Soft and fluffy, more cakey than ordinary biscuits, the best thing about cracked cookies is their crinkled appearance.
A friend of mine has a wonderful turn of phrase which is super applicable to this recipe: cakey objects. He uses it to refer to cakes, tortes, gateaux, biscuits, cookies, tarts, tartelettes, pastries, buns, brioches, muffins, scones, bars, rolls and turnovers. I might have missed a few confections but you get my drift.
There are so many different bakes and no-bakes, sweet and sweetish, eaten for dessert, breakfast or tea (no, I'm not including fishcakes) there should surely be a collective generic noun to describe them.
Also, some 'objects' escape definition and hover in between a cake and a cupcake, a tart and a cookie. And that's before we get to the madly fashionable a few years ago portmanteau creations, with cronuts and cruffins in the fore.
Cookies - or mini cakes?
These cookies are precisely the kind that escape defining. I call them cookies because they were called cookies in the original recipe I based mine on. But they are more like miniature, tiny cakes: covered in icing sugar, you might almost be tempted to slice each dainty one across and fill with buttercream.
The method is also more redolent of a cake making process then a cookie bish-bash. Starting with beating the eggs to a voluminous body, sugar is then added little by little, slowly so as not to deflate the mix. Melted butter and chocolate need to be gently stirred in and the dry ingredients folded.
You should think it was an elaborate chocolate sponge in the making!
Chill, baby (cake)
And the emerging batter is in no state to be shaped into cookies: it's runny to the point of liquid. It virtually begs to be poured into a tin and baked until a skewer comes out dry.
But no - we're making cookies so the batter goes into the fridge to solidify and render itself more favourably to rolling balls. It takes a long while so it's best to prepare the batter on the evening before intended baking.
Shaping is important as the smoother the balls, the nicer the crackedy-patterns, that come from rolling the dough balls in icing sugar, will appear. I'm sure you'll manage it much neater than I ever can.
The shaped and iced balls will return to the fridge for half an hour before being baked, just so they don't spread and dissolve into one enormous cake. Which is obviously the batter's purpose and desire.
The outcome, all joking aside, is glorious: soft, tender, almost pillowy and very chocolatey. They are truly gorgeous, miniscule baby chocolate cakes. Or cakey objects.