Chocolate Crack Cookies from David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert

Warning: These chocolate cookies are crack, just like the title and photo suggests (but it isn’t really the hard stuff in the photo.  Powdered sugar and palm sugar were the prop fill ins.)

Need your chocolate cookie fix?  Here’s a little something for you adapted from the latest book of the dessert masterDavid Lebovitz, “Ready for Dessert“.

David’s chocolate crack cookies are highly addictive chocolate bombs of ecstasy that he originally crafted in the kitchen of Chez Panisse.  He innocently claims the name comes from the “craggy fissures.” At that time it was more appropriate to come up with a safer name for the masses for these incredible chocolate cookies, so there were several aliases used on the menus.

Sounds kinda fishy to us.  We think he knew all along how addicting these chocolate cookies are and how they will leave you a mess until you get your next chocolate hit.

David’s original chocolate crack cookie recipe calls for sending a mass of almonds through the food processor be pulverized, however our food processor is amongst the dearly departed so a little improvisation took place.  After the cash for a replacement has been pried from our grips, we can’t wait to try his original recipe, but until then this adaptation it more than enough to make any chocolate cookie craving quietly purr in submission.

Luxardo~our libation of choice.  More to come on this liquor!

Dark chocolate lovingly melted down with a little butter. Add a libation of choice.  Macerate some tart dried cherries (another adaptation). A little flour, egg, sugar, baking powder.  Roll in granulated sugar and powdered sugar and bake.  Shivers from pure radiant joy.

Don’t forget to check out David’s latest and greatest, Ready for Dessert.  It’s a collection of David’s favorite recipes, spanning cakes, pies, frozen desserts, cookies, candies and some incredible sauces and preserves.  The book combines incredible dessert recipes with David’s sage guidance and witty humor.

Step -by- Step Recipe Photographs

Chop and put chocolate into a bain marie

Add liquor and gently melt

Chocolate mix and Whipped egg/sugar mix (ribbon stage)

Add chocolate mix into whipped egg/sugar mix

Sift in dry ingredient, mix, then chill

Roll dough into ball, then coat with sugar, and powdered sugar

Ready, set, bake!

Chocolate Crack Cookie Recipe

Yield: 24-30 Cookies

Total Time: 3 hours

Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. These chocolate cookies are best eaten while still warm (aren't most cookies) or at least the same day.


  • 4-6 oz (112-170 g) dried Tart Cherries
  • @1/4 c (60 ml) Liquor of Choice to Macerate Cherries
  • 8 oz (225 g) Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 3 T (45 g) unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 T (22 ml) Liquor (we preferred a cherry liquor~Luxardo)
  • 2 lrg Eggs, room temp.
  • 1/3 c (65 g) Granulated Sugar (+ extra for coating cookies)
  • 3/4 c (100 g) Flour
  • 1/2 t (3 g) Baking Powder
  • 1/4 t (1 g) Sea Salt
  • Powdered Sugar (for coating cookies)


  1. Combine the dried cherries and 1/4 c of liquor in a small bowl to macerate (the longer you can do this ahead of time, the better). Set aside.
  2. Combine the dark chocolate, butter, and 1 1/2T of liquor in a medium bowl.  Place over a pot of simmering water to gently melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  3. Drain the liquor from the cherries, then add them into the melted chocolate mix.
  4. In a stand mixer, combine eggs and 1/3 c sugar and whip on high until the mixture forms a well-defined ribbon when the whisk attachment is lifted out (@ 5 min).  Using a spatula, add the chocolate-cherry mix to the whipped egg-sugar mix. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a sifter and sift into the batter. Mix just until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
  5. Position oven racks in the upper and lower third locations. Preheat oven to 325°F.

  6. Pour granulated sugar in a small bowl and pour powdered sugar in a separate small bowl. Form chocolate cookies into 1" (3cm) balls. Toss in granular sugar, then roll in powdered sugar to coat.  Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat spaced about 1" apart.
  7. Bake for 6 minutes then rotate the cookies sheets and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Cookies should still be slightly firm on the edges and fairly soft in the centers. Don't overbake them.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan until firm enough to handle then transfer to a cooling rack. Eat 'em as soon as they are cooled past the chocolate napalm level.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

Other cookies recipes you might enjoy:


{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Lo

    So I’m a little confused about the recipe vs. photo. I don’t see the macerated cherries anywhere in the photos. Do they need to be chopped, pureed to otherwise changed before putting into the dough? Dried cherries are so chewy I can’t really imagine them macerating sufficiently to break down themselves.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      The cherries are in there, just hidden amongst the luscious chocolate.
      Nothing not mentioned in the recipe was done. Try it and you’ll see. The macerating helps rehydrate the cherries and baking is going to soften them more. Unless you have marbles of a dried cherries you’re using…
      Sometimes experience is much more helpful than imagination.

  2. megan

    May I have a line, uh… I mean cookie?

  3. Jen

    triple YUM!

  4. betty

    these look fantastic! and i love your fill in prop.. 😛

  5. Runeatrepeat

    You had me at chocolate. But really had me at crack…

  6. White on Rice Couple

    Audrey –
    Actual Todd is the one who makes these. He’s the baking fiend of the house. Here’s what he said:
    “The dough is sticky, especially at room temp. For our cookie dough I chilled it in the fridge for an hour for the initial batch and it was easy to handle, but the remaining dough which chilled overnight was even easier to work with. It almost needed to warm up a bit to form into balls.”
    Hope that helps. Enjoy!

  7. Audrey in Oregon

    I soaked my cherries in raspberry liquour cuz I don’t have any of the Luxardo (tho I plan to get some very soon) then underbaked them (more like 11 minutes total). They are absolutely addictive as the name suggests. The dough is a little sticky to work with, so I formed it into a disc, froze it, and then made the balls from the frozen dough. Did you have that problem, Diane? I loved your pictures and description.

  8. Talia

    Love that first photo! I’m a total chocolate addict so as far as I’m concerned there can be no ambiguity about the meaning of this cookie’s name!

  9. marla {family fresh cooking}

    Not only chocolate but cherries too?? My, my. Yup, crack indeed. Nice work! great photos. Love how these babies are coated in two sugars.

  10. Elisabet Figueras

    As always, the photography is awesome. I love all recipes from David and this seems delicious.
    Thank you very much.

  11. Aparna

    These cookies look beautiful. I love chocolate and if the recipe is from David Lebovitz they have to be very good.

  12. Gaby

    hahaha love the picture!!! And these look like crack cookies for sure… if left alone in a room with these, I am fairly certain that I would eat ever last one of them!

  13. SD

    Love the main picture, genius.

  14. Jessica (Pie of the Tiger)

    Yum! Clever idea with the first photo, and I love the addition of the cherries. I used to make a chocolate chip and dried cranberry biscuit recipe from one of the Death by Chocolate books that was shockingly tasty, and now I’m wondering how cranberries would work in these. I may have to try it!

  15. Sherry

    Seiously, before i started reading the post i thought “these people really have problems”

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Sherry- actually we do have problems, especially when it comes to powdered sugar!

  16. Lori Lynn

    Wow! Bravo! You guys are crack crazy! So cutting edge, so inspiring…I’m addicted.

  17. Whitney

    Food-styling with an intervention edge. I like it, a lot.

  18. Kaitlin

    Very, very clever presentation. I always love your photos 🙂

  19. matt

    Baaa ring it. This is fantastic guys! And holy cow, awesome photography. Love the contrast in the first shot.

  20. Sara

    ooo i love the design of that first picture! So creative with the sugars and name of the cookie, brilliant you two.

  21. Kelly

    Your props in the first picture crack me up and the other photos are just mouthwatering. Looking at them you don’t have to work hard to convince me that these are like crack!

  22. justcooknyc

    i have such a crush on cookies like these. i love how they look. great photos.

