Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies are always a hit in my house. These cookies look like a winter-wonderland cookies dream come true. But I think the main reason these cookies are such a hit is because they taste like a fudgy brownie cookie and those chocolate orange treats you get during the holidays. You know the ones that you have to smack on the counter to break apart.
The process for making these modern-traditional Christmas cookies is really fairly simple. The dough comes together quickly and after resting for 1 hour in the fridge the consistency is almost like a chocolate truffle mixture. Then the dough is shaped into balls and they get a generous coating of powdered sugar which becomes cracked and crinkled as the cookies expand and bake.
Why you need this Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookie recipe in your life:
- They don’t require any extra decorating. Yay! They come out of the oven ready to eat and bejewelled in a beautiful white coating of powdered sugar. Anything that saves time and is less fuss at the holiday season is what I’m all about.
- They are super easy to customize. Don’t like orange? Instead of adding orange zest just leave them as is. If you are a coffee fan, add ¼-1/2 tsp espresso powder to the dough and create a Mocha Crinkle Cookie. You get the idea.
list of the ingredients needed to make these Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies:
- Dark Chocolate. Make sure you use actual chocolate and not chocolate chips. Chocolate chips has additional ingredients that allow them to hold their shape when baked. Those added ingredients in this recipe will change the texture of our cookie and it won’t be as smooth and silky. Also, the higher the quality of chocolate you use really does make a difference with these cookies. I prefer Lindt or Valrhona chocolate.
- Light Brown and Granulated Sugar. You may notice that in most of my recipes I prefer a combination of granulated sugar and light/light brown sugar. This is because it gives me the level of sweetness and slight caramel flavour I’m after. The combination of sugars also contributes to the level of moisture.
- Vegetable Shortening. This one sometimes stops people because most are used to seeing butter or oil cookie recipes. By switching to vegetable shortening for this recipe, it gives the cookies a slightly more chewy texture, locks in the moisture and helps them stay fresh longer.
- Whole Eggs. Whole eggs are needed so our Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies have a strong structure and rise.
- Orange Zest. I like to use Navel Oranges but really whatever orange you favour can be used here. I’d stay away from mandarin as they are slightly more oily and harder to zest.
- Gluten-Free Flour Blend. I used my All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend. The recipe for the blend can be found here. In a pinch I will often use Cup4Cup gluten free flour blend. If you are new to gluten free baking or are unfamiliar with the difference variations of Gluten Free Flour Blends, check out this article I wrote for Food Bloggers of Canada, where I explain how to find the right Gluten Free Flour for you.
- Cocoa Powder. We are making chocolate cake after all so choose your cocoa powder wisely. This doesn’t mean you need the most expensive cocoa powder. It just means use one that YOU like the flavour of. If Hershey’s in your favourite. Use it! I like the flavour and depth of Green and Blacks Organic Cocoa Powder.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Rise, rise, rise and create that crinkle effect. That’s what baking powder and baking soda are doing in this recipe.
- Kosher Salt. If all you have is table salt you will need to use much less as table salt is much stronger than kosher salt due to the different granule size. Only use about ¼ tsp or a pinch of table salt to ½ tsp of kosher salt.
- Powdered Sugar. Otherwise known as Icing Sugar. Double check that your powdered sugar is Gluten-Free. Some brands can’t guarantee its gluten free due to cross-contamination.
How to make these Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies:
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silat.
In a medium bowl whisk together gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Begin by melting your chopped chocolate and vegetable shortening on low heat over a double boiler or alternatively you can use a microwave heating in 3-5 second intervals, stirring each time until melted. Once melted set aside and allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly.
In a large bowl or an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs, sugars and orange zest until smooth and homogenized.
Slowly add in the melted chocolate and mix until you see no streaks. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a spatula, fold in the dry mixture until fully incorporated and smooth. Cover the dough with cling-film and place in the fridge to chill for 30-60 minutes.
Share dough into 1 tablespoon balls and roll them in the powdered sugar. Make sure they have a generous coating.
Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.
Pastry Chef Tips and Tricks:
- For a thinner cookie with more cracks, allow your dough to warm up slightly after rolling them into balls. Roll them in the powdered sugar and bake immediately before the powdered sugar absorbs into the dough. Room temperature dough spreads more while baking because the chocolate and fat in the mixture melt faster.
- Use an 1-2 tablespoon ice cream/cookie scoop to portion out your cookies for more consistent sizes.
- If you are making these cookies ahead of time you can portion out the cookie dough and place the dough balls in a Ziplock bag and freeze for up to 1 month. When you are ready to bake them, allow them to come to room temperature before rolling them in the powdered sugar and baking.
How to Store Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies:
Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container for 6-7 Days. Refrigerated dough will keep for 2-4 days.
You can also freeze the portioned-out dough balls in a Ziplock freezer bag or an airtight container for up to three months. Allow dough to thaw in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for best results.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookie
- 100 g Dark Chocolate (chopped)
- 100 g Light Brown Sugar
- 50 g Granulated Sugar
- 50 g Vegetable Shortening
- 2 Whole Eggs (room temp)
- 1 Navel Orange (zest only)
- 140 g Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- 40 g Dutch Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 80 g Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silat.In a medium bowl whisk together gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Begin by melting your chopped chocolate and vegetable shortening on low heat over a double boiler or alternatively you can use a microwave heating in 3-5 second intervals, stirring each time until melted. Once melted set aside and allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl or an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs, sugars and orange zest until smooth and homogenized. Slowly add in the melted chocolate and mix until you see no streaks. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a spatula, fold in the dry mixture until fully incorporated and smooth. Cover the dough with cling-film and place in the fridge to chill for 30-60 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and shape dough into 1 tablespoon balls (about 1 inch) and roll them in the powdered sugar. Make sure they have a generous coating.Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.
If you are looking for more Gluten-Free Christmas inspired recipes to bake up this holiday season make sure to try one of these:
DID YOU MAKE ONE OF MY RECIPES? tag me on Instagram at @kiramcmullan and hashtag it #kirainthekitchen