A Southern Grace: all they're crackled up to be

December 20, 2012

all they're crackled up to be


Christmas seems to be associated with cookies as much as Thanksgiving is synonymous with pies. I don't know why this is the case, but my best guess is that a platter of cookies is much easier to give as a gift than a smushable, refrigeration-required pie.

If you peruse as many blogs as I do, you've seen oodles upon oodles of posts featuring cookies over the past month or so. Go ahead and say it: I'm a conformist. In my defense, these cookies are really delicious.

For starters, they're so rich and fudgy that you might mistake them for deformed brownies, and that's not a bad thing. There are chocolate chips in them too, which adds a nice textural contrast and, hey, more chocolate! The coating of powdered sugar is a terrific touch, both aesthetically (how else would one highlight those crackles?!) and flavor-wise. The best part of all is the little pool of preserves in the middle. Depending on what you opt to use, you might get a really sweet jolt or a nice, tangy twang.

If you're in cookie-making mode, add these to your list; you won't be sorry!

Crackled Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Adapted from The All-American Cookie Book
Makes 40-50 small cookies

  • 6-1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons preserves or jelly
  • 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet morsels, chopped
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for rolling
  • 1/2 cup preserves or jelly, for filling
Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave or on the stove-top. Do it in the gentlest way possible so as not to scorch the chocolate. Let cool to warm.
Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until well blended.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Stir in the vanilla.
Melt the preserves or jelly until fluid but not bubbly; add to mixture.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the dry ingredients, including the chocolate morsels.
Add this to the chocolate mixture and stir just until well blended.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease up some baking sheets.
Place half of the powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
Shape portions of the dough into 1-inch balls and drop them into the sugar and roll them around until they’re coated and no chocolate peeks through.
Shake off the excess sugar and put the balls on the baking sheets about 1-1/2 inches apart.
Replenish the powdered sugar as needed and continue until the dough is gone.
Using your thumb, knuckle, or some sort of utensil, press a deep well into the center of each ball.
Spoon about ¼ teaspoon of jelly or preserves into each well.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. The cookies are done when they’re just beginning to feel firm when pressed in the centers.
Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cook completely.


Alicia Foodycat said...

They look delicious - all the best bits of chocolate and thumbprint cookies combined into one!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lovely cookies! I bet they are quite addictive.



Janet Rudolph @ DyingforChocolate said...

Oh yummy.. great photos, wonderful recipe.. and on my baking list this weekend!

pam said...

Can never have too many chocolate cookie recipes!

Lynda said...

I agree with Pam-you cannot have too many chocolate recipes! I would use red raspberry jam in these to start...that just sounds so good with the chocolate. Thanks Grace, and I hope you have a very Merry christmas!

Pam said...

I think I would LOVE these beauties. They look amazing.

Happy holidays Grace!

The Squishy Monster said...

I quite enjoy the word "smush" as well...you're so funny...love these cookies! I know I wouldn't mind getting these =)

Barbara said...

I'm putting cherry jam in mine when I make them! YUM.

Sue/the view from great island said...

Like a deep dark crackly jelly doughnut...Mmmmmm...

Food Gal said...

Bet this would be heavenly with a big dollop in the center of dark cherry jam. Yum!

Dana said...

Gorgeous! I love a thumbprint cookie!

Not Quite Nigella said...

Can you believe that I've never made a thumbprint cookie ever? I must rectify this! :O

Joanne said...

To be honest, I usually don't get that excited about thumbprints...but these are a whole other can of worms. Not the best metaphor, but you get what I mean. :P

Dianne @ Sweet Journey Home said...

Jam cookies are one of my favorites and with chocolate?! Oh wow! Will definitely have to try these when I'm not "snowbound" and can get out to the grocery for preserves and chocolate chips! ;-)
Merry Christmas!

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

These thumbprints look so chocolaty and yummy! I've never had thumbprints that were chocolate before.

lisa is cooking said...

I admit to being on the Christmas cookie bandwagon. It's a delicious wagon, though. I love the added touches in this thumbprint cookie like the chocolate chips and powdered sugar coating!

Marjie said...

Your cookies are beautiful, but I hate making cookies. I gift coffee cake and breads instead.

Merry Christmas, Grace.

Lisa-Marie said...

Hi Grace! These look delicious. As soon as I saw the picture, my brain thought, 'with cherry jam'. Like black forest gateau in biscuit form. I shall make these for boxing day.

Erica said...

Those cookies look amazing,Grace!I am printing the recipe!Merry Christmas!!!

CQUEK said...

delicious.. i am ready for Christmas!

Angie's Recipes said...

Wonderful thumbprints! X'mas is the cookie season ;-))

Penny said...

Great looking cookies! Merry Christas Grace.

Penny said...

Christmas. I meant Christmas. LOL

Blond Duck said...

I'd take a pie.

Beth said...

Love those cookies, and the preserves definitely take them up a notch!

I Wilkerson said...

Delicious looking cookies! What I love about cookies is getting to try a lot of different varieties without breaking the diet. Of course I love pie too--aren't the holidays wonderful!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I always associate chocolate crackle cookies with Christmas! Making them into thumbprint cookies is a great idea. Hope you had the loveliest holiday!

Katerina said...

It is something about these cookies that makes me think of Christmas too! They look very festive and delicious! I would like to wish to you a very Prosperous and full of Joy New Year!

Unknown said...

Goodness I have seen so many versions of this cookie all over the web and each time I tell myself they can't possibly look any more delicious....sigh here you are to prove me wrong....looks most delicious.

Mimi said...

This is the best version of chocolate crinkles that I've seen. I'm looking forward to more of your fabulous treats in the coming year.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

Kerstin said...

I'm always very happy to see cookie recipes! Merry Christmas!

momto8 said...

perfect Christmas cookies!!
happy New Year!

Laura said...

I am tired and ridiculously behind on blog reading and would like one of these RIGHT NOW thankyouverymuch. Also, I am super excited Justified is back and am super excited for The Americans.