These remind me of the view from 35,000 feet high, flying from Auckland to Christchurch for work. It was in the middle of winter and the Southern Alps was thickly covered by a blanket of snow – it was such a serene and beautiful scene.
J requested these cookies after sampling a version of them at a birthday party many years ago: “the icing sugar dusted chocolate cookies” was mentioned every now and then. Last weekend I finally got around to it.
They are brownie-like: soft and tender inside, but have a cookie-like crisp exterior. I have been blessed with a delivery of olive oils from Te Wheke Olives and they worked so well in this recipe. As the batter is very soft, it requires a minimum of 4 hours fridge time. You can speed that up by placing it in the freezer for 2 hours. Before you bring the batter out, have a few cookie sheets lined and the oven preheated, so that once you have two trays of 12 cookies each rolled in icing sugar, you can bake the first two trays straight away. This ensures they don’t loose too much height. I managed to complete rolling out dough for two more trays while the first batch is baking (I do have 6 identical cookie sheets – they were imperative for the large batches of macarons I make!)
The other option is to skip the icing sugar step, this creates brownie cookies with beautifully random cracks.
If you would like to make these gluten free, as I did for colleagues, just substitute the plain wheat flour with gluten free flour. The Countdown branded gluten free flour packs had corn and maize as the main ingredients. Be sure to check that your baking powder and icing sugar are free of gluten as well. They turn out a tad softer than the ones made with wheat flour, and my tasters actually prefer these!
Ingredients (50-60 cookies)
- 125ml olive oil
- 400g caster sugar
- 95g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 eggs (size 7, about 60g each)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 250g plain flour (or gluten free flour, with corn and maize)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 80g icing sugar, for rolling
- Place olive oil, caster sugar and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Paddle on a slow speed until homogenous. Add in eggs one at a time, making sure each has been incorporated before adding the next. Add in the vanilla paste.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt then add into the cocoa mixture. This will look just like a brownie batter, thick and runny. Chill batter for at least 5 hours, best over night.
- Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with baking paper. Using two teaspoons, drop small scoops of thick mousse-like batter into a bowl of icing sugar. Roll the balls until they are covered with powdered/icing sugar.
- Place on lined baking trays.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
I turned one of my earlier Brownie recipes into a cookie! To be honest, these were inspired by the many versions of the same on Instagram lately, and for fear of missing out, I followed suit. Henceforth known as #fomocookies.
These are quick to make too!
Makes 20 – 22 cookies
- 300g dark chocolate (70% best chocolate, I used Valrhona), chopped
- 160g unsalted butter, cubed (I use Westgold)
- 145g plain flour
- 1 tablespoon finely ground instant coffee powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 200g brown sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 eggs (about 55g each)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Salt flakes, for sprinkling
- Place the dark chocolate and butter into a medium sized heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
- Heat on a medium-low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, coffee powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the brown sugar, caster sugar and eggs on medium speed, until thick, doubled in volume, and light caramel in color (about 4 minutes). Add in the melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate. Continue to whisk until well incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Set the mixer speed to medium and add in the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, then, add in the water. Continue to whisk until homogenise. The dough should be fluid, and form a thick flowing trail when the whisk is lifted. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and set it in the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour. (Not any longer or it will be too hard to scoop.)
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius. Line three large baking trays with baking paper.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough evenly onto the prepared cookie sheets. The dough should be soft but will hold its shape when being scooped. If not, leave in the fridge for a further 15 minutes. Place 6-8 scoops on each cookie sheet with plenty of room to spread. Drop the sheets against the kitchen bench to slightly flatten the cookies. Sprinkle over a little of the flaked sea salt.
- Bake the cookies for a total of 11 minutes. To make crinkles (method is according to Sarah Kieffer), you’ll have to do the following steps:
Set a timer for 11 minutes of baking. Place sheets in.
After 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet half-way around. Lift and drop the sheet against the oven rack to deflate the cookies. A small circle of crinkles should be visible on the outer edge of the cookies. Close the oven door and allow the cookies to rise again.
2 minutes later, again lift and drop the tray against the oven rack to deflate and further crinkle the cookies. They will be very visible (I was so excited when I saw these!) Bake for another 2 minutes.
Repeat one more time of lift and drop, and bake one last 2 minutes.
The cookies should be flat with plenty of crinkles. They should be just firm around the edges and set in the middle.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on their trays for 10 minutes, then to a wire rack to cool further.