On Monday I had two cookie swaps. One with my fantastic co-workers and the other with my oh-so-fun book (wine?) club. I guess I’ve been on a chocolate cookie kick recently and who really cause, because all I really wanted to make was my favorite childhood cookie: crack-ups. I’ve see a ton of recipes for this kind of cookie all over recently, but I wanted to get the original one that we used to make when we were kids. Every year when I was young, my mom would let us invite a few friends over after school one day and we would make and decorate our favorite Christmas cookies. These ones are particularly awesome because they’re super chocolate-y and fudgy like brownies. I asked my mom to email me the recipe and she sent a little story about the cookie making too…
Holidays are a busy time for working moms (now that’s an understatment). But one holiday activity was sacred: the cookie baking day. We cleared the kitchen and dining room tables of gift making, wrapping, and holiday cards. The dining room table was covered in brown paper ready for cooling, while the kitchen table became cookie central. With holiday songs playing, hands washed and aprons on we began the cookie dance. The dough was ready and waiting, most made the night before. Our favorite cookie bible was small, 32 Fabulous Cookies by Marie Bianco. The cookies were simple: crack-ups, Swedish tea cookies and surprise kisses were always favorites (great for little hands to roll). Sweet wobbly balls of varying size orbs lined the table waiting for their powered sugar coating. My role was to keep the small band of pastry chefs working while I monitored the oven trying not to burn their good work. Once I turned off the oven, I could now sit and enjoy their company. This was the real reason for Christmas…being together, sharing memories and shaping dreams…maybe someday one would become a food blogger with her own sweet thoughts?
Aw, thanks mom. Now, please go make these cookies and share them with some people you love. I promise they’ll bring much joy to your holiday table.
Glenmary’s Chocolate Crack-Ups (from above book)
Yield: 5 dozen
Time: 15 minutes prep, 3-4 hrs chilling, 8-10 minutes baking
- • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon butter
- • 6 Tablespoons cocoa
- • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- • 2 eggs
- • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- • 2 cups all-purpose flour
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • 2 teaspoons baking powder
- • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- • Confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter and stir in the cocoa; blend well, then cool. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to the cocoa mixture….then add the walnuts. Chill for at least 3 hours.
- Take 1 teaspoon of dough and shape it into a ball … Use the rest of the dough to make the remaining balls. Roll balls in confectioners’ sugar….then place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven as soon as they are set; the centers should be moist, soft and chewy like a brownie. Cool.