Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Whew! The last package is mailed (sorry Bro...but hey, look at it like this, you get to really celebrate Boxing Day!) All that is left for MBH and I to do is sit back and enjoy the next few days of the Holiday Season. We don't have any pressing engagements but in case we have any last minute invites, all I have to do is pull out a little of this and a little of that and we will have a plate of Christmas Goodies like the one above to take to our hosts.

Last year I didn't bake. I missed it. I normally bake several different cookies and candies and this year's treat menu includes brownie bites, toffee bars with/without nuts, mini orange-cranberry bread, Grandma's spritz cookies (see previous post for the recipe), chocolate chip tea cookies, and chocolate crinkles.

The Chocolate Crinkle is a Midwestern favourite that when done right is like a soft, chewy cookie with brownie envy but when done poorly, they are hard and chalky tasting. It is a surprisingly difficult cookie considering how few ingredients there are. The trick is not baking them too long. I hadn't made them in a while. Well, truth is, I had forgotten about them but when I was doing my baking plan, I found the recipe in my card box and decided to dust it off. I'm glad I did because so far they are the hit of the plate. I've had to make two batches because they keep disappearing from the container as fast as I bake them. I think they will have to become one of our cookie jar staples.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce squares) note: use a really good chocolate
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk (2% or whole)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate and let cool. Combine flour with baking powder and set aside. Combine sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add to cooled chocolate and mix well until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing each egg well. Stir in milk and then slowly add flour/baking powder mixture. Dough will be very soft and almost frosting consistency. Chill until firm enough to roll into balls. Shape into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes (cookie will be set but not browned). Let cool and redust with powdered sugar if desired.

Makes 3 dozen.