Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cookie Three: Kringles

One thing that I love most about my family is our ability to take everyday things, normal things, and put our family spin on them. I discovered just how good we really were at this while I was researching my next cookie assignment.

Kringles are my absolute favorite Christmas cookies, and my Aunt Judy serves them each year to her anxious guests busily brushing up on their talent for Santa. My Uncle Ernie has an in with Santa, so he pays us a special visit on Christmas Eve with a sack full of presents. In order to receive your presents though, Santa requires a kind of toll; you must perform for the rest of the family. If you are humorous/good/young enough, there's a possibility you may not get heckled. Only the lucky few (and by lucky, I mean worst) get last year's leftover ribbons and bows thrown at them. Clearly, we are a loving family.

So loving, in fact, that we have given our own name to Kringles. Indeed, as I was rummaging through a cookbook last week, I came across a recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. I was highly confused because these cookies looked like Kringles, but they just couldn't be. We've been calling these cookies Kringles for thirty-plus years; they couldn't possibly have another name! But the recipe was just too similar and yielded too many Google hits for it not to be true. So, I offer up my family's version of this classic recipe. You may know it by a different name, but I guarantee ours tastes better.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 squares Baker's chocolate, unsweetened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Melt 4 squares Baker's chocolate according to the directions on the box. In a large bowl, mix vegetable oil, melted chocolate and sugar with a wooden spoon until combined. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and mix well. Add flour, baking powder and mix well. (I found the dough difficult to stir at this point, but just give it a little elbow grease). Wrap dough in parchment paper, and refrigerate overnight.

After ample refrigeration, roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball, and then roll in the powdered sugar until the entire ball of dough is covered. Place on cookie sheet about two inches apart, and bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until cookies have expanded and look like the powdered sugar has crinkled. Yields approximately four dozen cookies, depending on how big you roll the dough balls and how much batter you eat while you're rolling the dough in powdered sugar.

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