Hi! It’s me. You know, the one who used to post lots of recipes up here? New ones, with photos and everything? Face full of cookie dough, and frizzy hair for days? YES, hi!
So. Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve been a little less forthcoming with the new content these past few months. (Or maybe you’ve been so dazzled by my “I Think Thursday” links that you haven’t noticed? That’s cool, too). Don’t worry, I haven’t been kidnapped by wolves or persuaded to join Scientology or even just trapped under something heavy. No, I’ve just been slightly… pregnant. With a baby. At least, as far as I can tell.
(Can I just take a small minute here to say “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”?)
So, yeah. BABY! I’ve been trying to come up with a fun way to lay that news on you, but I’m not really one for cutesy baking metaphors/reveals (plus I’m a bit on the superstitious side), so there you go. Ben and I are over the moon excited and can’t wait to welcome our little nugget (whose gender will be a surprise) in early March!
Aside from not knowing how exactly to tell you guys and dealing with a bit of a rough pregnancy (it’s totally NOT all glow-y and guilt-free-doughnut-binge-y, I’m sad to say), I’ve been working my ever-growing tail off to hit some deadlines for upcoming projects and dealing with an upended, construction-zone kitchen these past few weeks so, suffice it to say, new recipe development has made a poor showing around these parts. But!
Today we have cookies, and that’s a good thing. They’re soft, chocolate-y, and crisp-crackled with sugar and candy canes. Bake them, share them, or just eat them standing over the sink while your growing baby bump gets in the way of EVERYTHING. Oh, that last part’s just me? Right. Cool.
Happy baking, my friends! xo.
Chocolate Candy Cane Crackles
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies (p.68)
I love the chewy texture and deep, chocolate flavor of these bad boys – the fun, sugar-crackle top is just icing on the proverbial cake (or cookie, as it were). Be mindful not to make these too big (about an inch will do it), and to take them out of the oven juuust when their surfaces crackle, otherwise they’ll spread too far and the candy cane pieces will get too dark and melty.
These don’t taste all that peppermint-y, despite the candy cane crackle, so if you want to up the peppermint flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to the batter in place of the vanilla.
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or chips)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk (not skim)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 4 candy canes, crushed
Melt the chocolate until smooth, either in 30-second intervals in the microwave, or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Set aside and let cool slightly. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix well to combine. Add half of the flour mixture, mixing slowly, then the milk, and then the remaining flour mixture. Stir gently but thoroughly, until the dough is homogeneous. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 2 hours (and up to overnight).
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the granulated sugar in one small bowl, and the confectioner’s sugar in another. Divide the crushed candy canes between the two sugar bowls, mixing well to incorporate.
Scoop the cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball first in granulated sugar, then into the confectioner’s sugar, coating thoroughly. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies just until the surfaces crack, about 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets set over wire racks. (You’ll have to bake the cookies in a few batches.)
Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Makes about 3 to 4 dozen cookies.