Sunday, January 29, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cookies

I went through a culinary phase in high school in which I was determined to make the perfect flourless chocolate cake. I loved the idea of turning glorified brownie batter into something elegant. Most recipes were laborious though, requiring you to separate sometimes a dozen eggs for one cake. Needless to say, I moved on from that phase before long. It's actually been years since I've attempted anything like those cakes. So, when I saw these cookies on Pinterest I was excited to try a more approachable flourless chocolate confection.  

These cookies ended up being absolutely delicious. It blows my mind that they can be so satisfying without any butter.  They are chewy and very rich - much like a brownie but with a slight hint of meringue. I added ground almonds, which are subtle in flavor but provide structure and great texture to the cookies. I'm tempted to try hazelnuts next time. 

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cookies
adapted from Recipe Girl

makes 2 dozen cookies (easily halved)

Remember to grease the cookie sheets otherwise you'll get yourself into quite a sticky ordeal.

3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup toasted and finely ground almonds or hazelnuts
1/4 tsp salt
3 to 4 egg whites
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

How to separate eggs:

Over a small bowl, carefully crack open the egg and gently carry the yolk back and forth between the two shells. Watch the edges of the shell so that they don't pierce the yolk.  Pass the yolk 3 to 4 times until most of the white has fallen into the bowl. Use the yolks for pasta, hollandaise sauce, or for an extra rich scramble. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two large cookie sheets with oil or butter. Whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl.  Stir in the almonds and salt. Add 3 egg whites and beat until mixture resembles brownie batter. If the mixture is too dry, then add part or all of the last egg white.  Stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips. 

The batter will be gooey, so carefully spoon 12 "piles" onto each cookie sheet leaving at least an inch of room between each pile.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are shiny and cracked.

p.s. Dave and I are going to make ice cream sandwiches with these cookies and homemade coffee ice cream.  I'll post some pictures soon.

Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

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