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Well, friends . . .

We’re well into fall now, which I know because every single tree I drive past makes me want to stop and lie down under it and read Robert Frost and wait for the tip of my nose to turn red and tingly . . . or something.

And also because every single blog post in my Reader gets bookmarked because it looks so good and oh, I have to make that today! Fall baking trends are the stuff of my dreams.

Incidentally, so is chocolate. I know chocolate isn’t exactly the quintessential fall flavor, but . . . well, we’re friends, right? You’ll let me do this when Thanksgiving is only two weeks away? I promise the pies and holiday foods are on their way. Just let me get this out of my system. It’s chocolate. You have to trust me.

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I’m not really sure what to say about these cookies. They’re soft and sort of cakey. They’re chocolate. Ooh, they’re chocolate. Am I allowed to have a favorite cookie? In a cage match between this cookie and a chocolate chip cookie, I’m not sure who would win. But I might cheer for this one.

A look of longing on Baby Creampuff’s blurry little face. I couldn’t resist.

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

adapted from KingArthurFlour.com

Ingredients:

1-1/3 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

powdered sugar (for coating)

Directions:

Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir slowly until the mixture is smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate mixture, and then add dry ingredients. Stir until the flour is all incorporated. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or overnight. It will firm up considerably.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Put about 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. This is the part where you have to work quickly. Scoop out heaping tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough — roughly 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Roll them very briefly between your palms to make them more even, if you need to. Drop the balls into the powdered sugar, about 4-5 at a time. Gently shake and toss the bowl to coat the balls with sugar. (Note: You want the dough to stay firm and chilled, so you have to do this part rather quickly.)

Arrange the coated balls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1-1/2 inches between them. If you have to wait for the oven to finish preheating, put the cookie sheets in the fridge while you wait.

Bake the cookies for about 10-11 minutes. If you bake two sheets at a time, switch the position of the pans (top to bottom, and front to back) halfway through the baking time.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.

Yield: King Arthur Flour says 5 dozen. I got about 3 dozen.