Chocolate Snowflakes, Chocolate Crack-Ups, or Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.
Whatever you call them there’s no disputing that these chocolatey cookies are the darlings of the food blog world. Their intense popularity almost kept me from posting this recipe. No one wants to be redundant. But then again, I couldn’t resist.
You see, I can’t fully get into the holiday spirit without baking a batch of these Chocolate Snowflakes. Growing up I came to think of these as “Grandma’s cookies” because I can’t remember a Christmas without a plate of them around. In fact, I still have the yellowed index card with my Grandma Florence’s original recipe. She always said that she had found it in a Betty Crocker baking book from the 1970s. Wherever she got it from, it’s definitely a keeper.
I’m hoping that this gluten-free (they were always dairy-free!) adaptation will be a favorite in your household for years to come. We find them irresistible with their chocolate brownie-like center and festive good looks. They are rich enough to satisfy a chocoholic, but not so sophisticated that they won’t appeal to kids. Plus, it’s hard not to feel like there’s a bit of magic going on when you see their transformation from round white snowballs into “snowflakes.” I still feel like a kid when I switch on the oven light and peek in the window, waiting to be delighted.
Chocolate Snowflake Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free)
- 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted until smooth (I used Baker’s, but be sure to read labels!)
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 eggs, room temperature (this is important so that your chocolate doesn’t seize up)
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour (click here to see the one I use)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (Hain brand or homemade for corn-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum* (I use a corn-free variety from Authentic Foods)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup corn-free powdered sugar for rolling (Trader Joe’s (seasonally) and Whole Foods carry powdered sugar that is made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch)
* if you are baking corn-free you may also use 1/2 teaspoon of guar gum instead of the 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum.
→ In the bowl of your electric mixer (with paddle attachment), mix the sugar and oil for approximately one minute or until the sugar looks like wet sand.
→ Add one egg at a time, mixing briefly before adding the next. When all eggs have been added, mix for a minute or two, or until the mix looks smooth and yellow. Scrape the melted chocolate (it helps to have it slightly warm) into the egg mixture and mix on medium speed for one minute or until thoroughly incorporated.
→ In a small bowl, mix all the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, xanthan gum and sea salt with a whisk or fork to evenly distribute the ingredients.
→ Add the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and mix on low for 1-2 minutes or until you have a thick, thoroughly mixed, chocolate dough. Don’t be alarmed if the dough looks a bit soft and sticky at this point. The chocolate in the dough will “set up” with chilling and you will have a firm dough that is easy to roll into balls. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
After chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment or a silpat mat. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl.
Working with a spoonful of dough at a time (about 1 tablespoon) roll the dough into a round ball and then tumble it around in the powdered sugar (make sure the balls are completely coated with a solid layer of powdered sugar for the prettiest looking “snowflake”). Place 1.5 to 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake in center of preheated oven for 11-12 minutes or until cookies are plump and still quite soft. They will firm up as they cool. Do not over-bake!
Let cool on a wire rack.
Yield: approximately 2 1/2 dozen