I have a hard time choosing a favorite anything. What’s my favorite color? Well… it depends. What’s my favorite song? Can I give you a top 10? How about 20? What’s my favorite hobby? Cooking! No, knitting. No, photography… Wait, I know, it’s playing the guitar. But then again… umm…
So you see, I am indecisive. And I can’t really say that I have a favorite holiday cookie because it would be unfair to all of the other cookies. They are all beautiful in their own way. But six years ago, with two small bites, the chocolate crinkle became my favorite Christmas cookie. Sort of.
It was my first Christmas on the west coast. Earlier that December, I had been dumped (are you supposed to say you were dumped? Or are you just supposed to say “we broke up?” I never know with these things). In retrospect, it was the right thing and the right time. But at the time, I was upset… I mean, I was dumped. I wasn’t planning to go anywhere for Christmas, I was going to tough it out. I thought: I’m strong. I don’t need anyone. I can make it through the holidays alone. Yeah… I’m tough.
For weeks, my sister had been asking me to come to Seattle to spend Christmas with her, her husband, and my nieces. And the dumpage was just more ammo for why I should come up. But I kept saying no and begging off. Have I mentioned I’m stubborn?
Then I think it was on Dec 22, I found myself at the bottom of the pit of despair complete with an albino and water powered torture device… no one withstands The Machine. So I called my sister and the next day my trusty black Camry drove toward Seattle on autopilot as I sang Lonely Holiday. Lonely, baby I’m not lonely… I got my imaginary friends.
When I got to Seattle, I was welcomed with hugs all around. The house was warm with Christmas cheer (my sister really decks the halls…). And there were cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. I probably ate my body weight in cookies over the next two days. Before I left, I asked for the recipe for one cookie in particular: the chocolate crinkle. I had never had one before that Christmas. But the chewy, lightly chocolate cookies were like crack to me. I spent two days with my lips dusted with tell-tale powdered sugar. I couldn’t get enough. And it made me forget all about what’s-his-name.
While I can’t claim these cookies mend a broken heart, they can definitely make you forget about the bad things for a little while…
Chocolate Crinkles (or Pixies)
The directions I have from my sister are not very particular about what order to mix things, so in theory you can dump everything into the bowl and mix. But sometimes I feel the need to be particular, so I mixed well after adding each ingredient (in the order listed below). Either way should work, so you can decide how to proceed depending on how particular you are feeling.
The dough can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Makes about 4 dozen.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons oil (example: canola or vegetable)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
powdered sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer bowl. Mix well.
- Chill dough for at least an hour for easier handling. [My sister recommends overnight. I chilled mine for about 2 hours.]
- Using a tablespoon, create a small dough ball and drop it into the powdered sugar. Roll to coat.
- Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
- Store in airtight container (that is, if they last long enough to be stored…).
Updated Dec 19, 2009:
I spoke to my sister about this recipe and how a few mentioned theirs did not turn out quite right. She said she always chills her dough overnight and that that is the secret to it. I didn’t chill mine overnight but did chill the dough for about 2 hours and had no problem. Anyway, I updated the recipe above to reflect this (originally it said chilling was optional). I hope this helps…