These chocolate crinkle cookies are thick and gooey in the style of the popular Levain Bakery! Created by Chef Danielle Sepsy of Hungry Gnome, these cookies are deeply chocolatey and sure to be a hit at any party.
When I was searching for chocolate crinkle cookies for the crinkle cookie bake off, Chef Danielle submitted her own recipe for review. As soon as I looked at her recipe, I knew I had to try it. Made with cake flour, Dutch-process cocoa, dark brown sugar, two types of chocolate chips and espresso powder, this recipe is exactly up my alley. I was also intrigued by her use of both butter and shortening (which helps the cookies hold their shape).
If you’ve ever been dissatisfied by a thin, dry, tasteless chocolate crinkle cookie, these are the absolute opposite. Thick and decadent with gooey centers, these are some of my favorite holiday cookies. (Plenty more holiday baking inspiration here!)
If you’re not already convinced to make these cookies, Danielle is the chef and owner behind the wildly popular NYC-based wholesale and online bakery, Hungry Gnome. Not to mention one of the kindest and most talented bakers I’ve ever met! If you’d like to try some of their famous baked goods, online orders ship nationwide and to Canada!
Why you’ll love these chocolate crinkle cookies
- Thick and gooey texture: With thick balls of dough, these bake up into thick, rich cookies with crisp edges and soft, gooey centers studded with melty chocolate chips. They’re similar to the famous cookies from Levain Bakery!
- Deeply chocolatey: Unlike crinkle cookies that rely solely on cocoa powder to get their chocolate flavor, Danielle adds two types of chocolate chips to ensure a deeply chocolate-y flavor.
- Thick sugar coating: Danielle rolls these cookies in powdered sugar both before and after chilling to ensure a thick coating of sugar! To help these cookies retain a white sugar coating, try rolling them in a thin layer of granulated sugar before the first coating of powdered sugar.
How to make these cookies
Step 1: Cream together the butter and shortening before adding dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and creaming together until well-aerated (about 3 minutes).
Step 2: Add flavorings (vanilla and espresso powder) and beat in before beating in the eggs one at at time.
Step 3: Add the dry ingredients. I like to sprinkle in the salt and leavening first so they can get evenly distributed into the wet ingredients. Next, beat in the Dutch-process cocoa. I leave the flour for last to minimize the beating and forming gluten.
Step 4: Fold in the chocolate chips. One the dough is formed, all that’s left is to fold in the chocolate chips!
Step 5: Form the dough balls. You’ll split up the dough into 15 balls (about 68 grams each). Roll each ball in granulated sugar before rolling in powdered sugar. Place on a cookie sheet to chill in the fridge, uncovered, for at least one hour. These can chill up to overnight (in which case you can cover the cookies to prevent them from drying out).
Step 6: Roll in sugar again and bake! Once the dough is chilled, it’s time to preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (350 if baking in a convection oven). Roll the dough balls in powdered sugar one more time, then place on a baking sheet spaced about 4″ apart. Bake for around 15 minutes or until puffed, fragrant and edges are set.
You can use butter in place of the shortening (but your cookies may spread a bit more.) Because shortening is 100% fat (unlike butter, which contains water) it helps contribute to a softer and more tender texture. However, your cookies will still be delicious with all butter!
Ideally, you’ll chill the dough in the fridge (uncovered) for one hour to prevent them from spreading too much. However, I’ve also tried chilling these for 25 minutes in the freezer before baking, and they still worked well. If you’d like to make these in advance, you can form the balls, roll in granulated and powdered sugar, and store in a covered container overnight. Simply take out the dough balls while the oven is preheating to remove some of the chill.
You’re looking for the edges to be set but the center to still look underdone. This will ensure a moist and tender cookie center. I think these are best served reheated for 15 seconds in a microwave.
Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (Levain-style!)
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1" chunks 113g
- 1/4 cup Crisco shortening
- 1 cup dark brown sugar 213g
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100g
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 2 large eggs 100g
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa 63g
- 2 cups cake flour 260g
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 170g
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 170g
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar, optional 37.5g
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar 113g
- Beat the butter and shortening together until creamy. Add both sugars and cream for 2-3 minutes, or until well combined. Beat in vanilla and espresso. Beat in eggs one at at time.
- Sprinkle in salt and baking powder and beat to combine. Next, beat in the cocoa. Finally, add the flour and beat until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide dough into 15 balls (about 68 grams each). Roll balls in granulated sugar if using (this helps keeps the powdered sugar white), then in powdered sugar. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour. (If chilling overnight, place in a covered container.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (350 for convection). If dough has been chilled overnight, remove dough from fridge 20-30 minutes before baking. Roll the chilled dough balls in powdered sugar once again and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 4" apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffed, fragrant, and the edges look set and center still looks very soft.