Chocolate Crinkles a la Scharffenberger


Here is an ultra-easy recipe for chocolate crinkles from the book “The Essence of Chocolate” by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg. I don’t think I have ever made chocolate crinkles before, and I wasn’t a great fan of most chocolate crinkles as I often found them to be airy and overly sweet. I prefer a more substantial cookie. But the kid happens to love these cookies and if made with good dark chocolate, they are pretty good!


Melt some good (presumably preferably Scharffenberger 99% unsweetened chocolate) chocolate (4 oz. worth in a double boiler, or if confident, in a microwave, but watch that you don’t burn it!). Next, mix two cups of SHIFTED flour with 2 teaspoons of fresh baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and set this aside. In a mixing bowl, add two cups of white sugar, 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil and the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Add four whole eggs, one at a time and scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice after mixing. Add 2 teaspoons of good vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, it will be very moist. Plonk this onto some plastic wrap and let it hang out in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to solidify a bit more.


After the chilling phase, turn your oven on to 350F. Take the dough out of the fridge, form roughly 1 inch diameter balls in your palms and coat this with powdered sugar and place roughly 16 pieces well spaced on a cookie sheet lined with silpat mats or baking paper. Cook for some 10-11 minutes until just crisp on the outer edges but still soft in the center.


Cool completely resting on cookie racks and store in cookie jars or tins. Our chocolate labrador, who can’t eat any chocolate, nodded her head in approval. I thought they were pretty good, crisp and chewy at the same time. Very chocolate-y. A nice dark color. And very easy to make. :)


48 Responses

  1. This is a favorite cookie as well in our household. I bake these for the senior’s bazaar in our Rec. Centre. …your recipe, MM, is very similar to the one I use from Betty Crocker cookbook I have since 19Kopong Kopong!!! Another recipe you might want to try is the one in the Spago cookbook. It is sooooooooo good that when I used to make it for the “BOYS IN BLUE” (VPD cops), they said it should be considered “lethal”! In that cookbook, you will find it marked as BLACK SNOWBALLS instead of Chocolate Crinkle! If you ladies don’t have the Spago cookbook, holler and I will post it! Is it Ok, MM?

  2. i love these cookies. i first came across them in college. my roommate’s grandma makes them during Hanukkah and always brought some back to share. i’ve been looking for a recipe. thanks!

    btw. your blog is amazing. i feel like i’m back home just by reading it.

  3. ms betty q, yes, pls post the recipe if you and mm don’t mind. the holidays are just around the corner. what a great (and economic) idea to make as hostess gifts. I made crinkles before but turned out too dry. I may have baked them longer than 12 minutes.

  4. Hmmm my friend from VA just sent a chocolate loot bag with a bar of Scharffenberger thrown in. Will try this recipe soon! I haven’t tried making crinkles with dark chocolate so this ought to be good!

  5. bettyq, of course please feel free to post the recipe…good recipes are always welcome. I much prefer it when folks share recipes than keep them family secrets, kuno or daw…

  6., MM you’re soooooooooooooo hysterically funny! It has been ages since I heard KUNO!!!!

    Anyway, OK ….deep breath first….stop laughing!!! Wolfgang Puck’s Spago’s Black Snowballs: Yield: about 5 dozen cookies…

    1 cup almond meal (to make 1 cup of almond meal…place 4 oz. blanched almonds in food processor together with 1 tsp. granulated sugar. Pulse first then let it rrrriipppp to a fine meal but not a PASTE!) no food processor? you can use a nut grinder or the ever reliable ALMIRES!
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    3/4 tsp. baking powder
    12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces (NOTE: This amt. of chocolate makes the cookie REALLY CHOCOLATE-Y for my taste so I decreased the chocolate to 6 to 8 oz….6 oz. is good!)
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp. and cut into pieces
    3 eggs
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup or the cookie batter and the remaining 1/2 for rolling later)
    1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. liqueur (amaretto, or creme de menthe) or Strong coffee (omit if making cookies for kids!)and use pure vanilla extract
    about 1/3 cup sifted icing sugar

    Combine almond meal, flour, and baking powder, salt in a small bowl and set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in a small clean bowl over bain marie.When ALMOST melted, turn off heat and stir and let it stand till completely melted. WHISK eggs and sugar in another bowl. Stir in flavouring of your choice…you can use vanilla as well….and then whisk the cooled melted chocolate into egg mixture and fold in the dry ingredients. REFRIGERATE overnight. Roll into small balls about 1 inch indiameter. Arrange on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Return to cooler for about 30 minutes.

