I love baking cookies during the holidays. Especially this year in particular. I haven’t seen my friends in months, so I decided to socially distance drop off a box of cookies to them and spread the love. I wanted a variety of cookies and began brainstorming what to bake. A few of my greatest hits made the list right away but I also wanted to incorporate new ones. I decided to make a crinkle cookie as they’re always associated with holiday cookie trays. Not to mention they’re so cute with their cracks!
I did some research on the origin of the crinkle cookie and couldn’t find much. There is some baking folklore that the recipe started off as a chocolate crinkle cookie developed by Helen Fredell from St. Paul, Minnesota sometime in the 1940s. Rumor has it that they were so amazing that Betty Crocker herself begged Helen for the recipe. Many variations of the crinkle cookie have evolved since then. They’re particularly popular during Christmas because the powdered sugar reminds people of snow.
Crinkle cookies should be soft, moist, and chewy. The crinkle effect happens when the exterior of the cookie dries out but the interior continues to cook and expands the cookie causing cracks. The powdered sugar dusted around the cookie helps give the effect of deeper cracks and led to the cookie’s name sake. I’ve also seen some people call these “brownie drops” – I’ll pass on that name lol.
Ube is My Yam
I wanted my crinkle cookie flavor to be unique and I love ube everything. So what better than an ube crinkle? I really thought I was being special. Then I found out that ube crinkles originated from the Philippines. Turns out crinkle cookies are super popular in the Philippines and consumed year round. They’re even sold in school cafeterias! But honestly it shouldn’t be surprising that the Philippines beat me to use ube in these cookies.
Ube is the Filipino name for the purple yam grown in Southeast Asia. Ube is a food staple in the Philippines and is synonymous with Filipino desserts.
Quality Vegetable Oil
These crinkle cookies use oil to create that wonderful chewy soft cookie texture. A quality oil is super important in the recipe so I make sure to use the best oil. La Tourangelle Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil is my go-to oil for baking! It has a neutral flavor so there’s no worry about imparting unwanted flavors. Plus the oil has a high smoke point making it ideal for baking, cooking, and also frying.
There are a few tips to get a good crinkle on your cookie.
- Chill your dough! I can’t stress this enough. It’s so important to chill the cookie dough for at least four hours before baking. I always make my cookie a day ahead to give ample time for the dough to cool completely. The outside of the cookie gets firm before the middle becomes too warm. Once the interior expands, the cracks are so much more dramatic.
- Baking power. Make sure your baking powder is not expired. I’m guilty of this all the time. I just start using the ingredients without verifying they’re still good. Adding active baking powder to the cookies gives it lift and will keep your cookies chewy and helps with that expansion.
- Don’t skimp on the sugar. I never dust off the powdered sugar after rolling the dough. I find the cracks look much better when there’s a lot of powdered sugar on the cookie.
Ube Crinkle Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup La Tourangelle Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons ube extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup ube powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- Step 1 Mix ube powder, sugar, and vegetable oil until very well incorporated.
- Step 2 Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and ube extract.
- Step 3 Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Step 4 Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Step 5 Chill dough in refrigerator for at least four hours (overnight is best).
- Step 6 Preheat oven to 350F.
- Step 7 Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Step 8 Scoop tablespoons full of dough and roll to form a ball.
- Step 9 Coat each ball in confectioner’s sugar and place on the baking sheet with an inch of space in between each one.
- Step 10 Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Step 11 Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.