When it comes to holiday baking, crinkle cookies are the best way to create that magical winter wonderland feeling in your home.
The irresistible Spicy Hojicha Crinkle Cookies have the signature crinkles and cracks, but as you can already tell from their name there's a few secret ingredients that make them extra special. These pillowy cookies are made with Hojicha Powder, which gives them a wonderfully rich roasted cocoa flavor. The tea powder also helps to deepen the color for that visually striking contrast between the cookie dough and the snowy sugar coating. Oh, and don’t be alarmed if they turn a light shade of green the next day as after all, hojicha is made from green tea.
In this recipe, we also added ginger and cinnamon that delight in so many popular wintertime dishes and desserts. Since the ginger does bring a little heat, you could stop there. But if you're looking for an extra kick like us, then go ahead and add a pinch of ground cayenne pepper. Any red chili pepper powder of choice will work, or you could even use shichimi togarashi or crushed red pepper flakes if that's what you have on hand. There's something incredibly satisfying about this innocent snow-kissed cookie secretly having all that hidden heat.
Ready to bake a batch of Spicy Hojicha Crinkle Cookies? Here's five tips to help you along the way:
- Weigh your dry ingredients. Due to popular request, we've included imperial measurements in this recipe. While you can easily alternate between tablespoons and milliliters, we recommend weighing the flour and Hojicha Powder if possible. It may seem tedious, but it will help eliminate any possible inconsistencies that arise with volume measurements to result in a better looking and tasting cookie.
- Mix the Hojicha Powder with the brown sugar. Blending the sugar with the hojicha prevents the powder from clumping once the wet ingredients are added. This step is also useful for breaking down any small lumps the brown sugar may have.
- Sift the flour in batches. Sifting the flour removes any clumps, and makes it easier to evenly disperse all of the dry ingredients especially when added in two batches.
- Generously coat the hojicha cookie dough in powdered sugar. The sugar coating is crucial as it dries the surface of the cookie to create the crinkly look. This is why you want to have a thick layer, and thoroughly roll the cookie dough balls in the powdered sugar until none is left.
- Bake these hojicha cookies at room temperature. This cookie dough is very firm to make it easier to create perfectly round spheres, which means there is no need to chill the dough. However, if you decide to prepare it in advance then when you take out the scoops from the fridge or freezer let them come to room temperature before coating with sugar and baking. This will help the sugar better adhere to the cookie dough as well as ensure they spread and crack nicely once baked.
- 7.5 g (1.5 tablespoons) Hojicha Powder
- 1.8 g (¾ teaspoon) ginger powder
- 1.2 g (½ teaspoon) cinnamon powder
- 0.25 g (⅛ teaspoon) cayenne pepper, or red chili powder of your choice
- 0.75 g (⅛ teaspoon) salt
- 60 g (⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon) brown sugar
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) neutral oil, we used sunflower oil
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) maple syrup
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) water
- 110 g (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
- 3 g (¾ teaspoon) baking powder
- 1.5 g (¼ teaspoon) baking soda
- 15 g (2 tablespoons) powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar or confectioners' sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
- Add 7.5 g (1.5 tablespoons) of Hojicha Powder, 1.8 g (¾ teaspoon) of ginger powder, 1.2 g (½ teaspoon) of cinnamon powder, 0.25 g (⅛ teaspoon) of cayenne pepper, 0.75 g (⅛ teaspoon) of salt, and 60 g (⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon) of brown sugar into a large bowl. Mix until well blended.
- Pour in 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of neutral oil, 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of maple syrup, and 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of water. Stir until smooth, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine 110 g (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon) of all-purpose flour, 3 g (¾ teaspoon) of baking powder, and 1.5 g (¼ teaspoon) of baking soda. Stir together.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two batches, making sure to mix until the flour is fully incorporated after each addition.
- The dough should be firm enough to form balls that hold their shape well. If the dough is too wet, let rest for 15 minutes. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, stir in 1 tablespoon of water and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Add 15 g (2 tablespoons) of powdered sugar into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Scoop the cookie dough into 12 equal portions, about one tablespoon each.
- Roll each one into a ball, and position them on the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart.
- Generously coat each cookie dough ball with the powdered sugar. Repeat until no powdered sugar is left.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes at 350° F (180° C).
- Remove the cookies from the oven while still soft, and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Once the cookies have firmed up enough to move, transfer them to a cooling rack and only store once fully cooled.
- Enjoy the warmth of your freshly baked Spicy Hojicha Crinkle Cookies along with a cozy cup of Ginger Roasted Milk Tea.