My mom has been making a version of these cookies, commonly referred to as Chocolate Crinkles, for years - these, however, are a bit more rich with a deep chocolate flavor. Since I was already using melted bittersweet chocolate in the dough, I used a dark Dutch-process cocoa powder for an intense, yet less bitter, additional chocolate layer. To heighten the chocolate notes, instant espresso powder is added to the dry ingredients - while it does add a coffee element to the cookies, it doesn't overwhelm the chocolate.
Once the dough had chilled out in the refrigerator while we were gone (you can speed up the process by putting it in the freezer), we portioned it out and rolled the dough into balls. The next step is important - you want to give the black dough a generous double coating in powdery white confectioners' sugar (I think I could have done a better job at coating ours!). You don't want any of the chocolate color to show through as this will give you the best well defined cracks on top as they spread in the oven. The baked cookies were soft with slightly crisp edges that lead to a delicious fudgy center - Jeff said they were teetering on being brownies in cookie form. I think we both agreed that these may just have to find a spot in our Christmas baking spree 2008 list!
Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps