The 13 Days of Christmas Cookies: #1 Cocoa-Crunch Cookies

This plate of Cocoa-Crunch cookies, surrounded by a perfect Christmas setting of ornaments, were created from a recipe in author Joanne Fluke's latest culinary novel, Christmas Cake Murder.

The 13 Days of Christmas Cookies: #1 Cocoa-Crunch Cookies

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

12 minutes



If you missed our review of Christmas Cake Murder, published by Kensington Books, (and our version of the tasty Honey Apple Crisp recipe included in the book), now is a great time to check it out to get warmed up for Day 1 of our 13 Days of Christmas Cookies.

Novelist Joanne Fluke, renowned for her Hannah Swensen culinary mystery series, has been kind enough to let us make another of the book’s recipes to share with you. We chose one that caused lots of comment in The Food Channel kitchens: Cocoa-Crunch Cookies.

They have what Hannah might call a “secret ingredient,” and were fun and easy to make. And, they are chocolate. Add these to your own repertoire for holiday baking!

Yield: Depends on the size you make the cookies. We made ours larger to experiment with dipping them in chocolate and had 3 dozen—and 12 minutes cooking time was perfect. If you do a smaller size, you may have 6-7 dozen cookies.

Foodie Byte: The author says: “Be sure to use regular potato chips, the thin, salty ones. Don’t use baked chips, or rippled chips, or chips with the peels on, or kettle-fried, or flavored, or anything that’s supposed to be better for you than those wonderfully greasy, salty, old-fashioned, crunchy potato chips.” Note: We did as the author recommended, putting the potato chips in a plastic zip-lock bag and crushing them by hand.


  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) softened butter
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-1/4 cups packed all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups finely crushed plain regular potato chips (measure after crushing)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sugar, for dipping


  • 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Rack in the middle position.
  • 2 In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract until the mixture is light and fluffy (an electric mixer is recommended).
  • 3 Add cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.
  • 4 Add flour in 1/2 cup increments, mixing well after each addition.
  • 5 Add crushed potato chips and mix well.
  • 6 Add the semi-sweet chips and mix well (the author recommends adding by hand, but we tried by mixer and it worked fine, too).
  • 7 With clean hands, form one-inch dough balls (we made them larger) and place on an un-greased cookie sheet, or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • 8 Place 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl. Spray the flat bottom of a drinking glass with nonstick cooking spray, dip it in the sugar, and use it to flatten each dough ball, re-dipping the glass in sugar for each cookie. Note: you may want a little more sugar to show; if so, just dip the glass a second time for each cookie and press.
  • 9 Refrigerate dough as needed between oven batches.
  • 10 Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies start to turn golden at the edges.
  • 11 Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.


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