Chocolate Crinkle Cookies have been around for awhile and the one thing I've always found is that you have to be careful not to make them too "tooth aching" sweet. I like to substitute light brown sugar instead of the usual granulated sugar a lot of recipes call for and the chocolate I use is at least 60% cacao along with some unsweetened Dutch Processed Cocoa. Today, I added some toasted hazelnut flour, which can be purchased at King Arthur Flour or Nuts.com or you can make your own by toasting hazelnuts in a shallow pan, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub hazelnuts in a kitchen towel to rub the loose skins off, then, place them in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pulse until finely ground. The hazelnut flavor also helps in not making these overly sweet, but rich and chocolatey. I think they're perfect to add to my repertoire for the Holiday Cookie Boxes I do each year!
Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts or toasted hazelnut flour (if making your own, start with about 2/3 cup of hazelnuts to toast, and pulse in food processor with 2 T granulated sugar.)
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao) chopped and melted in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water until smooth
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar (for rolling the cookies in)
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the brown sugar and mix until at high speed until fluffy. Scrape down the sides once more and add the vanilla, and melted chocolate. Mix to combine.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, then add it to the batter with the milk. Mix just until combined. The dough will be very soft and must be chilled for 2-3 hours. I divided the dough and placed it in plastic wrap to chill.
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into balls and then roll them (3-4 at a time) in sifted confectioners' sugar (icing sugar). Arrange on the baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake in the preheated oven, 10-12 minutes. The cookies are puffed and cracked and edges feel dry, but the centers are still slightly soft. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.