Brown Sugar Crinkles

I’ve rarely met a cookie I didn’t like, but these brown sugar crinkles combine some of my favorite ingredients. Dark brown sugar, toasted pecans, and butterscotch extract combine to give these treats wonderful depth of flavor without being too rich. And the powdered sugar coating is absolutely genius. Not that I’m surprised – this recipe is adapted from one in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, and those bakers really know their stuff.

My adaptation of this recipe involves unsalted, toasted pecans rather than the salted version, and I also used 12 drops of butterscotch extract instead of vanilla extract or just a few drops of a strong butterscotch or butter rum flavoring. You could certainly use salted pecans if you like; before toasting, just spritz your pecans with water and sprinkle them with fine table salt. I don’t think you can go wrong either way.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 12 drops butterscotch extract*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

*I use a dropper for this (and for fiori di sicilia) so I have better control of how much flavoring actually goes into my dough.

Preparation

In a medium bowl, combine baking soda, salt, and flour; set aside.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, butter, and butterscotch extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl.

Add flour mixture in two batches, beating to combine, then stir in the pecans. Cover the bowl and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.

Break off generous tablespoon-sized chunks of dough and roll into balls, then toss in powdered sugar to coat. Place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 11-12 minutes, until they’ve cracked on top but still look puffy between the cracks. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

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Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles

chocolatepeppermintcrinklesNow and then my Aunt Liz sends me recipes in the mail, clipped from magazines or newspapers. This Thanksgiving she came to Pittsburgh bearing a copy of Southern Living magazine with recipes she thought I’d like, and boy, was she right. The issue features page after page of beautiful cakes, desserts, and cookies for the holidays, including these chocolate peppermint crinkles.

Chocolate crinkle cookies are a Christmas staple, and these chocolate peppermint crinkles are a delicious twist on the classic. If you’re not a peppermint fan you can easily substitute the peppermint extract for vanilla extract. This batch makes 18 cookies and could be easily doubled for a larger batch.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 eggs
  • About 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preparation

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder; set aside.

Combine baking chocolate, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and melt over very low heat, stirring well to combine.

Pour mixture into a medium bowl and add sugar, stirring well.

Add peppermint extract and eggs; stir very well to combine.

Add flour mixture and stir until completely combined; mixture will thicken.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, until easier to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a one-inch cookie scoop, scoop generous portions of dough and roll into balls, then dip in powdered sugar and toss to coat very well.

Place cookies about 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake for 11 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for about 4-5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tip: if you don’t want a huge mess on your counter tops, place a kitchen towel or paper towels beneath the cooling racks to catch the excess powdered sugar while your cookies cool.