Deep, Dark, Chocolaty Earthquake Cookies

By America’s Test Kitchen | December 23rd, 2021

These fudgy, crinkly cookies are perfect for chocolate lovers

The key is rolling the dough first in granulated sugar, then confectioners sugar. Photo credit: Marie Piraino. For article on Deep, Dark, Chocolaty Earthquake Cookies

Deep, dark, chocolaty earthquake cookies – perfect for chocolate lovers – are named for the cracks that break through their snow-white surfaces during baking. The key to creating these crinkly cracks is rolling the formed dough first in granulated sugar and then in confectioners’ sugar. The granulated sugar helps create that crackly, crusty exterior and keeps the confectioners’ sugar coating in place so you can see the fissures.

Microwave 101

Most microwaves have a power setting that lets you cook things at reduced power levels. It’s important to melt butter and chocolate at 50% of full power. The controls can vary from microwave to microwave, but often you have to set the power level before setting the time.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Makes 12 cookies

  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar, egg and egg yolk, and vanilla until combined.
  3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Heat in the microwave at 50% power until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir chocolate mixture until well combined and shiny.
  4. Add the chocolate mixture to the brown sugar mixture and stir until combined. Stir in flour mixture until no dry flour is visible. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  5. Place the sugar in 1 shallow dish and the confectioners’ sugar in second shallow dish.
  6. Roll the dough into 12 balls (about 2 tablespoons each). Drop the balls directly into the shallow dish with the regular sugar, and roll to coat. Then transfer the dough balls to the shallow dish with the confectioners’ sugar, and roll to evenly coat. Place dough balls on the parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between balls.
  7. Bake cookies until puffed and cracked and the edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft (cookies will look raw in cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and let cookies cool completely on the baking sheet, about 30 minutes. Serve.

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