    When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the other 1/2 cup of sugar in small bowl and the icing sugar in another small bowl. Roll each cookie first in the granulated sugar and then in the icing sugar. Place on cookie sheets spacing 2 inch. apart. Bake ONLY TILL TOPS START TO CRACK and SLIGHTLY FIRM to touch about 10 to 11 MINUTES ONLY. I like the texture of this cookie …slightly crispy top and REALLY chewy fudgy interior.

    NOTE: If you are making these for people with NUT ALLERGIES> omit the ALMOND MEAL and increase the flour to 1 cup more or you can use Graham cracker crumbs (finely ground)

  7. The chocolate crinkles that my mom makes are literally of the “lethal weapon” kind. They are very dry and very hard. You can really hurt somebody with it!

    Betty Q! Please post that recipe before my moms kills somebody!

  8. Thanks for the recipe, betty q.! Have you ever tried using other nuts beside almonds? Would you suggest other nuts?
    And yes, David Leibovitz just posted his first encounter with Robert Steinberg in remembrance of his death. The company was sold and no longer owned by Scharffenberger.

  9. I haven’t tried it with other NUTS, Zena…maybe I’ll try it with LEE!!! (hahahha) ..Anyway, I think raw cashews (if you roast it first in the oven) would work. I don’t know about walnuts…I think walnuts would be far too oily. How about this….I am going shopping tom. morning and bake some Snowballs using different kinds of nuts. I’ll let you know in a couple of days how it turned out…Are you referring to hazelnuts, pecans ?

  10. Thanks for the recipes, MM & bett q.

    My husband finds it weird that sometimes I have my laptop on the kitchen counter while baking or cooking.

  11. Tricia, I think it will be really cool if I had a PC in the kitchen… bettyq, thanks so much for the recipe… Jenny, hahaha, yes SIFTED not SHIFTED, I have amended post, thanks! Robstar, I have beent to Jacques Torres shop and even did a post on it in the archives…

  12. Thanks MM and Betty Q. Official Christmas baking season starts soon. My kids love the crinkles from Becky’s Kitchen.

  13. wow, crinkles are my 2 kids favorites! thanks for sharing the steps.. i would love to bake for them one day.. your crinkles indeed looks delish!

  14. thanks for the recipe marketman, this is just perfect, our friends’ kids (who we constantly have at home) have been requesting for cookies. I’ll make chocolate crinkles for them over the weekend.

  15. it’s been ages since i made this, i use Tamasin Day-Lewis recipe,yup sister of Daniel Day-Lewis , and i don’t think she calls this chocolate crinkle as well……mmmmmmmm, me think there’s gonna be some baking this weekend :)

  16. Thanks, betty q.! I’d love to know how the non-almond version turns out. You’re probably right. Cashew would be a better substitute for the almonds.

  17. Pardon my ignorance but how much is 4 oz when converted to cups? I have tons of big chocolate bars and just usually chop them and measure by cups.
    Will appreciate any help…

  18. I like choco crinkles but I would like to try other versions. Betty q, really hard to source almonds here that are not roasted. I wonder if roasted cashew can be a good substitute of blanched almonds…blanched vs. roasted? Nice of you to try out diff nuts. Let us know how it turns out. Thanks!

  19. Trish, do you have a weighing scale? If none, I suggest you purchase a small one as it isn’t expensive anyway. It really helped me a lot with baking. 1 oz=27 grams. So 4 oz choc is roughly equal to 110 gms. You can not convert to cups because we are talking weight vs. volume, apples vs. oranges. Good luck!

  20. crinkles are among my family’s favorites, and i usually add some walnut pieces. the dough is easy to freeze, and whenever you want freshly-baked cookies, just leave the frozen dough out in the kitchen counter for about 15 minutes, until you can scoop out the dough into balls.

  21. My daughter loves chocolate crinkles. Will definitely try your recipe, maybe in the weekend. Thanks Millet for the idea of freezing the dough.

  22. mm, thanks for this post. i have been bugging my wife to make crinkles again coz im sure our daughter and her cousins would love it. she used to bake this when we were still back in the phils. since we moved here in vancouver, she cant locate the recipe anymore. i will try this and betty q’s recipe.

  23. yummm….chocolate crinkles was one of the first cookie recipes i learned as a child baker…brings back nice memories…should do this again soon

  24. MM,
    I see upon browsing your archives for jacques torres post that your favorite chocolates are the same as mine, La maison du chocolat..last trip to the philippines I hand carried about $300 worth… tried my best to always have them in an air conditioned room 24/7…but nevertheless, they still melted. The little squares separated by plastic have merged into one big chocolate block. oh wells.Atleast the junior’s cheescake survived.

