Happy Easter, my friends! I hope your Sunday is filled with the joy of loved ones and the comfort of good food. My personal preference for any weekend, holiday or otherwise.
Let's talk chocolate! With Easter upon us you might find yourself with an abundance of chocolate bunnies and mini-candy bars, might I suggest dicing them into small bits and adding them to your next batch of cookie batter? Just imagine these chocolate crackle cookies studded with melty pieces of peanut butter cups!
Chocolate Crackle cookies. Crack Cookies. Whatever you call these craggy little goodies they are addictive. My husband and several taste-testers devoured these like they had never seen a chocolate cookie in their entire lives.
Baked until they burst and crack open like the aftermath of an earthquake, these cookies have deep dark chocolate chewy centers with crispy edges. Very much like "brownie cookies". This rocky-road version calls for a combination of equal parts Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, Walnuts, and Mini-Marshmallows. The marshmallows create wonderfully chewy little pockets of melted sugar while the toasted nuts lend a nutty contrast in both flavor and texture against the rich and chewy chocolate.
Have I mentioned they are sweet? I happen to be a fan of rich desserts, not so much sugary, so if I were to make these cookies again I would likely omit the marshmallows and reduce the chocolate chips. But my very happy taste-testers may disagree!
Whatever your personal preference, feel free to add up to three cups total "mix-in's" to your cookies, folded into the cookie batter before chilling. Play with your favorite nuts and candies to make your own crackle cookies! Alternatively you can skip mix-in's entirely to make a "basic" chocolate crackle cookie, the kind often seen at holiday cookie exchanges. Many variations of this holiday classic call for the basic cookie recipe with adjustments to extracts and mix-in's. if you don't have rocky-road mix-in's on hand, you might find a little splash of peppermint extract or the addition of candied orange peel quite nice.
Rocky Road Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Yields 48 large cookies (about 3" - 4" across)
- 6 Tablespoons (or 3 ounces) Unsalted Butter, Melted
- ¾ cup (or 2-1/4 ounces) Cocoa Powder
- 1-1/2 cups (or 10-1/2 ounces) Granulated Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1-1/2 cups (or 6-1/4 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup Walnuts or Pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1 cup Mini-Marshmallows
- For Coating Cookies: About ¾ cup (or 3 ounces) Powdered Sugar
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and cocoa powder. Stir well until no lumps remain. A rubber spatula is useful to press out any dry lumps. Add the vanilla extract and eggs, use wire whisk to thoroughly combine eggs into cocoa/butter mixture.
Add wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl, folding and stirring until completely combined. Batter will seem dry but do not add more liquid. Continue folding and pressing until the mixture comes together. It will eventually reach the consistency of stiff brownie batter. Lastly, fold in chocolate chips, walnuts, and marshmallows. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill cookie dough for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pour confectioners’ powdered sugar into a small bowl. Scoop cookie dough by generous tablespoon and roll into balls (or use an ice cream scoop). Drop cookies in the bowl of powdered sugar, rolling to cover all sides completely. Place on baking sheets 1-1/2 inches apart. Do not flatten the balls, while baking they will spread, puff up, and form cracks. Note, the longer baking time will result in crispier cookies.
Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on sheet pan for a few minutes, then move to wire rack to finish cooling. Store in a covered container.