Rolling the cookies in both granulated and powdered sugar before baking gives them their signature crackled look.
Photo Credit : Amy Traverso
I’ve baked and tasted a lot of cookies over the years, but I have three hands-down holiday favorites: My Aunt Madeline’s Pecan Puffs, classic Molasses Clove Cookies, and these Earthquake Cookies, which were created by chef Maura Kilpatrick of Cambridge’s Sofra and Oleana restaurants. You may have made or tasted other chocolate crinkle cookies, but true to their name, these beauties will rock your world.
I had long wanted to get my hands on the recipe, and was thrilled when Maura has released it to the world in her book Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery & Cafe(Ten Speed Press, 2016), which she wrote with her business partner, Ana Sortun. Earthquakes for everyone!
What makes these chocolate crinkle cookies good? Maura packs intensely rich chocolate flavor into each one. And the texture is the perfect mix of crisp exterior and chewy, brownie-like interior. The only downside: the batter needs to chill overnight. So plan ahead and get baking! They’ll be your new holiday favorite.
Maura Kilpatrick’s Earthquake Cookies
(AKA Our Favorite Chocolate Crinkle Cookies)
Total time: 1 hour, plus at least 8 hours chilling time
Hands-on time: 40 minutes
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or kosher salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
8 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until light and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Lower the speed and add the eggs one at a time, scraping between additions. Still on low speed, add the chocolate. Mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla to the mix. Staying on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture in three additions, scraping the bowl between additions.
Transfer the dough, which will resemble very wet batter, to a bowl; cover and refrigerate at least overnight, and up to 1 week.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the confectioners’ sugar and the granulated sugar in separate bowls.
Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop or portion scoop and shape the cookies into a ball. Roll each ball into the granulated sugar first and then into the confectioners’ sugar, coating completely.
Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet 1/2-inch apart. Bake until puffed and cracked and just set around the edges, 14 to 16 minutes. The centers will still be soft and appear under-baked. Cool completely on the baking sheet. Serve right away or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Yield: 2 dozen cookies