Cocoa Cranberry Crack-Ups

Cocoa Cranberry Crack-Ups
These icing-sugar-dusted cookies stay soft, almost cakey, in the middle.
2 baking sheets, parchment paper, bowls, sifter, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, wooden spoon, dinner knife
¾ cup (185 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon in, level)
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
pinch of salt
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
½ cup (125 mL) white sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup (80 mL) chocolate chips
¼ cup (60 mL) dried cranberries or dried cherries
½ cup (125 mL) icing sugar (spoon in, level)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you have only one baking sheet, after baking the first batch let the sheet cool before using it again.)
  3. In a big bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a baking spatula and set aside.
  4. In another large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave at 50% power (about 1 minute). Use a wooden spoon to blend in the white sugar and vanilla. Mix in the egg.
  5. Pour the cocoa mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until you have an evenly colored cocoa dough. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the wooden spoon. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries or cherries. Test the dough by pressing on it. If the dough sticks to your fingers, let it sit on the counter for 5 or 10 minutes to firm up. It will get less sticky.
  6. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Set aside.
  7. Press the dough into level tablespoons. Push the dough out of the spoon with your finger and roll it into a ball. Roll each ball in the icing sugar to cover completely. Hold the balls loosely in your cupped hand and shake off the bigger lumps of sugar. Place the balls on the parchment. Make 20 sugar-covered balls.
  8. Next, roll each ball a second time in the icing sugar. Shake off the extra sugar. Place the balls about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking sheets. Put ten on each sheet.
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time for 10 minutes, until small cracks appear on the cookies. Cool completely before eating.
Makes 20 Cocoa Cranberry Crack-Ups.

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