Chocolate crinkle cookies don’t need much improvement: They’re dark and chewy like a fudgy brownie and covered in beautifully cracked powdered sugar. But to play up the earthy, creamy flavor of the double chocolate in these cookies, pleasantly funky maca root powder works like a dream. Like a less-cloying malted milk powder, maca powder adds a curious umami.
Even though the maca powder you’ll use is beige, the root it’s derived from is dark purple. That inspired the purple sparkling sugar in which these cookies are coated. When blitzed in a food processor with powdered sugar, the color stays intact on the beautifully cracked cookies. And while it may seem like a specialty ingredient, maca powder can be found in the health food section of most grocery stores. One caveat: Don’t be tempted to make the dough ahead of time and chill it overnight or else the maca powder will make the dough rubbery instead of tender.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Blitz the purple sparkling sugar in a food processor until powdery, then add the powdered sugar and pulse to combine (alternatively, process the purple sugar in a spice grinder to powder, then whisk into the powdered sugar). Transfer the purple powdered sugar to a shallow bowl.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and maca powder in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate, both sugars, the sour cream, butter, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and eggs and whisk until smooth. Fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Use a ½-ounce ice cream scoop or one tablespoon to drop a dough ball into the purple sugar and roll to coat. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and purple sugar, arranging the balls 2 inches apart on the sheets.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until the cookies are firm at the edges but still soft in the middle, 8 to 9 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle cookies with more purple sugar, if you like, before serving.
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