Gluten-Free Goodness: Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Posted by & filed under chocolate, cookies, Gluten-Free Goodness, walnuts.

TRB is always on the lookout for gluten-free recipes. Not only because she has close friends who have sensitivities to gluten, but also because the recipes tend to be lighter, the ingredients are “all-natural” and the end product is typically something you can feel good about eating.

Lately, TRB has also been obsessed with using the fewest amount of ingredients in anything she bakes (or cooks). [By the way, the Food Network show 5 Ingredient Fix, crafted on the overall premise of creating recipes containing up to 5 ingredients – with salt and pepper being “free ingredients” — is a really good source of inspiration].

So, when TRB stumbled upon a recipe for Chocolate Puddle Cookies on Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks blog, which meets all of the above criteria, she decided to give the cookies a try.

Admittedly, this one is a bit of a challenge. As Heidi accurately describes in her post, these cookies are fickle and it will take you a bit to get the hang of when they are really “done.” (For TRB, 17 minutes in a 325 degree-oven turned out to be the “magic” formula).

You will also put some real muscle into making this dough; the combination of confectioner’s sugar and egg whites is a little tough to mix. But if you manage to master it — and the bake time, your reward will be a delicious chocolate cookie that has a nice crunch on the outside and a ooey gooey, chewy center.

Gluten-free pals rejoice: This is a wonderful chocolate cookie that you can enjoy worry-free!

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies
(As seen on 101 Cookbooks)

Yield: Approx. 15 cookies

3 cups walnut halves, toasted and cooled
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup, plus 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
scant 1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt (TRB used Kosher salt)
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. (TRB put her oven on 325 degrees). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. When your walnuts have cooled, give them a rough chop and then set aside. (Note: You can toast your walnuts in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes — or until you can smell them. When they are fragrant, you’ll know they are toasted).

3. Sift together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Stir in walnuts, then add the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well-combined and no flecks of sugar remain.

4. Spoon the batter by tablespoon onto the baking sheet, allowing for plenty of room between each cookie. These will expand, so take care not to place more than 6 cookies on each baking sheet. Do not place the batter too close to the edges of the pan.

5. Bake until the cookies puff up, the tops get glossy and crack. (Heidi’s recipe recommends 12-15 minutes, but TRB found that 17 minutes worked).

6. Carefully slide the cookies still on the parchment paper out of the pan and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before attempting to remove from the paper. Store in an airtight container.

Do you enjoy making gluten-free treats? Did you try this recipe? Post a comment below.

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