Why It Works
- A heavy coating of powdered sugar gives these cookies a distinct cracked, black-and-white appearance.
- Adding espresso powder to the dough balances the sweetness of the powdered sugar coating.
- Resting the dough for an hour allows the flour to fully hydrate, improving texture.
The list of foods I hate is incredibly short. Despite how few items are on it, though, my disdain for them is nearly endless. Right at the top of that list: fudge. I will never understand what the appeal is. It masquerades as chocolate, but any true chocolate lover knows it for what it really is—a soulless, treacly pablum that offers nothing but unchecked sweetness. Fudge is the Muzak of sweets.
"Fudgy," though, as an adjective, is something else entirely. I love fudgy things. They're soft, verging on gooey; indulgent and, yes, chocolaty. These classic crinkle cookies, contributed by Carrie Vasios Mullins, are a prime example. Made with unsweetened cocoa powder and instant espresso powder, they have a deep chocolaty richness with a slightly bitter backbone that stands up to the powdered-sugar coating. As Carrie notes:
Most recipes for crinkle cookies rely on a 1:1 ratio between flour and sugar, yet the cookies aren't overly sweet. Unsweetened cocoa powder adds a deep chocolate flavor which I enhance with instant espresso powder.
Inside, they're moist and chewy, delivering that perfect fudgy consistency, while the exteriors are crisp and covered in those telltale crackles, signaling the textural shift between brittle crust and tender core. It's like the geology of Earth itself, rendered in miniature, chocolate-cookie form.
Perhaps you feel the same as I do about how terrible fudge is, or perhaps you don't. No matter. Regarding how good these fudgy cookies are, I'm confident we'll be in agreement.
This recipe was written and developed by Carrie Vasios Mullins, while the headnote was written by Daniel Gritzer.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (11 1/4 ounces; 320g)
2 1/4 teaspoons (9g) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (4g) instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar (15 1/2 ounces; 425g)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (6 ounces; 150g)
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (4 1/2 ounces; 130g), melted and cooled slightly
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
About 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (6 ounces; 170g)
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, instant espresso powder, and salt.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat together granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and melted butter, starting at low speed and increasing to medium speed, until crumbly.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients. Beat until combined, scraping bottom and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Dough will be crumbly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour confectioners' sugar into a shallow bowl. Scoop dough into 1-tablespoon balls and roll in confectioners' sugar to coat. Make sure dough balls are heavily coated. Transfer dough balls to the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each ball. You should be able to fit about 18 balls on each sheet.
Bake cookies until cracked on top but still slightly soft in the middle, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Be careful when handling to avoid ruining the sugar coating.
Baking sheets, hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, 1-tablespoon cookie scoop (optional), wire rack
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||10%|
|Total Carbohydrate 26g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 16g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|