Let’s make chocolate crinkle cookies. These traditional Christmas cookies are a cut above the rest because they’re as rich and fudgy as homemade brownies. They’re thick and soft-baked in the centers with a little extra chocolate for good measure!
Today I’m showing off sparkly new photos and success tips for my classic double chocolate crinkle cookies! Originally published a few years ago, these classic Christmas cookies have become a staple in many of your kitchens. Readers have said they’re the “best cookies I’ve ever tasted” and “make a double batch right away.” These cookies disappear.
Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies:
- Double the chocolate—chocolate chips included!
- Taste like brownies
- Soft centers, crisp crackly edges
- Extra thick
- Warm from the oven, they melt in your mouth
As classic as Christmas sugar cookies, as sugar-dusted as snowball cookies, and as irresistible as peanut butter blossoms and pinwheel cookies, these chocolate crinkles will outshine every other cookie on your Christmas cookie platter. And that’s a guarantee.
Behind the Recipe
These chocolate cookies aren’t anything new or groundbreaking, but that’s why they’re perfect. You might actually recognize the base dough because it’s my go-to chocolate cookie! It’s the chocolate cookie recipe I’ve been using for years in recipes like double chocolate chip cookies, inside out chocolate chip cookies, peppermint mocha cookies, Andes mint chocolate cookies, and let’s not forget about the epicness that is salted caramel dark chocolate cookies.
Some of you were having trouble with these cookies over-spreading as a result of the sugar coating on top, so I leave out the milk in this dough.
How are these different from Chocolate Crinkle Cookies in Sally’s Cookie Addiction? Glad you asked! The recipes are a little different. The cookbook version uses melted butter in the dough, so the cookies are a little chewier. Both super moist cookies with excellent chocolate flavor. The cookies in the book are a little thicker in the centers and crumblier on the edges. Today’s cookies—again—taste like moist brownies!
How to Make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Mix dry ingredients together. You need all-purpose flour, natural unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Beat wet ingredients together. You need butter, white sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Room temperature butter and egg will mix more evenly into each other, creating a uniform texture among all the cookies. Additionally, both whip into a greater volume when at room temperature, producing a softer-crumbed cookie.
- Combine all ingredients. And don’t forget to add the chocolate chips! I like to use mini size so there’s more in every bite.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator. The cookie dough is sticky and unmanageable, so chilling is necessary. Sometimes I chill it overnight, but 3 hours is perfect. Chilled cookie dough is not only easy to handle and roll into balls, it also bakes thicker cookies.
- Roll cookie dough into balls. After chilling, roll the cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie.
- Coat in confectioners’ sugar. Roll the cookie dough balls into granulated sugar, then a hefty dunk in confectioners’ sugar. Why granulated sugar first? That’s a new trick I discovered! See below. 🙂
- Bake. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. If the cookies aren’t really spreading by minute 9, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven for a couple more minutes.
They’ll be extra thick, extra crackly, and extra fudgy inside.
Recommendation from a reader: substitute the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips. I honestly can’t preheat my oven fast enough to try these that way!
How to Prevent the Powdered Sugar from Melting
Before today, I only rolled these chocolate crinkle cookies in confectioners’ sugar. This works great for lemon crinkle cookies, however these particular crinkle cookies are extra moist so the confectioners’ sugar always ends up melting a bit and/or turns yellow-ish as a result from melting. Not a problem, but if you want stark white confectioners’ sugar on top, coat the cookie dough balls in a little granulated sugar first. Just a light layer, then go heavy on that confectioners’ sugar topping. I learned this tip from the wonderful chefs at America’s Test Kitchen.
It’s also helpful to bake these cookies on dry days. Any humidity in the air will soak into the confectioners’ sugar, slightly melting it. Sometimes you can’t avoid humidity, but if you’re wondering why the sugar melts, it could be the weather. Again, go heavy on that confectioners’ sugar layer.
As the cookies bake, the confectioners’ sugar coating crinkles and cracks as the cookies take their shape. Hence, the cute crinkle name. I love these.
How to Freeze Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
You can freeze chocolate crinkle cookies before or after baking. To freeze the baked cookies, let them cool completely first. Freeze in single layers between sheets of parchment paper for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter.
How to freeze chocolate crinkle cookie dough: Chill the cookie dough as directed in the recipe below. After that, roll into balls, and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a large zipped-top bag. Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months. When it’s time to bake the cookies, remove them from the freezer and thaw on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Roll into granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar as instructed in the recipe. Bake as directed.
See more in my How to Freeze Cookie Dough post.
Try these right out of the oven—they’re pure fudge. They will melt in your mouth! Have you tried these before? Let me know!Print
These traditional Christmas cookies are a cut above the rest because they’re as rich and fudgy as brownies. Chilling the cookie dough is important because it helps the flavors to develop, prevents spreading, and makes the otherwise sticky cookie dough easy to handle.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (51g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (180g) mini or regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 Tablespoons (35g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, for rolling
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and then beat on high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour into the wet ingredients. Beat on low until combined and then beat in the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be thick and very sticky. Cover dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this sticky cookie dough.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the chilled cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. Roll each ball very lightly in granulated sugar, then generously in the confectioners’ sugar. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the edges appear set and the centers still look soft. Tip: If they aren’t really spreading by minute 9, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven to continue baking.
- Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies will slightly deflate as they cool.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls (that are not coated in confectioners’ sugar) freeze well up to 3 months. See post above about how to freeze cookie dough balls.
- Can I add peppermint extract? Yes, absolutely! If you want a chocolate peppermint crinkle cookie, I recommend adding 3/4 or 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract when you add the vanilla.
- Larger Batch: The recipe is easy to double in 1 mixing bowl without overwhelming your mixer. Simply double all of the ingredients. Dough chill time remains the same.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: chocolate crinkle cookies, Christmas cookies