Chocolate Crackle-ish Cookies



When I opened my email this morning, I was so excited to see Day 1 of Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies. I eagerly clicked the link to view the recipe. Then came the disappointment – boxed cake mix? Seriously? I haven’t bought boxed cake mix in several months. Nonetheless, I scoured my cupboards in the hopes of finding a forgotten box of cake mix. During my search, I did find two boxes of cake mix, one spice, and one carrot. Both, however, had expired six months ago, so I did not feel guilty throwing them out. Instead of making a special trip to the store for chocolate cake mix (which likely would have been as unremarkable as I remember), I opted to use Ghirardelli brownie mix that I always keep on hand (I have yet to find the perfect brownie recipe, although I have come close).


Waiting two hours for the dough to firm in the refrigerator is the hardest part of making these cookies. The messiest part of making these cookies, however, is rolling the goopy dough into balls (or ball-ish shapes in my case). I did have to make a few adjustments when baking these cookies because the brownie-based batter refused to set after baking for 12 minutes at 350. Instead, I upped the temperature to 375 and baked for 14 minutes. The cookies, after making these adjustments, ended up becoming more cake-like than gooey, but at least they weren’t scraped into the garbage disposal like the first batch.


Additionally, I opted to skip the ‘roll in confectioners’ sugar’ step prior to baking. Instead, I found it easier just to drop the dough onto a cookie sheet using a one-tablespoon cookie scoop. Not that there isn’t any fun in having gooey batter seep between your fingers as you try to shake off the excess powdered sugar. Once the cookies cooled, they were given a generous dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Not rolling the dough in confectioners’ sugar prior to baking, of course, eliminates the whole ‘crackle’ aspect of these cookies, but my kids devoured them all the same. Overall, these cookies are a tasty go-to recipe when you are looking for an easy to prepare cookie that tastes homemade.

Chocolate Crackle-ish Cookies
Adapted from Paula Deen
  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ c (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c powdered sugar for dusting
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth
  2. Add egg and vanilla, stir until combined
  3. With the mixer running on low, slowly add in boxed brownie mix. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Cover and refrigerate batter for at least 2 hours
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  6. Using a tablespoon sized cookie scoop, place batter 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes
  8. Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired


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