Chocolate Mocha Crinkle Cookies

These crinkle cookies are one of my favorites for adding variety to Christmas platters but they are requested at our house all year long because of their terrific chocolate flavor. The mocha accents the chocolate without being overpowering so that even the kids devour these without hesitation. The visual impact of these cookies with their delicate powdered shells bursting in contrast to their deep chocolate middles is achieved with minimal effort and is the real reason the Chocolate Mocha Crinkles earn their place on my cookie platters every year.

Chocolate Mocha Crinkle Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 1 oz squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1/2 Tablespoon powdered instant espresso
1 Tablespoon hot water
4 eggs
1 cup  unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for dusting

Melt the chocolate and combine with sugar, oil, and the espresso powder dissolved in the hot water.  In a large bowl mix the chocolate and sugar mixture with the eggs and add the remaining dry ingredients until the dough is uniform in color. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate an hour or overnight (or days ahead if planning a big cookie making party.)

Shape the cookies into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place the balls approximately 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake cookies in a 375-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. The cracks should appear moist, and the cookies should appear set.
Melt the chocolate. These cookies can be mixed all in one bowl but I don't have a large microwave safe bowl, so I melt the chocolate and combine the sugar while it is warm in the smaller bowl, then use this same bowl to store it in the fridge later.

The dough can be mixed with the stand mixer but I find it to be one that shoots flour and cocoa out of the bowl, so I have taken to mixing this recipe by hand to save the cleanup. Combine all wet and then add in the dry, blend until the dough is uniform.
Cover the dough and refrigerate at least an hour or until ready to bake (up to 2 days.)
I use a 1 tablespoon sized ice cream scoop to get a consistent dough ball size. Often this is a two person task, one person portioning the balls and the other rolling in the powdered sugar (kids are great with powdered sugar, the mess is worth the memories.) 
The perfect contrast to all the buttery goodness of other Christmas cookies, these provide an additional texture and flavor profile to fancy holiday trays.