These cookies, from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies 2001, are intensely chocolatey and wonderfully chewy, even after they've been in the freezer a few weeks. They have to be the most delicious chocolate crackle cookie on record.
Even so, I think I'm over them -- the dough is a bitch to work with. It's very sticky, even after it's been refrigerated. To keep my hands from being covered in gooey dough, I use my smallest cookie/ice cream scoop and drop the dough directly into a bowl of powdered sugar. Even that isn't easy because the dough doesn't want to come out of the scoop. Once I've dropped a few scoops of dough into the powdered sugar, I jiggle the bowl around until the dough is coated. Then I take them out of the powdered sugar and roll them into neat little balls.
Yummy, if you don't mind the aggravation. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Martha Stewart's Chocolate Crackles
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I've used various combinations of semisweet, bittersweet and dark chocolate chips and all work well)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Melt chocolate (I do this in the microwave, checking and stirring every 30 seconds, but I'm sure Martha does this in a double boiler). Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add melted chocolate. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Mix on low speed until just combined. Shape dough into a flattened disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Using 1 heaping teaspoon of dough apiece, shape 1-inch balls. Roll each in confectioners’ sugar until completely coated. If any cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in confectioners’ sugar again. (Or, if this is making you nuts, use my method, above.) Place the cookies on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until flat and the sugar coating splits, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Transfer to a wire rack, and let cook completely. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.