Chocolate & Chipotle Crinkle Cookies

December  3, 2019
2 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 4 dozen small cookies (or 2 dozen large ones)
Author Notes

Crinkle cookies are some of my favorite. I discovered them when I moved to the U.S. a little over 20 years ago. Though I can’t recall exactly where I first encountered them, I think it was around Christmas at a bakery uptown in New York City. I was drawn to them by their crackly tops that remind me a bit of turtle shells—and I love turtles. Then, I tasted them and loved their melt-in-your-mouth texture, with their chewy insides and crunchy, crackly outsides. I had never seen cookies like that in Mexico.

I soon decided that I wanted to try to make them myself, and sell them in my shop, La Newyorkina. But I wanted to put on a personal Mexican spin on them to match the kinds of treats I ate growing up. I tried different versions using Mexican chocolate, Mexican cinnamon, piloncillo (an unrefined sugar). Finally, after weeks of testing I finally came up with this version I’m sharing with you here, which was the one everyone liked the most in the shop's kitchen. It has a crackly, turtle-shell top, a chewy, brownie-like texture in the middle, and a lovely smoky kick from a homemade chipotle paste.

When I make this recipe, I start with the chipotle paste. Because it is a bit labor-intensive, I usually make a large amount of the paste at once, and keep some around in the freezer for future batches of cookies. Then, the cookie dough itself is a straightforward recipe: Whip eggs till fluffy and add flour and melted chocolate. It’s important not to overmix the dough at this stage, though, as this can make the cookies dry. Once the dough is made and rested, I then portion it into 4 dozen cookies, and begin rolling them in sugar so they can get those turtle shells as they bake. I’ve found that rolling them in granulated sugar before rolling in confectioners’ sugar, as is traditionally done in a lot of crinkle-cookie recipes, gave them a crispier texture on the outside, and a better crinkle effect.

At the end of the day, these cookies are really dangerous—not because of the heat, but because you won’t be able to stop eating them! —Fany Gerson

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Food52's Holiday Cookie Chronicles. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (133g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure Mexican vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces (142g) extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces (57g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces (113g) mini chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle chile paste (recipe below)
  • 6 medium chipotle chiles (for chipotle paste—see note) (1 ounce, or 28g)
  • Rolling sugars
  • Granulated sugar
  • Confectioner's sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on high speed for 15 minutes until it has thickened.
  4. While the eggs are whipping, put a medium-to-large saucepan filled with water 3/4 of the way up over medium heat. Place the butter, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl (not the mini chocolate chips) and place on top of the pot. Adjust the heat so it’s hot but not boiling and stir from time to time until everything is melted and smooth.
  5. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture using a spatula until partially combined (you should still see some streaks). Add the dry mixture to the batter and carefully fold it in. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chipotle paste (see recipe below in note) and fold in the chocolate chips. If the batter seems very runny, let it rest until it thickens slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Fill a small bowl with the granulated sugar in one bowl and a separate bowl with the confectioner’s sugar. Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the one with the granulated sugar and roll so it has a nice coating. Then, put into the second bowl filled with the confectioner's sugar and put on the prepared baking sheets, making sure you have about 3 inches (7.5cm) separation between them. Bake until puffed and cracked, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from the baking sheets.
  7. NOTE: To make the chipotle paste, toast chiles in a dry heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard stems, seeds, and ribs, then soak chiles in hot water to cover until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chiles in a mini food processor or a blender, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons soaking liquid as needed to form a paste. Force paste through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Set aside 1 1/2 tablespoons chile paste and freeze remainder for another use.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Brinda Ayer
    Brinda Ayer
  • Lisa
  • Rhonda

6 Reviews

Lisa December 6, 2020
I made these loved the taste but was disappointed they did not flatten out any suggestions?
Rhonda December 8, 2019
I made this exactly as written (with 1/4 c flour) except used 1 t of a jarred chipotle paste. I let it sit on the counter 15 minutes, then in the frig for another 15 and it never firmed up enough to roll. I added 2 T or so of flour, enough so I could work with it, and baked 6 cookies. They spread out to wafer thin with isolated splotches of sugar, so I added another 1 T to the remaining batter. this gave me a cookie with almost the desired turtle look. I ended up with 15 small cookies. What did I do wrong? The flavor is fantastic so I want to be able to perfect this recipe.
Brinda A. December 11, 2019
Hi Rhonda! Sorry to hear you had trouble with this recipe. Some thoughts here: As you were whisking the egg whites, did they get pretty fluffy/stiff? These cookies use egg whites as their main structure, so fairly stiff is good here. Second, when you were folding in the chocolate, was it still a little warm? That might've deflated the egg whites just a little bit. *Very* gently folding in the chocolate would be helpful, too.

Overall, though, these cookies are supposed to be a bit flat—so my guess is that you're not too far off!
Rhonda December 11, 2019
The recipe says “whip the eggs” so I didn’t separate them. Am I supposed to use just the whites? Thanks! Would like to make these for a Christmas exchange in a few days.
Brinda A. December 11, 2019
Apologies, Rhonda, I meant "whole eggs" instead of "egg whites"! As far as I know, you won't want to separate here. Still, since you're whipping them for 15 minutes, they're going to get pretty thick and foamy and a little stiff. Maybe if the consistency isn't quite as thick as feels roll-able, you need to whip for a little longer.
Rhonda December 11, 2019
Thanks for your reply. I whipped the eggs for the full 15 minutes but will try longer.