Dark Chocolate Crackles

Dark Chocolate Crackles
by Abigail Johnson Dodge

Yields about 5 dozen cookies.

11 1/4 oz. (2-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 oz. (2/3 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa, sifted if lumpy
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled until barely warm
3/4 cup (4 oz.) chopped chocolate (white, bittersweet, or semisweet)
1/3 cup granulated sugar; more as needed

These cookies are fragile when hot, so be sure to let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350F. Line three large cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter, brown sugar, cocoa, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating briefly between additions. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost completely blended, about 1 minute. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until blended, about 15 seconds.

Shape the dough into 1-1/4-inch balls with a small ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons.

Pour the granulated sugar into a shallow dish. Dip the top of each ball in the sugar and set the balls sugar side up about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are puffed and cracked on top, 11 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Make Ahead Tips
The balls of dough may be frozen before baking for 1 month. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.

From Fine Cooking #89, pp. 71
http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/dark-chocolate-crackles.aspx

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