Chocolate Crinkles benefit from a pre-baking roll in both granulated sugar and powdered sugar. The combination gives them their distinctive appearance.
Chocolate Crinkles benefit from a pre-baking roll in both granulated sugar and powdered sugar. The combination gives them their distinctive appearance. (Mel Barber photo - mbarber@yorkdispatch.com)

Maybe it's just a coping mechanism for living with three outgoing, strong-willed women, but my dad has always been a relaxed, go-with-the-flow sort of guy. When asked for his input, he's usually content to go with whatever "my girls" -- my mom, my younger sister and me -- want to do.

This applies particularly to food: The three women love to experiment in the kitchen, while my dad is just happy to enjoy the fruits of our labors of love. Even on his birthday, when I told him I would make him anything he wanted for dinner, he was noncommittal: "Maybe chicken, and a vegetable," he said. I tried to press him for details, but all I got was "whatever you want. Nothing fancy."

So I know these chocolate crinkle cookies are good because they are the only thing he has repeatedly requested of me. They have a great balance of fudge and fluffiness, with a sugar coating that keeps them from being too overwhelmingly chocolatey. And considering how often my dad lets his girls have their way, these cookies are a request I'm always more than happy to oblige.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1¼ cups granulated sugar + an additional ½ cup (separated)

1 stick butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ cup confectioners sugar

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets with butter.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1¼ cups of granulated sugar on medium speed until creamy (about 3 minutes).

Add one egg and beat until blended. Add vanilla and second egg and beat until blended.

In another bowl, using a whisk, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until just blended.

Put the remaining ½ cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl and put the confectioners sugar in another small bowl.

Use a heaping tablespoon to scoop out the dough and roll the dough into a ball in the palm of your hand.

Gently roll the ball of dough in the granulated sugar and then in the confectioners sugar until coated.

Place the dough on your baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.

Bake until cookies are crackled and puffed, about 10 to 12 minutes. After you pull them from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies.

-- Reach Anna Walsh at awalsh@yorkdispatch.com.