These red velvet cookies get a double dose of chocolate from cocoa powder and melted semi-sweet chocolate. Coating them in confectioners’ sugar before baking gives them their signature crinkle look.
I think I fell back in love with baking when I started watching the Great British Baking Show last fall. To be fair to baking, I never stopped loving it, I just kind of put the brakes on it for a while.
Then while watching these clever British bakers, I wanted to start baking again too. So I started dabbling on a weekend afternoon, baking some snickerdoodle cookies here or a batch of muffins there. That was last year.
This year I decided to get serious. In the form of baking boot camp. I attended my first session this weekend, and while I knew most of what was going on in our first basics class, I did learn how to identify an under-baked cookie (hint, it sinks in the middle).
My boot camp instructor does not like to bake cookies. To hear her tell it, cookies are an all-afternoon affair. You mix up a dough and then you spend hours baking the darn things a sheet at a time. While this is true, cookies are still my favorite, and I’ve always made a batch of Valentine’s Day cookies.
I usually put my heart-shaped cookie cutter to work on a sugar cookie dough, but this year, I opted to bake these red velvet cookies. I may have rekindled a love for baking, but it’s going to take one heck of a cookie to make me fall in love with rolling out a sugar cookie dough.
Essentially a brownie-like cookie dyed red, the cookies are coated in powdered sugar for a pretty look and sweet taste. I used a 1-ounce container of Wilton no-taste red, but you could certainly opt-out of the dye and enjoy these as a chocolate cookie instead. And who doesn’t love chocolate?
In season 2 of my favorite baking show, baker Glenn explained to the audience that “Baking’s not food on a table. Baking’s a bit of love; that’s why we do it.” Yes. Perfectly said. Enjoy!
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
Yield approximately 36 cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon red gel food color
1/4-1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate how you see fit. I like to do this by heating a bowl of chocolate in the microwave for 30-seconds at a time, giving it a good stir, then repeating for 30-second increments as needed. You can also melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Just be sure not to let the bowl touch the water and stir the melting chocolate often.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium-speed until creamy, about two to three minutes.
- Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Next beat in the melted chocolate and red food coloring.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the dry ingredients you set aside earlier. Beat just until incorporated; the dough will be thick and may look dry.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
- When the dough has chilled, scoop one tablespoon at a time and roll it into a ball. Repeat until all of the dough is rolled into balls. If the dough starts to feel soft, return it to the refrigerator to firm up.
- Roll the cookie dough balls in the confectioners' sugar until well-coated. Just when you think the dough balls are coated enough, give them another roll in the sugar. This will help create the "crackle" finish once baked. The sugar might cling to the dough in uneven patches.
- Place the prepared cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets and lightly flatten them with the palm of your hand.
- Bake at 350 degrees F until deep cracks appear and the cookies look set, about 14 minutes.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheets for about five minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
I used only 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar, but I suggested up to 1/2 cup as you may find it easier to coat the cookie dough balls if you work with more sugar than will ultimately coat the cookies.