Chocolate Crackle Cookies – Not a Rice Bubble in Sight!

chocolate crackle cookies Alice Waters

These are the cookies that almost never were…

Flicking through the pages of one of my favourite cookbooks, I almost paid off this recipe completely, by the mere title of it. You see, for Australians and New Zealanders, Chocolate Crackles are one of the mainstays of children’s Birthday parties. Rice Bubbles (the equivalent of Rice Crispies elsewhere) are congealed together using Copha (hydrogenated coconut oil), cocoa, desiccated coconut and icing sugar. No baking required – just show a little patience and that copha will re-solidify! I’m very well aware that many children (and adults) were delighted to find Chocolate Crackles adorning the party table… just NOT me! I was always more of a Honey Joy kind of girl…

So, it’s a fortunate thing that I took the pains to scan the list of ingredients for these cookies, confirming whether or not Rice Bubbles (or Copha for that matter!) were involved. I’ve been searching recently for ‘The Perfect Chocolate Cookie’ and this one comes incredibly close. It has the addition of nuts, which unfortunately made it a disappointment for my youngest child, however the rest of the family found them delicious! They come from Alice Waters’ cookbook ‘The Art of Simple Food’ – a fabulous book for both beginners and seasoned cooks alike.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 3-4 dozen cookies
  • Print

  • 150g/½ Cup (Toasted) Almonds – (I used Macadamia Nuts)
  • 2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
  • 75g/½ Cup Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 250g/1¼ Cups Dark Chocolate
  • 45g/3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1½ Tablespoons Brandy
  • 2 Free-Range Eggs
  • 55g/¼ Cup Caster Sugar
  • Plus some extra Granulated and Icing (Powdered) Sugar

Chop together very finely the nuts and the 2 tablespoons of sugar (a food processor is handy if you have one for this step). Place them into a small bowl and sift over the flour and baking powder. Mix to combine.

Either in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, or very carefully in the microwave, melt the chocolate and butter. Stir in the brandy and then remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the 55g of sugar, until the mixture forms a ribbon (this should take about 5-7 minutes). Stir in the melted chocolate and nut/flour mixture.

Chill the dough in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours or until it has become firm.

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.

Using 2 small bowls, fill one with granulated sugar and the other with sifted icing (powdered) sugar. Roll the cookie dough into small balls (about a heaped teaspoon) and then roll them, a few at a time, firstly into the granulated sugar and then into the icing sugar to coat them.

Place them on the lined baking trays, a few centimetres apart to allow for spreading. Bake for approximately 10 -12 minutes, until they have cracks in their white shells. They should be firm on the edges, but still a little soft in the middle. Do not overbake.

chocolate crackle cookies Alice Waters

Cooking Notes:

  • I used up half of the quantity of dough today (which made about 2 dozen) and have frozen the other half to use another day.  Fingers crossed they will be just as lovely!
  • These may take a little longer to make than the average cookie (especially with the 1-2 hour wait for the dough to chill), but they are well and truly worth the extra effort!

* Recipe from Alice Waters’ ‘The Art of Simple Food’ cookbook


13 thoughts on “Chocolate Crackle Cookies – Not a Rice Bubble in Sight!

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Crackle Cookies | Flours n Dainty Buns

  2. lemongrovecakediaries

    I was never a fan of chocolate crackles either and that was before I knew what was in them:) As you know I love a good chocolate chip cookie and these look fantastic I really like how they have been rolled in sugar and icing sugar before baking.

  3. johnnysenough hepburn

    We used to have rice crispies made into squares. Have no idea what was in them! They were sort of golden in colour so maybe golden syrup. Anyway, I’ve been looking for a cookie recipe for ages and these sound like I could adapt them – I’d never get through that amount! Even half the recipe would be pushing it 🙂

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      I hope you give them a go Johnny – great to get a ‘real’ chocolate hit in a cookie, though they tend to be extremely moreish, so I wouldn’t reduce them to any more than half a batch. They also seem to store quite well in a tin and have thankfully remained crispy on the outside! M 🙂

      1. johnnysenough hepburn

        You’re right about these being moreish! I made them tonight ( pretty much halved the recipe) and found them easy to make. Even though I did play around with the chocolate element as I wanted to use 85% cocoa along with 30% milk. My oven must be running hot as 10 minutes was almost too much. Very nice, though. Mine don’t look as white as yours. Perhaps I didn’t use enough icing sugar. Actually, on just over half of them I used ground hazelnuts instead.

        1. Gather and Graze Post author

          Hey, that’s wonderful! I’m so excited that you tried them Johnny! Love the idea of coating them in the hazelnuts too – I’ll have to give that a go next time. I found on some of the cookies that I’d tapped most of the icing sugar off, they didn’t have quite the same ‘white shell’ appearance. I defrosted the rest of my dough over the weekend and cooked up a second batch and was happy to confirm that they tasted just as lovely. Mine take the 12 minutes, though perhaps I’ll amend my recipe timings to show 10-12 mins instead – thanks for that! Cheers, Margot

  4. jothetartqueen

    wow these look perfect! I actually love the look of the cracks in these cookies.

    Though I am embarrassed to admit that I have never tried these. I ought to give it a go one day because they look and sound awesome. I also have a copy of Alice Water’s The art of simple food and I love it!

    I like it that you can freeze half the batch for a rainy day and you have wholesome homemade cookies at the tips of your fingers!

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks very much Jo! I think the cracks are what make these cookies special… the flavour and texture too, of course! I’m really hoping that they’ll freeze well, but won’t know until I try – it certainly looks like the type of dough that should be fine. Lovely to find another Alice Waters’ fan! Cheers, Margot

  5. saucygander

    I still have a nostalgic attraction to chocolate crackles, but these would taste much better! Have you tried Mexican wedding cakes? Somewhat similar cookies made with walnuts, and well made ones are light yet meaty at the same time. 🙂

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Isn’t it funny, I get that nostalgic feeling with fairy bread and honey joys, but for some reason just never liked the taste of chocolate crackles.
      I haven’t ever tried Mexican wedding cakes, but will certainly do some research to find a good recipe to try them out – they sound lovely! Cheers, Margot


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