Everyone, meet my new favorite cookie. Deep, dark and delicious, they also happen to be gluten-free. And butter free. Did I mention how crunchy-chewy-delicious they are? They’re made of egg whites, powdered sugar, cocoa and toasted walnuts, but don’t come across as meringues, and aren’t as ridiculously sweet as one would think they’d be. They’re crackly on the outside but wonderfully chewy and intensely dark, likely due to my Callebaut cocoa – completely devoid of butter but loaded with nuts (read: healthy fats). I’ve seen versions with pecans, but I jammed them with nice fresh walnuts. Next on my to-do list: pecans or toasted hazelnuts. Trust me: make these.
These are big cookies, and they spread a lot. The batter is very sticky – it will seem like too much in the way of dry ingredients to the egg whites you’ll add, but trust me, they work. Powdered sugar is much fluffier than its granular counterpart, so 2 cups powdered sugar actually equals 1 cup of regular sugar. (That should ease the shock of seeing the quantity of sugar in these!) Make sure you use a large spoon when dropping the batter onto your baking sheets, and give them plenty of room in between.
Chocolate Walnut Puddle Cookies
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
3 cups walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts
4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large egg whites
1 Tbsp. good vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
Toast your walnuts or pecans, cool them and roughly chop them. In a large bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, cocoa and salt. Add the nuts, then stir in the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and drop the batter in large mounds (about 2 Tbsp. each – I used a heaped soup spoon) spacing them well away from each other – no more than 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes – they will spread, puff, crack on top, get glossy and then turn matte. Slide the cookies on the parchment off the sheet onto a cooling rack and let them cool.
Makes 18 large cookies.