Thursday, June 7, 2012

Red Velvet Crackles

When we lived in California, in the 80s, one of our favorite restaurants was called The Back Bay Rowing Company in Costa Mesa.  I'm not sure if it still exists, but it is the inspiration for my baking today.

It's decor was set around rowing, more specifically, sculls and crewing.  They hung from the ceiling and there were photographs and jerseys on the walls of crew teams and trophies on shelves.  The food was a bistro fare and the atmosphere, was casual.  What I was thinking about today was after the meal, as we were walking out, we passed the bakery case. Both my daughters and I stared at the cookies--chocolate chip, oatmeal and chocolate crackles.  They were jumbo sized and so the first time we bought the chocolate crackles, we thought we'd be "lady-like" and share it.  That only happened the first time--after that, we each had our own. LOL!

I'm not one to do the usual, so I thought, "how could I change this cookie to be mine?"  The answer, was creating a Crackle with one of my favorite flavors, Red Velvet.  However, I didn't use red food coloring, but a product I found in the King Arthur catalogue--Red Velvet Cake Bakery Emulsion.

The cookies have that deep, burgundy color, as in the famous Southern cake, and with just a "crackling" of confectioners' sugar on top, they seem to melt in your mouth.

Red Velvet Crackles
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
4 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 T Red Velvet Cake flavor (or you could use red food coloring, but you'll only get the color, not the taste)
2 T Unsweetened cocoa (I used Cocoa Rouge)

1 3/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Chop the unsweetened chocolate, finely and place in the bowl atop a double boiler. 

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy.  Add the sugars and continue to beat 3 to 5 minutes to combine.  Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed.  Add the melted, cooled unsweetened chocolate.

Add the vanilla and the Red Velvet Cake flavor to the batter and mix well.  Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and then add to the batter, mixing just until the flour is incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Use a 1/4 cup scoop to measure the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet.  Dust generously with the confectioners' sugar and allow the cookies to sit for 10 minutes before putting them in the oven.

Bake for 5 minutes, then, rotate the pan and bake an additional 5 minutes (10 minutes total).  Remove from oven and allow to rest a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

The cookies have a lovely cake-like texture with the familiar red color and by adding the bittersweet chocolate chips, you get a gooey chocolate morsel with every bite.  

I know these would have been worth stopping for at a bakery case--even better homemade. Enjoy!




  1. Okay, so the pictures are fantastic...By the time I got to the one with the bite, well, my mouth was well, ya know. :) Huge fan of these, my friend. Cup of java number two this AM could sure use one of these to go along side. I've always rolled crackles in the sugar, I like the idea of a more subtle approach. Such a great memory with your girls and a beautiful cookie to go with! Big Hug!!

    1. Ellen, because my "Crackles" are softer and cake-like, rolling in the confectioners' sugar would be...let's say messy! I don't do coffee (shhhhhh, don't tell anyone in Seattle!!) but the cookie was sure good with my Diet Coke w/lime this morning:-D Love you, XOXO

  2. Susan, this recipe looks spectacular and my mouth is watering!!

    I found your blog because I saw a comment you wrote on a quilting blog (Happy Cottage Quilter) in response to a ladybug quilt. You mentioned that ladybugs had special meaning for you, and I feel the same (thus the name of my blog --- And Ladybug Hugs --- my "ladybug stories" have their own tab at the top of my blog). I have several ladybug quilt patterns, if you are looking for any. Just send me an email and I'd be happy to tell you about a few.

  3. My husband, the chocoholic, says I must make these!!!! Thank you for another wonderful recipe! Have a wonderful weekend.
    Martha Ellen

  4. I love the way you and your girls did the 'lady-like thing'- how many times my daughter and I have done the same thing..then wished we hadn't! I also love the way food connects you with such wonderful memories. Have a good weekend.x

  5. These look yummy! I always just thought of red velvet of having the red food coloring for the color. Interesting that King Arthur offers a product for that use.