I'm sure I'm not the only one who can say this is definitely the week of baking. With all the holiday parties and family get togethers, it seems one tradition that is never broken is the abundance of cookies on display. I started early with one of my favorites, molasses ginger cookies, but didn't really get into it until this past weekend. My brother in law and our 3 year old nephew stayed with us and I promised him we'd make cookies together. We made sugar cookies and cut them into all sorts of fun shapes to pass out to the family that evening at dinner. It was a blast having a little helper and he couldn't wait to have a taste, it was so cute.
Yesterday I was reminded of another one of my holiday favorites over on shared sugar; the super dark and chocolaty cocoa crinkle cookie also known as chocolate pixies or chocolate crackles. I've made these about a thousand times using the same recipe, but I have a vegan friend I wanted to share them with and had to find a way to make them as close to the original as possible without using butter or eggs. It seems most vegan baked goods include margarine in place of the butter in most recipes, but I always reach for coconut oil instead because I like to bake with natural ingredients when I can.
You can find coconut oil, also known as coconut butter, at most grocery stores and if you've never used it before I suggest you try it. It's solid at room temperature and becomes a liquid once heated. It has a wonderful subtle smell of coconut and in most baked goods that I've used it in, it doesn't change the flavor at all. You can also use it in savory dishes as well.
I'm happy to say these came out just as rich and chocolaty as I remember. I love the deep dark cracks on top and the soft brownie like inside. What a perfect way to kick off the first day of winter too, happy Winter Solstice everyone. Today might be the shortest day of the year, but I'm looking forward to the light returning each day. I would also like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and if you still have a load of baking to do the rest of this week, you should give these cookies a try.
Cocoa Crinkle Cookies
makes about 30
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 tablespoons flax meal
6 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup spelt flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup almond milk
powdered sugar for rolling
In a double broiler, melt the coconut oil with the unsweetened chocolate. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile blend the flax meal and 6 tablespoons of water together and set aside for about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Add the sugars to the chocolate mixture and stir well. Add the flax mixture along with the vanilla and beat well. Stir in about half the flour mixture. Pour in the almond milk and stir, then add the remaining flour and stir just until all the dry becomes wet. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or 30 minutes in the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mat.
Pour the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Pull the dough out from the refrigerator and scoop out rounded tablespoons full of dough and shape into a ball. Place the dough in the powdered sugar until fully coated and set a couple inches apart on prepared cookies sheets. Bake until you see large cracks on top and the center is still slightly soft, about 12 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Store tightly sealed at room temperature for about 3 days.