  23. Angela@spinachtiger

    I’m a cherry chocolate fanatic, so I’ll be hooked very easily.

  24. Cookin' Canuck

    I love the tongue-in-cheek photo. These cookies really do look addictive. I would like to try crystallized ginger in them.

  25. Patricia Scarpin

    I love mixing chocolate and dried cherries, they go so well together. Wonderful cookies and stunning photos, as usual!

  26. emily s

    Love the photos and the commentary : ) I will definitely be making these, uhm, tomorrow? ; ))

  27. Kathy Diaz (foundbaking)

    As always, pictures are lovely. I used to eat these cookies a lot when I was a kid. Agree that they are addicting!

  28. Marc @ NoRecipes

    I would totally snort those! Sooo much chocolate!

  29. Alessio

    Definitely decadent cookie… A lonely pleasure for those sinful nights au clair de lune 😉

  30. Dominic

    I’m addicted just by looking at them! The photos are awesome BTW 🙂

  31. Charles G Thompson

    I just got the book and this may now be the first recipe I try. Wonderful post; great photos!

  32. Brooke @ Food Woolf

    I wish I could say this recipe is too hard for me, but now that you’ve shown me (step by step, no less!) just how easy it is to make this addictive little nuggets I fear I’ll have to sign up and make David’s Crack Cookies.

    I LOVE Luxardo (thanks to you two) and use it where ever I can. Literally.

  33. Sara @ OurPrivateKitchen

    Holy Moly those look amazing!! I love that this adaption is “more than enough to make any chocolate cookie craving quietly purr in submission”. I may just have to check out ‘Ready for Dessert’!

  34. deb

    How I love these photos! They’re absolutely stunning. But is that a lame? I just… I can’t … figure it out! I am thinking way too hard about this, I can tell.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      deb- thank you! and yes, it is a lame!

      1. Michael

        I love the photos also….what is a lame? : )

        1. White on Rice Couple

          Thanks. In response to your question, a lame is that funky looking curved razor blade (with the yellow handle in the first photo.) It’s used to slice the tops of proofed loaves of bread, but also makes a nice prop for culinary crack. 😉

  35. Nicole

    I don’t usually go for the hard stuff, but these cookies might just send me over the edge. I too am loving Ready for Dessert. I have already made the brownies and chocolate chip cookies, what’s next…probably don’t need to ask!

  36. Nicole Spasiano

    I love step by step photos. Your photos are so beautiful. I love getting to see more of them when you do the step by step blog posts.

  37. Holly

    OK, these just went to the top of my to-do list. They look and sound absolutely amazing.

  38. Delia

    I love DL and have loved his new book. I dedicated a blog post to the Absolute Best Brownies and you know what, they were! No false advertising there. I look forward to trying these as well as all the other recipes contained in those drool inducing pages.

  39. Manggy

    Oh man, cherries *and* cherry liquor *and* dark chocolate sounds like a (drug-induced) dream to me. There’s a reason cherry cordials are always the first confections I take out of the box! 🙂

  40. ashley

    we call them chocolate crinkles and they are by far my all time favorite cookie… basically tastes like a brownie! soooo good!! yours look so pretty!

  41. Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    Naughty, naughty. 😉

  42. Barbara @

    Quite the photo kids…in more ways than one; including the colorized spatula. Crack indeed! Oh, and great sounding cookies too!

  43. Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup!

    I love Luxardo and recently used some in my Dark Cherry Mocha Cream Cookies, inspired by Starbucks’ Dark Cherry Mocha! But I like the cracked effect on yours.

  44. Phoo-D

    Oh my do those ever look good. I usually don’t crave chocolate but I think these would do me in.

  45. Jessica @ How Sweet

    Gorgeous! Those cookies just look to-die-for.

  46. Carina

    They look so delicious, i’ll be craving them all day long!! I don’t think I can find dried cherries where I live, how could addapt the recipe? Maybe other dried fruit, or add more chocolate? Thanks!

  47. Divina

    That’s really gorgeous. Double the indulgence and just simply irresistible.

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