It has began. The holidays are no longer a wistful anticipation they are here, all around us, glittering with light. From the Christmas market in the center of the city, the craziness in the shops, the carol song orchestra dressed like Santas entertaining the children in the park to the slightly stressful anxiety thinking of what to cook for the celebrations. The menu is already forming in my mind and my heart rejoices imagining the moment of triumph when the dishes will be ready. But beyond this care, at a moment of peace, a realisation gently comes to mind that Christmas altogether is about something else. Something deeper, something bright, something true and something light. And while the inevitable family party preparations may still play a central part of the event, a small voice within me is whispering to sit down, to rest, to remember the essentials, hoping that when all is done and the festivities are over, something within me will be reborn, I will be shining with a newer inner glow and will be ready, facing foreword, gracefully smiling to step into the new year.
Yet, Christmas is not Christmas without plenty of delicious bites. To sweeten the mood I am starting the festive season by preparing these irresistible chocolate crinkle cookies dusted in magic white powder sugar. Who needs a real snow, hey? Extremely delicious, quick and easy these cookies make for a wonderful entertainment if you may wish to keep the little ones engaged. And yes, I admit you may find it difficult to keep the grown ups disengaged once they come freshly baked out of the oven. Chocolate cookies, presents and champaign on the ready… let the Christmas holidays begin. Merry Christmas everyone!
Makes approximately 50 cookies
- 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beat by hand with a wooden spoon) beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and vegetable oil until it comes together into a shiny, gritty, black dough of sorts.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds each. Add the vanilla and beat in thoroughly.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder if using.
4. Mix into the chocolate mixture on low speed until just combined. Do not over-beat.
5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill the dough for four hours or overnight.
6. Preheat the oven to 175C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the powdered sugar in a wide bowl. Using a rounded teaspoon get clumps of the chilled dough and roll them into 2.5 cm sized balls using your hands. Roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on the cookie sheets (you should be able to get 12 to 16 on each sheet).
7. Bake at 175C for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool a minute or two on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.