to just combine (do not over mix). In a separate bowl, using a whisk (clean and dry) beat the egg whites to barely a soft peak (do not over beat). Using a large flexible spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the almond mixture (this will loosen the almond mixture). Fold in remaining egg whites just to combine (do not over mix). Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with non-stick baking paper or silicone baking mats, set-aside. Roll amaretti dough into ½-ounce balls and coat in confectioners’ sugar. Do not flatten cookies. Bake until lightly golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Note: You can buy caster sugar and almond flour in specialty stores. This recipe asked for making your own almond flour by pulsing the blanched almonds in the food processor, mindful not to turn it into almond butter.