  25. MM and BettyQ thanks for the recipes, i will try this soon with my daughter. BTW MM, what kind of breed is your dog? (just curious). Our “shadow” (female all black dog)was bought from someone who knows someone and so on… she kinda looks like your dog, but bigger, she’s part husky, part hound and something else, hehehe..

  26. Ok, mga Mrs!..I tried this today using cashews ( I AM A HUGE FAN OF CASHEWS!!!) ….have to roast the cashews..they turned out far better than the raw ones…after processing them, a lot finer than the raw ones they turned out to be…and more fragrant…good thing I bought a LOT of cashews..hard to resist eating them while making the cookie!…tried it with brazil nuts too (more akin to PILI nuts there, I think!). ..not a huge fan of it though but it would work as well…again roasting it yieded a finer meal….i am a fan of hazelnuts…don’t know if you can source hazelnuts there though…roast them first, then skin them and process. ….so good with FRANGELICO added to the cookie batter!!!…Here’s a thought, Mrs!!! Make different flavours of Crinkles for Christmas…Mint (use creme de menthe)..OR Almond(use Amaretto)…Hazelnut (use Frangelico) OR Coffee (use Kahlua or Irish Creme)…French Vanilla (use half Frangelico and half Vanilla)

    Hey, Lee…you have to let me know your secret…what do I have to do or TAKE to even come a bit close to your sense of humour!!!

  27. Hey RoBStaR:…talk about cheesecakes, have you ever tried making Craig Claiborne’s cheesecake? I have searched far and wide for the quintessential cheesecake. that can be compared to Cheesecake etc. (on Granville St.). Mr. Claiborne’s cheesecake is the closest to it I think…it is light and creamy and heavenly…not overly sweet and for sure, you will not stop at 1 serving…..served with berry compote…masaaaaarrrrap!!! I used to work at Vancouver’s first dessert restaurant and I should be as they say, “loyal and true”…but after making Mr. Claiborne’s cheesecake at home, my family is addicted to his cheesecake now!

  28. Bettyq, not really too much of a desert person… am not too fond of sweets, sorta…And for the filipino favs, I refuse to learn them. With those knowledge comes the ability to be able to cook them anytime… no thanks… haha
    I can do damaged with flan, sansrival and braso. The latter is the only one I ever made. Once was enough…more than that would be deadly.

  29. betty q., hope you didn’t go nuts trying out all those nuts. =) Thanks for experimenting for us and for the great ideas for flavors.

    dhayl, I second the motion of RoBStaR. MM’s dog is a chocolate labrador who has a strict diet and can’t eat chocolate.

  30. dhayL, she is a small chocolate labrador retriever. She is nearly the exact same color as the crinkles, without the powdered sugar. And as a dog, chocolate is off limits to her… :) She is a runt of the litter, I think, but incredibly cute and good natured nonetheless… :)

  31. MM, ive only been a lurker here since 2 weeks back and found your site while googling for recipes. now im a fan and am really excited doing this crinkles as i bake cookies for my kids almost every week.
    can brown sugar be used instead of white sugar? i dont have white sugar readily available at home. :( i know it would look less enticing but will the cookies still taste great without the powdered sugar coating?

  32. i have a block of bittersweet chocolate in the pantry, this is a perfect recipe to use it up before it expires.. however you used unsweetened chocolate.. should i decrease the sugar or should i leave it be? thank you..

  33. zofhia, you might want to reduce the sugar a little bit (I found these a BIT sweet anyway) but not too much… riana, the powdered sugar coating helps to crisp up the skin of the cookies, so i am not sure how it will work without the powdered sugar… maybe you’ll just get less crispy crinkles?

  34. Oh and may I add a tip? For those who hate flat crinkles (I do), substitute vegetable shortening (Crisco and the like) for the oil.

  35. Thank you for the recipe! Your blog never fails to make my mouth water. I’ve just made these using 70% dark chocolate. Unfortunately could not find the unsweetened stuff, so I used 1/2c less sugar. Another thing that is terribly hard to come by here is real vanilla! I’ve only ever found vanilla sugar. Why oh why? But the cookies came out perfectly textured albeit still a bit to sweet for my taste. Hope my sweet-tooth Finnish office mates like them! Merry Christmas!

  36. MM

    I have tried using scharffenberger’s 99% and 70% chocolate. I prefer the 99% it works really well with the powdered sugar.

    I hate to say this but your recipe is way better than my mom’s. I hope she does not read this. hehehe

  37. MM, can i use hershey’s unsweetened cocoa instead? can’t afford the choco blocks, too expensive and the cheap ones tastes awful. i love hershey’s (and can afford it) but i can’t find any hershey baking blocks. (mga sweetened lang). if ever, do you know how much unsweeted powdered cocoa i can use to substitute for the choco blocks? thanks so much. i’d appreciate the help.



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