February for a lot of people means one thing; Valentine’s Day. If you are attached, it means celebrating the love you share with your significant other. If you are flying solo, it usually means boycotting everything Valentine’s Day related, and either quietly (or not so quietly) suffering in the despair of your loneliness, or taking this day as an opportunity to go wild and celebrate your freedom. Whatever your romantic situation and attitude towards it, there is something that both the attached and the singleton take delight in come this holiday: desserts!
Flowers are nice, but in my humble opinion, it’s better to say “I love you” with something that the recipient can enjoy rather than just look at and throw away a few days later. And if you’re single, you now have an excuse to eat cookies, and of course you can share them with your ladies/boys before your big night out, or quiet night in.
My choice Valentine’s Day dessert this year are chewy delicious red velvet crinkle cookies. They are not like your chocolate chip or oatmeal style cookie, nor are they the crispy and crunchy type like shortbread or sugar cookies. Rather, these red confections are what we in the pastry biz call a cake cookie.
Recipe-wise, they are not that dissimilar from their cake counterpart, so if you have ever made cookies and/or a red velvet cake you should be fairly comfortable making these.
Like other shaped cookies, before baking, this dough has to be refrigerated for at least an hour, so make that your take that time into consideration when making them.
As far as equipment goes, besides a stand mixer, the only real piece of equipment that you need is a small scoop ( 1 oz). If you do not have one, you could use a table spoon and roll the cookies into a ball by hand.
Here’s how you make them.
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 tsp white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup red food coloring
optional: 1 cup white chocolate chips
Icing sugar for coating
In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream your butter and sugar and pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and whip until incorporated and fluffy.
Add your buttermilk, vinegar and red food colouring. Once you add these ingredients, the mixture will become curdled looking and almost like the red colour is not mixing in. This is perfectly fine. Mix these ingredients for about 1-2 minutes, but don’t worry them not incorporating nicely- the batter will come together once the dry ingredients are added.
Add your dry ingredients all at once and mix on low until fully incorporated.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough firms up and is scoopable, about 2 hours.
Once firm, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
On your table make your production line: cookie dough, icing sugar, and baking sheet.
Using your small scooper, scoop the cookies into the icing sugar.
I make a few at a time, then roll that batch until completely coated in the icing sugar, then place on the cookie sheet.
Place the cookies about 1.5 inches apart from each other, and slighten with your hand slightly.
Bake for 10 minutes, rotating half way.
This amount of baking time makes for a very cakey cookie, fully cooked but soft. You could under-bake them slightly for a more chewy texture.
I have tried making these cookies in 2 stages; the dough one day and baking the next, and they still turned out fine. You will have to let the dough warm up slightly in order to scoop them.
If you are giving these cookies as a gift, you might want to put them in a nice tin or gift box. They transport well and will keep their consistency for a few days.
If you’re not giving them away, you could jazz them up a little by making cookie sandwiches. Take some icing, jam, or even ice cream, and put a little between two cookies.
These red velvet cookies are easy to make, and even easier to enjoy.
I hope you enjoy them.