Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies are thick and fudgy with just a hint of cocoa flavor. They're the perfect easy and festive treat for Valentine's Day OR Christmas!
Tessa's Recipe Rundown...
Taste: These are red velvet, which is not chocolate so there’s just a hint of cocoa! Texture: Thick, fudgy, and soft. Ease: Super easy! Though the dough does require a 30 minute chilling time. Pros: Fun, colorful, and festive cookies everyone will adore. Cons: None! Would I make this again? Yes.
There’s nothing better than a little festive cookie to put everyone in the mood for a holiday.
These Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies will definitely make you everyone’s favorite person at the office or at school.
That is until everyone realizes they have powdered sugar all over their mouth / face / clothes.
This recipe is perfect for either Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or just when you’re craving Red Velvet.
Which really only has a hint of cocoa flavor but is full of nostalgia for those of us who grew up with it living in the U.S.
If you give this recipe a try, be sure to leave a comment with a star rating at the bottom of this post! You have no idea how much that helps support us.
You can also use Wilton gel food coloring, just make sure to use the kind in the little pots. NOT the squeeze tube coloring.
Add enough food coloring until the dough is a deep red.
How to make thick, soft & fudgy cookies
Number 1: be sure to measure your flour & cocoa powder properly. Check out my article on how to measure flour for baking success. Accidentally adding too much is super easy, and will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly.
Number 2: don’t overbake your cookies! They should still look slightly ‘wet’ inside the crinkle cracks when you pull them out of the oven. They will finish baking on the hot pan.
Number 3: try out a high-fat cocoa powder! Cocoa is a drying ingredient, meaning it can zap moisture. The less fat and the more starch a cocoa powder has, the drier your final baked good will be. I love to use Penzey’s high fat natural cocoa powder in this recipe. Check out this post on Serious Eats for more cocoa info.
What makes a cookie ‘crinkle?’
To get those distinctive cracks, we use both baking powder and baking soda in this recipe. Before a cookie sets while baking in the oven, the baking soda and powder produce CO2 bubbles that rise to the surface and burst, leaving those little sugary fault lines. If we used only baking soda in the recipe, the cookies would spread out and be thinner. Adding in baking powder helps make nice thick cookies that remain soft.
How to roll crinkle cookies in powdered sugar
Don’t be afraid to really get in there with the powdered sugar! In fact, the directions call for rolling each ball of dough in the sugar twice. This helps achieve a nice thick coating of sugar that doesn’t dissolve into the cookie while baking.
For best results, avoid organic powdered sugar which will dissolve more. And if you can find it, 5x powdered sugar (as opposed to more finely ground 10x) will also make for a prettier snowy sugar coating.
How to store Red Velvet Crinkles
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
How to freeze Red Velvet Crinkles
You can also freeze the dough before rolling in the powdered sugar. Follow these instructions but allow the balls of dough to defrost before rolling in sugar and baking as the recipe instructs.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Heat the butter on the stovetop or in the microwave until melted. Add the brown sugar and white sugar to the hot butter and stir until combined. Allow to cool to just warm before stirring in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the milk, vanilla, and food coloring. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. Cover in plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop without sticking, about 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the dough into 1 1/2-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets. Pour powdered sugar into a medium bowl and roll the dough balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.
Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
christmas, valentine's day
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram with #handletheheat so we can all see!
Recipe byTessa Arias
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.
February 2020 Baking Challenge!
This recipe was the selection for February’s baking challenge! Check out the entries below, and click here to find out what the current challenge is!
I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)
As a trained chef and cookbook author, I share trusted baking recipes your friends & family will love alongside insights into the science of sweets. I help take the luck out of baking so you *always* have delicious results! Learn more here.
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