Chocolate Amaretto Crinkles

Chocolate Amaretto Crinkles
I love the idea of chocolate crinkles, but I’d never eaten one that didn’t leave me pining for more flavor until I came up with these. They’re the crinkles of my dreams. The brown sugar gives them a rich and slightly fudge-y texture, and between the luxurious, festive Amaretto and the no-chocolate-holds-barred Dutch process cocoa, they have the kind of flavor I expect from a high-end bakery cookie. All this awesomeness, and they’re lower in fat, sugar and cholesterol than traditional chocolate crinkles. I made a batch to include in gift baskets (whee! I know people are going to love them!), which is extra-sweet because even though they taste expensive, they don’t cost much to make. Tissue paper, fancy tin, the best crinkles ever – bam. Gifting made of win.

Chocolate Amaretto Crinkles
makes about 3 dozen large-ish crinkle cookies

1 cup Dutch process or Dutch process blend cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s® Special Dark)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 banana
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup Amaretto liqueur

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Chocolate Amaretto Crinkles1. Stir the cocoa, sugars, olive oil and applesauce together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the banana (squish it in your hand first). Stir in the vanilla and Amaretto.

2. Whisk the flours, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl, then stir them into the cocoa mixture. Cover the dough and refrigerate for about 4 hours. This makes them easier to roll into balls and keeps them from spreading too much as they bake.

3. Heat the oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners and place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the dough into approximate 2″ balls, then drop them one at a time into the powdered sugar; make sure they’re pretty thickly coated. Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes (if you’re in doubt, err on the side of less baking time), switching rack positions midway through if needed. Let the cookies stand for a minute after taking them out of the oven before moving them to cooling racks.

If you’re going to freeze some to gift later, place parchment of waxed paper between cookie layers so their tops stay snowily intact.

NUTRITION
Per cookie, 29g: 89 calories (17 calories from fat); 1.9g fat (3%)(0g trans); 9mg cholesterol (3%); 324mg sodium (14%); 15.7g carbohydrates (5%); 1.2g fiber (5%); 1.5g protein; Vitamin A 0%; Calcium 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Iron 7%