Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peppermint Chocolate Crinkles

I'd be a horrible food blogger if I didn't squeeze in a Christmas cookie, wouldn't I? I mean, we foodies pride ourselves on the myriad things we can accomplish with some flour, sugar, and butter (or oil, on occasion - the occasion described herein, for instance), and what better time to do that than Christmas? Baby Jesus wouldn't have it any way. Right?

And with that food for thought...

(oh the puns I would try to make right about now if I were punny!) ...

I will just jump right into the description and adaptation of one of my favorite (definitely top three anyway) Christmas cookies. A cookie my mom made just about every holiday season and sometimes off-season as well, because she had five children and a mom has to choose her battles.

Allow me to introduce you to THE CHOCOLATE CRINKLE.


Or perhaps you've already met. She's cute, eh? Chocolatey. Cakey. Festive. Gooey if you do it right. An American favorite, really. From Betty Crocker's kitchen to yours. With love.

cooky book

(Btw, that there Cooky Book is just about the best cookbook ever if you're up for a cookie-baking frenzy. Some others might be more popular or more contemporary, they might not use eggs in their bar cookies that require chilling rather than baking, they might not glorify the shortcut called "boxed cake mix", but they're also not what you and me and everyone we know grew up on. And I prefer a cookie that brings me back a bit. Especially around the holidays.)

So what could I add to these little morsels of nostalgia?

What could make them more decidedly festive and delicious than real chocolate, two cups of sugar, four eggs, and a final coat of powdered sugar?

crinkles batter

Well, not much, I assure you. But my in-laws have a thing for all things mint + chocolate, and I've kind of jumped on the bandwagon over the years. Plus I was out of all-purpose flour. So what I have to contribute to Betty Crocker's legacy today are the following: (a) whole wheat pastry flour; and (b) peppermint extract. They both worked out quite nicely.

peppermint extract

The result is something akin to the hypothetical offspring of your mom's chocolate crinkles and some After Eights. And now I am spending my Christmas Eve Eve sorting through years of intercontinental reminiscence.

crinkles prebaked
baked crinkles

With the help of my little bite-sized enablers, of course.

Anyway. I think you'll really like these. Happy Christmas, darlings.

Peppermint Chocolate Crinkles
Yield: 5 dozen (if you actually make them bite-sized, per directions below)

1/2 cup grapeseed oil, or other mild-flavored vegetable oil
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oil, unsweetened chocolate, and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each. Stir in the peppermint extract. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until everything is well-mixed. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper or a silpat. Using one teaspoon of dough at a time (this is small - like a walnut), form balls with your hands and roll in the powdered sugar until thoroughly coated. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool as long as you can and then devour, remembering all your Christmases past with a little happy tear in your eye.