Are they brownies or cookies? Actually, they are both. These crackle-top cookies are soft on the inside (like a brownie) and slightly crunchy on the outside (like a cookie). They look almost too pretty to eat, yet you have to do very little to produce this lovely effect. That makes these brownie crackle-top cookies popular at bake sales and holiday cookie exchanges. You may also want to bake a batch to give to friends and loved ones as a gift from the kitchen.
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter (melted and cooled to room temperature)
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (Ghiradelli brand preferred)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until they are evenly mixed. Set this dry mixture aside.
Scrape the melted butter into a smaller bowl and add the cocoa powder. Stir together until they are combined and no lumps remain. In a measuring cup or bowl, mix vanilla extract with eggs, then whisk them into the cocoa butter mixture.
Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly by hand with a rubber spatula. It may seem as if you need more liquid, but do not add any. Just keep folding and pressing until the mixture comes together. It will eventually reach the consistency of stiff brownie batter.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to firm it up.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking liners or parchment paper. (Alternatively, you can lightly grease them.)
Pour confectioners' sugar into a small bowl. Scoop the dough by teaspoons, roll into balls, and drop the balls into the powdered sugar, rolling them around to cover them completely. Place the sugared dough balls on prepared baking sheets 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies will spread, puff up a bit, and form cracks. The longer you cook them, the more crispy they will become.
Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before using a spatula to remove to racks and cool completely. Store in a covered container.
Peppermint is perfect for the holidays, so if you are baking up a batch of these cookies for Christmas, swap out the vanilla extract for some peppermint extract.
If you are pressed for time and happen to have a box of brownie mix in the pantry, you can whip up these cookies in a jiffy. All you need is the mix, flour, eggs, vegetable oil, and powdered sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together the brownie mix and 1 cup of flour. Then add 3 eggs and 1/3 cup vegetable oil and mix until combined. Place the powdered sugar in a bowl and continue with the recipe, rolling in the sugar and baking until cracked on top.