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Salty Black-and-White Chocolate Crinkles

Time1 hour 30 minutes
YieldsMakes about 2 1/2 dozen
Sweet almond paste and anise-y licorice meld beautifully in this rich chocolate cookie with powdered sugar crinkles.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times; prop styling by Kate Parisian)
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These chewy crinkle cookies get their unique flavor from the trifecta of rich and anise-y licorice, creamy and sweet almond paste chunks and bitter cocoa powder. The quality of the cookies depends on the quality of the ingredients, so seek out high-quality soft, black licorice and cocoa powder. Make sure to coat the cookies thickly in powdered sugar so the cracks that appear during baking are that much more dramatic and striking.

1

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2

Cut the almond paste log lengthwise into 8 thin wedges, then cut each wedge crosswise to every 1/4-inch to make small chunks. Separate the pieces as you work and arrange them on a plate. Place the plate of almond paste chunks in the freezer while you make the dough, at least 20 minutes. At the same time, cut each piece of licorice lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch pieces. Place the chopped licorice in a small bowl.

3

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the granulated sugar, oil, water and vanilla until they emulsify into a gel-like liquid. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the frozen almond paste chunks and the chopped licorice and stir until evenly combined.

4

Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons, scoop mounds of dough and roll each into a ball. Place the powdered sugar in a wide, shallow bowl, then roll each ball in the sugar to coat. Arrange the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, spaced evenly apart (12 to each sheet). Sprinkle the center of each cookie with a generous pinch of flaky sea salt.

5

Working with one sheet at a time, bake the cookies, rotating the sheet halfway through cooking, until they’re cracked on top and no longer shiny where the dough is exposed, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. Repeat with the second baking sheet and dough to make more cookies.