I have two favorite Christmas cookies — Peanut Butter Blossoms and Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Because it’s just the two of us, they’re the only ones I make each December, and we eat the entirety of both batches without abandon.
Over the years I’ve made different gluten-free versions of each, trying to nail the recipes that would fool any gluten-full eater as well. For the peanut butter blossoms, I use these soft and chewy ones as the base and stick a Hershey’s kiss in the middle, not because it’s the best chocolate, but classic is classic. I swear the combination actually makes the kiss taste better than it does in any other application.
And now I’ve got my Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle recipe. The browniest cookies, with a hint of peppermint as to not overshadow, only enhance.
Robustly chocolate, the richest flavor that’s more reminiscent of a truffle than a cookie ….. with a slightly crisp edge and plush, fudgy middle. Crackles breaking through each snowy, powdered sugar bite. They don’t spread too thin, nor bake too thick.
These gluten-free crinkle cookies are made with teff flour, which I’ve fallen madly in love with (my favorite brownie recipe uses it too). It’s a gluten-free baking dream, with a sweet and nutty flavor, and consistency that turns a bit sticky when it hits moisture, therefore not needing any gums to bind.
There are two doses of chocolate, mostly melted dark and but also a bit of dutch-processed cocoa, adding depth and moisture. And the real trick to making them super soft and fudgy is sunflower seed butter, unsweetened. Just two tablespoons so you won’t taste the flavor at all, it’s just for the texture. (You could also use cashew butter.)
And last note: be liberal with the powdered sugar coating. I tested this several times, and that’s how you get it to really stick and crackle. If it’s too light, it melts right into the cookie.
The hand illustrated, modern recipe cards and wooden box, along with towels you see in this post are from 1canoe2, a favorite midwest partner of mine. Clean and classy, they’d be the perfect holiday gift for someone who loves to cook, or loves their kitchen. And they inspired me.
You see, I’ve been wanting to bring back the tradition of exchanging recipe cards with friends and families, as I cherish the ones I have from my grandmother so much (as well as a very old recipe box I recently found at a thrift shop, full of hundreds of vintage recipes). Although we have access to so much food content online, there’s something about handwriting that lets more than just a recipe live on. So I’ve decided I’m sending these as holiday cards this year to those closest to me, in hopes that it will do just that. Handwriting, words, food stains, and scribbles write their own memories.
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