Crinkle Cookies – two ways: Chocolate & Gingerbread

Two different flavours of cookie from one easy cookie dough! These crinkle cookies are soft and crackly, flavoured with cocoa powder (for chocolate crinkle cookies) or gingerbread spices (for gingerbread crinkle cookies). You can even combine both flavours to make gingerbread-spiked chocolate cookies!
gingerbread crinkle cookies and chocolate crinkle cookies on pink plates

The cookie recipes form part of the collaboration series with my mum, KCHossack pottery where I’ve created exclusive recipes and styled them using her pottery. This time she’s produced a new Rose Pink colour in a variety of different forms, from shallow bowls to small side plates. This colour is not sold anywhere other than her webshop so it’s super special!

First up, these crinkle cookies which are just SO cute. I love that frosty look they get from rolling the dough in icing sugar.

How to get the cookies to not absorb the icing sugar

One trick I’ve learnt is to roll the dough in granulated sugar and then icing sugar – if you only roll them in icing sugar it tends to absorb into the baked cookie and disappears. Also, make sure you get a generous coating of the icing sugar on there!

crinkle cookies on a baking tray

An easy cookie dough to mix by hand

The base dough is very easy to make thanks to a melt-and-mix method. We brown the butter first i.e. cook the butter on the stove until it foams up and the milk solids within caramelise and take on a nutty flavour. The browned butter is then simply mixed with the remaining cookie dough ingredients in a bowl by hand – this is so quick to make as you don’t need to wait for butter to soften! You also don’t need to pull out your stand mixer which is always a nice bonus.

Flavouring the same dough two different ways

The dough recipe is split in half and the two halves are flavoured in different ways to give you more variety from one batch of cookie dough! The flavourings are simple: either cocoa powder (for chocolate) or ground almonds plus spices (for gingerbread). I’ve added cardamom to the gingerbread cookies as I think it adds a new dimension but feel free to leave it out if you like a more traditional gingerbread flavour.

Other recipes from this series:

Chocolate & Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

Two different flavours of cookie from one easy cookie dough! These crinkle cookies are soft and crackly, flavoured with cocoa powder (for chocolate crinkle cookies) or gingerbread spices (for gingerbread crinkle cookies). You can even combine both flavours to make gingerbread-spiked chocolate cookies!
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Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Special Diet: Christmas, holidays, vegan option
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 28 cookies

Ingredients

  • 115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 200 g (1 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 medium egg
  • 240 g (2 cups) plain white flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the chocolate cookies:

  • 30 g (1/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

For the gingerbread cookies:

  • 30 g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 4 pods green cardamom papery casings removed, crushed in a mortar & pestle

For rolling:

  • 60 g (1/2 cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Heat the butter in a small pot over a medium-low heat. Once melted, continue to cook the butter until it foams up and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
    115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • In a large bowl, mix the light brown sugar and browned butter, scraping all the bits of golden stuff from the bottom of the pot into the bowl too. Add the egg and yolk and mix again until smooth. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt then stir together to get a firm dough.
    115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, 200 g (1 cup) light brown sugar, 1 medium egg yolk, 1 medium egg, 240 g (2 cups) plain white flour (all-purpose flour), 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, ¼ tsp salt
  • Take half of the dough and place it into a second bowl. To one portion of dough, mix in the cocoa powder (this is easiest to do by squishing together by hand) and set aside.
    30 g (1/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • To the other portion of dough, add the ground almonds, ginger, cinnamon, clove and crushed cardamom. Mix together and set aside.
    30 g ground almonds (almond flour), 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 4 pods green cardamom
  • Chill both the doughs for 20 minutes.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F fan (190°C/370°F non-fan) and line two baking trays with baking paper. 
  • Roll the dough into balls which weigh around 24 grams – you should get around 14 balls of chocolate dough and 14 balls of gingerbread dough
  • Place the granulated sugar into one shallow dish and the icing sugar into a second shallow dish. Roll the balls of dough in the granulated sugar first, then roll in the icing sugar. Place onto the baking tray, spacing the balls a few cm apart. Flatten the balls slightly then place into the oven.
    60 g (1/2 cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar), 40 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • Bake for 10 minutes. They will be soft whilst they’re hot but will firm up as they cool.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool then, once completely cooled, transfer to an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Video

Notes

Vegan option: use vegan butter in the dough – just melt this, no need to brown it. In place of the egg and yolk, use 80g (1/3 cup) aquafaba.
For chocolate gingerbread cookies: don’t split the dough in half. Instead, mix the cocoa powder, ground almonds and spices into all of the dough. Shape and bake as usual. 
If the cookies aren’t very crackly: whilst still warm from the oven, gently press down on each cookie with the back of a spatula. This should help them crackle more.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

FAQs for Crinkle Cookies

What makes a crinkle cookie crinkle?

As cookies bake, the outer layer will cook quickest and dry out first thanks to the direct exposure to the oven’s heat. The middle of the cookies will still be molten and, as the liquid components get hot they produce steam (plus carbon dioxide is produced by the raising agents) which makes the centre of the cookie expand. This expanding gas forces its way out of the cookie, forming cracks in the dry outer crust. I’m pretty sure this happens with most cookie dough but, because of the icing sugar coating the outside of the cookie dough here, it makes it easier to SEE the difference between the cracked crust of the cookie and the softer centre.

Why chill the cookie dough?

As the butter is melted (and browned) the cookie dough is still quite soft when freshly mixed. Chilling the dough helps to resolidify the butter which makes the cookies easier to form and helps them spread less. Chilling also allows the flour to absorb some of the liquid in the dough (i.e. it can ‘hydrate’) which produces a fudgier texture and better flavour. If you don’t chill the dough, it won’t ruin the recipe. It may just make the cookies spread a bit more!

Why are crinkle cookies not flat?

This is down to the ratio of ingredients in the dough, mainly. There is a high proportion of dry ingredients (i.e. flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds) to liquid ingredients (eggs, butter). This results in a drier dough which stops the cookies from spreading when baked. Chilling the dough before baking also helps the cookies to remain thicker as the butter can resolidify and the flour can absorb some of the liquid, both of which make the dough firmer.

If you’d like the cookies to be flatter, replace the egg yolk with a whole egg (making the dough have a total of two eggs) and decrease the flour by 1/2 cup (60g).

Do you put the icing sugar on before or after baking?

You roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar followed by icing sugar just before baking. This helps to form a crust which, when baked, shows the crackly texture on the cookies. If you were to coat the cookies in powdered sugar after baking, the icing sugar wouldn’t adhere as well AND you wouldn’t get the same crackly look.

How do you know when crinkle cookies are done?

Due to the powdered sugar coating, it can be difficult to tell when the cookies are ready! First of all, the cooking times are a guide and the actual cooking time will vary based on your oven, ingredients, elevation etc. What I like to do is test 1 or 2 cookie dough balls first – I’ll bake them for 1-2 mins less than the advised cooking time and then will take them out of the oven, let them cool, and see if they’re over/undercooked. Crinkle cookies are generally ready when you can see the crackly texture appear on the cookies and, when you gently poke the edges of the cookies, they feel ‘set’. Just remember that when you take them out of the oven HOT they will be a lot softer than when they’ve fully cooled!

Why are my crinkle cookies not moist?

See note above about baking times. The most likely reason that the cookies are not moist is that they’ve been overbaked. With cookies, overbaking by only a few minutes can be the difference between a perfect cookie and a dry, crumbly one. Another reason could be that they haven’t been stored in an airtight container. If you leave the baked cookies out on a plate they will dry out more quickly than if they’re in a lidded container.

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