Chocolate crinkle cookies are a classic chocolate cookie and always a holiday favorite! No cookie platter is complete without a few of these crackle-topped cookies coated in powdered sugar. I’m sharing all of my best tips for making traditional crinkle cookies that are thick, rich, and fudgy.
I have fond memories of making these cookies with my mom and I hope that you make the same memories of these with your family!
I’ve made countless crinkle cookies over the years and I never get tired of classic chocolate crinkle cookies. They are an easy cookie recipe and I love the contrast of chocolate with the winter-white powdered sugar! And the crackled tops? I love those, too! There’s a reason these cookies are so beloved – when you get them right, they are rich, fudgy and irresistible.
Table of Contents
- What are Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?
- Why We Love These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?
- Ingredients in Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- How to make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Chilling the Dough
- Why are my Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Flat?
- What makes a cookie crinkle?
- How do you know when chocolate crinkles are done?
- Tips for Storing and Freezing
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
What are Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?
Chocolate crinkle cookies are a classic Christmas cookie! They are rich chocolate cookies that are rolled in powdered sugar and, once baked, have crackled or “crinkled” tops. Crinkle cookies are an American cookie that dates back to the first half of the 20th century.
Crinkles are a Betty Crocker original cookie from way back. They’re one of those classics that have been made into so many different flavor variations (like my cake mix crinkles) but these are the holiday classic: chocolate.
Oil vs Butter: Which is Best?
You’ll find a lot of crinkle cookie recipes calling for either butter or oil and, after testing versions with each, I have a definite opinion on which is best to use!
I think oil is best for chocolate crinkle cookies because the versions I’ve made with butter were drier and just didn’t taste like the traditional crinkles. The cookies should be fudgy and rich with a good balance of moisture. Vegetable oil is key in achieving the right flavor and texture. It’s also makes these cookies easier to make! You don’t have to wait for butter to soften or melt it first!
Use vegetable oil, not butter, for the classic crinkle cookie!PRO TIP
Why We Love These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?
We love these because of how simple they are and how chocolatey. The chocolate really shines through in these cookies and they’re nice and soft. Plus they remind us of childhood – they’re such classic holiday cookies!
Ingredients in Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Vegetable Oil instead of butter as discussed above
- Flour: all-purpose flour is best
- Cocoa Powder: use unsweetened cocoa powder, not dutch process
- Baking Powder: these don’t spread and are nice and soft and cakey, so you need to use baking powder
- Brown Sugar: a lot of recipes call for granulated but I love the extra little flavor brown sugar gives
- Eggs, Salt and Vanilla: typical in cookie recipes
- Powdered Sugar: for rolling to give them that telltale look
How to make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
1. Dry Ingredients: Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Wet Ingredients: Using a hand mixer, mix oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients.
3. Scooping and Chilling: Scoop 1 or 2 tablespoon balls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Chill the cookies at least 30 minutes.
4. Roll them: Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll the cookies in the powdered sugar then evenly space them on the cookie sheet (they won’t spread much).
5. Baking: Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking.
Chilling the Dough
The key to making the best chocolate crinkle cookies is chilling the dough. It’s a step you don’t want to skip otherwise your cookies won’t bake correctly and could come out of the oven flat.
Chilling the dough firms it up and also makes it easier to work with. I like to scoop the cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet, pop them in the refrigerator, and once they’re chilled, I roll them in the powdered sugar.
You can chill the dough longer than 30 minutes, but if it gets too cold the cookies may not spread enough while they bake. So, if you make the dough ahead, I recommend letting the cookie dough balls sit out at room temperature for about ten minutes before baking them. Or, you can lightly press down on them to flatten them a bit.
Why are my Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Flat?
If your crinkle cookies are flat there could be a couple of reasons why.
- First, did you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking the cookies? Chilling the dough prevents the dough from spreading too much while the cookies are baking.
- Did you properly measure the flour? Too little flour can also cause your cookies to be flat.
What makes a cookie crinkle?
Those crackles on top, with the powdered sugar in between, is why they are called Crinkle Cookies. Since they are rolled in powdered sugar before baking the cracks form as they puff and spread.
How do you know when chocolate crinkles are done?
These are done when they just lose the glossy sheen. It’s often hard to tell when chocolate cookies are done because you can’t tell if they’re golden. So err on the side of just noticing when they no longer look shiny on the top.
Tips for Storing and Freezing
If you do a lot of baking during the holidays, you can make the cookie dough balls ahead and freeze them. Stored in a freezer-safe container these cookies will keep for several months. You can roll them in the powdered sugar before freezing or wait and roll them in it before you bake them.
To thaw, you can just leave them out at room temperature. If the powdered sugar-coating dissolves while they thaw you can always give them a quick roll in powdered sugar to refresh it!
Fresh-baked cookies will keep at room temperature for up to three days as long as they’re stored in an airtight container.
These cookies are so rich and fudgy they almost seem like brownies! They’re a wonderful cookie to make all year but especially during the holiday season. Be sure to add them to your list this year! I think everyone will love them.
Other Classic Christmas Cookies to make with these:
- Snowball Cookies
- Mom’s Russian Tea Cakes
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Cut Out Gingerbread Cookies
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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar for coating
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer, mix oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients.
- Scoop 1 or 2 tablespoon balls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. You don’t need to space them; we’re going to chill the dough.
- Chill the cookies at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll the cookies in the powdered sugar then evenly space them on the cookie sheet (they won’t spread much).
- Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are such a classic Christmas cookie. With they’re crackled tops and fudgy chocolate center, they’re sort of like a brownie cookie!
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: December 5, 2019