We’re on a mission to improve break time for the American workforce one lunchbox at a time. From the shop to the warehouse to the field, production is powered by people who are fueled by food. And we’re sure most of us would appreciate something better in our brown bags. If you missed last month’s Lunchbox Hack, check it out on our blog page now. But, if you liked what you learned (or you’re just tired of the same old same old), read on to harvest the fruits of our (admittedly delicious) labor.
This blog normally features tips, tricks, and recipes to perk up mealtime during your workday. However, this month’s Lunchbox Hack will focus on a seasonal treat straight from my family’s own kitchen, in honor of the holiday spirit (and the fact that dessert is a legitimate part of even pre-packed lunches). The good news is it’s not just for you! This tasty gift will keep on giving all season long as you share with family, friends, and co-workers alike! Without further ado, I present to you my personal all-time favorite cookie: The Chocolate Crinkle.
New readers may not know, but those who have read my blogs before are well aware, that I’m a lifelong native of the North Country (aka Minnesota). Not coincidentally, so is the Chocolate Crinkle! This staple of the Christmas cookie platter was invented in St. Paul during the early 20th century by Helen Fredell. Mrs. Fredell’s creation was met with so much buzz by the baking community that Betty Crocker herself begged Helen for the recipe when served them at the Fredell home. Betty then famously recounted the scene (and included the recipe, introducing it to the rest of America) in her confectionary classic Cookie Carnival. The acclaim that followed in the almost-century since is simply delicious destiny.
The method for making Chocolate Crinkles is simple but notoriously finicky. The secret to success starts with COLD dough, which Momdish.com does a great job highlighting. However, if your baking skills are basic at best, feel free to also review this link to the Original Betty Crocker recipe too for additional helpful hints. Then get in the kitchen and start cracking on your crinkles!
This pro-tip comes straight from Minnesota’s resident Chocolate Crinkle maven (my mom, Margaret)! Crinkles are essentially the cookie version of a brownie. As such, they are one of the few cookies that actually improves as they age. This happens because, while the outside gets crunchier with time, the inside stays gooey and moist creating a tasty texture contrast. Over time however, the powdered sugar tends to fall off. To avoid this, Mama Margaret recommends patting your dough balls repeatedly while rolling them in sugar to ensure your toppings don’t end up on the bottom of the tray.
Did I mention cold dough is critical? Because it is. Thus, the best thing you can do to make sure your cookies turn out is leave your dough in the fridge as long as possible. My mom’s rule of thumb is to go at least twice as long as whatever your particular recipe recommends. If you do this there’s a good chance your Christmas Crinkles will even make Kris Kringle himself come back for seconds!
Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate