Flourless Chocolate Cookies, and a Bellingham Gluten-free Restaurant Guide

Chantel holding a plate of yummy chocolate cookies made with Dagoba organic and fairly traded cocoa powder.

Chantel holding a plate of yummy chocolate cookies made with Dagoba organic and fairly traded cocoa powder.

We’ve been busy over the last year redesigning our website, and one of the new things we are doing is picking a staff favorite item to feature on the site as well as in our print ads – for December, long-time staff member Chantel was selected (who is our Membership Coordinator and also works on the Front End at our Downtown store).  She loves to cook and bake, and one of her favorite recipes features her staff pick of the month – Dagoba Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Powder.  We thought it would be fun to tie that into the Sassy Sampler blog this month, so the recipe was an easy pick since Chantel had already chosen it!

These flourless chocolate cookies are scrumptious – they come together very quickly and contain no added fats (although plenty of sugar, so don’t get too excited about the basically fat-free status!).  They taste like a meringue brownie – they are a delicate cookie that is packed with chocolate flavor and only contain a few ingredients.  They are similar to the Triple Chocolate Cookies that I have blogged about before, but these are much easier to make and don’t contain any flour at all.  Customers loved their flavor, and also loved their simplicity…and the fact that while they contain egg whites, you don’t have to whip them for this recipe!

One other new addition (to my blog) is that I have created a list of restaurants in town that offer gluten-free selections/substitutions.  I urge anyone to comment on them and to offer suggestions to add to the list – you can either email me (address is located on the bottom of the About page) or use the form – most of the restaurants listed are ones that myself or my coworkers have personally eaten at so it is by no means a comprehensive list.  You can find the PDF document (and places to comment) here.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies © Sassy Sampler 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cookies © Sassy Sampler 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

adapted from www.kumquatblog.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 c organic powdered sugar
  • 2/3 c organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 4 large organic egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 t organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4—1 1/2  c organic semi-sweet chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (and sprayed lightly with oil) or Silpat mats.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and sea salt.
  4. Stir in the egg whites and vanilla until the batter is well combined (if the batter seems too thin you can add more powdered sugar until it reaches school glue consistency).
  5. Spoon thick fudgy batter onto cookie sheets in 12 small, evenly spaced mounds (about 1 T).  Chill for 5 minutes or so to keep them from spreading when they bake.  Refrigerate remaining batter.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.
  7. Slide the parchment onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before removing from the sheet.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 with remaining batter.

Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days and taste just like brownies!

There are many variations of this recipe on the web—you can use anywhere from 2-4 eggs (depending on how thick you want the batter—I definitely think the thicker the better) and some recipes use as much as 2 cups of chocolate chips.  Nuts can be added to these cookies as well—hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans would be a great choice.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies PDF

1/3/13 – Since posting this recipe I’ve made a batch using Dutch processed cocoa powder.  They turn out much darker (in color) and have a slightly richer chocolate flavor – give it a try if that is your preference!

I just have to mention that when I made the cookies, three of my four eggs had double yolks!!!  Just thought that was weird...

I just have to mention that when I made the cookies, three of my four eggs had double yolks!!! Just thought that was weird…

Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

I realized yesterday, about 10 minutes before I was going to head home, that I hadn’t picked a recipe for my Friday demo.  I keep a stash of recipe ideas, so I delved in to see what I had already available to me.  Back in September, I found a recipe for cookies with no flour (hence they are also gluten-free) that were also vegan and I decided it was high time that I gave them a go.  After baking them and tasting them, I have to wonder why I waited so long to demo them!

I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com, and found out that the Almond Board of California had submitted it to the website, but that it was originally created by Elana Amsterdam in her cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (she has a new cookbook coming out soon that is all about cupcakes made with almond and coconut flour).  I had somehow never heard of this cookbook, but I will be buying a copy soon (we don’t carry it at the Co-op, but I’ll check my favorite bookstore Village Books).  I love almonds, and they are a great source of protein and fiber, so a whole cookbook of recipes sounds great to me!

As always, I made a few adjustments to the original recipe according to my personal tastes – instead of grapeseed oil, I used organic canola oil (grapeseed oil gives me a stomach-ache, but it is a healthy oil that promotes “good” cholesterol and has a high smoking point) and I toasted the sliced almonds and the almond flour/meal as well.  You don’t have to do either, and I only indicate to toast the sliced almonds in the recipe – if you want to go the extra step and lightly toast the almond meal/flour, then make sure you cool it before finishing the recipe, and you’ll only need to toast it (stirring constantly) for about a minute.

I was a little concerned because the batter seemed really wet, but the cookies turned out to be soft and delicious!  They are pretty fragile when they come out of the oven, and you need to let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 20 minutes.  I put them in the fridge (still on the sheets) after they had cooled the allotted amount of time, and they became much less fragile but still stayed soft and moist.  They were loved by all who tried them, and are great if you can’t have grains, gluten, and/or dairy products.  They were super easy to make and I had the whole batch prepared and cooled in under an hour.

Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from The Gluten-free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 c gluten-free almond flour/meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 c grapeseed or organic canola oil
  • 1/2 c organic agave nectar
  • 1 T organic gluten-free vanilla
  • 1/2 c organic dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  2. Place sliced almonds in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Toast almonds until they are fragrant and slightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, and baking soda.
  4. In a 2 c measuring cup (or a medium bowl) combine oil, agave, and vanilla.
  5. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.  The batter will be very wet.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips and toasted almonds.
  7. Spoon dough 1 heaping Tablespoon at a time onto your prepared baking sheet, pressing down with your palm or the back of your spoon to flatten, about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for 8—12 minutes, until lightly golden.
  9. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then remove and serve!

You don’t need to toast the sliced almonds—it just adds a little more flavor to the cookie, and if you are not gluten-intolerant (or don’t have access to organic versions of the ingredients) then you don’t need to be overly concerned with the specific ingredients listed.

Suggestions from Allrecipes.com members:  You can omit the chocolate chips and make jam thumbprint cookies with this recipe as well.  After you put the heaping T of batter on the cookie sheet, make an indentation in the center with your thumb.  Fill with a small scoop of your favorite jam and bake as directed.

Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies PDF

Triple Chocolate Cookies (GF and Wheat Flour Recipes)

Anyone will tell you that I am a big fan of baking. If there is chocolate involved, you can count me in! I realized that I have been neglecting this passionate side of my cooking persona regarding the recipes I “test” for customers, so I decided that some delicious cookies would be in order for my last sampling demo in January.

I found a recipe years ago for Triple Chocolate Cookies that I think are fantastic, and since I knew they would be easily adapted for those of us that are gluten-free, I went for it. I don’t recall where this recipe came from – it is handwritten in my recipe notebook – so I either found it online (and didn’t have any ink in my printer so I copied it down) or it was from a magazine that I felt I couldn’t tear it out of.

At any rate, I have never had a moister, chocolaty-er cookie than this! Customers thought they tasted both like fudge and brownies, and were surprised at how soft they were. I made the gluten-free variety for my demo so everyone could partake in the yummy goodness, and too many people to count were amazed that they were in fact gluten-free. I had to swat some hands for taking too many samples (well, not really – but you know you’ve got a good thing when people can’t stop eating them, and they don’t call me the “Sassy Sampler” for nothing!).

If you are a new (or hesitant) baker, then here are a few tips:

  • For GF cooks – I made them with a couple different GF flour mixes in my conversion experiment (Bob’s and our own), and found that the Swan Bakery’s bulk GF Flour mix makes the cookies taste identical to the wheat flour version.
  • Make sure your eggs are room temperature (leave them out for at least a half hour before you start melting the chocolate). This is a good rule when you are baking and need to cream eggs – I don’t know the science behind it, but it does make for creamier, fluffier eggs!
  • The chocolate mixture should still be pretty warm when you add it to the egg mixture – don’t let it cool all the way or the recipe won’t work correctly.
  • If you have a convection oven (lucky you!!!), then you don’t need to worry about reversing the position of the half-baked cookies in the oven – this step is for those of us who need to assure even baking in a regular oven.
  • My “heaping Tablespoons” are in fact HEAPING Tablespoons, which is why I only make 24 cookies.If you make them smaller (and therefore more), then you may not need to bake them as long – take a peek about 8 minutes into your cooking time. When they are done, they should be shiny and a little poofy, with little cracks in the top (they will deflate some as they cool).

ENJOY!

photo triple chocolate cookies

Gluten-free Triple Chocolate Cookies © 2010 Sassy Sampler

GLUTEN-FREE (OR WHEAT) TRIPLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 7 T unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 c co-op gluten-free flour mix (or unbleached wheat flour)
  • 1/4 t xanthan gum
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 1/2 c chocolate chips, and butter in double boiler until glossy.  (You can also improvise with a medium heat-proof glass bowl set on a saucepan.)  Let cool, stirring occasionally.  Fight the urge to eat the chocolate before you add it to your recipe.
  2. Mix flour, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder in a small bowl.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar with mixer (hand held or stand mixer) on medium speed in a large bowl for about 4 minutes until creamy and pale in color.  Add vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Add  chocolate mixture and mix for 1 minute on low until fully combined.
  5. (Remove bowl from mixer.) Fold in your flour mixture.
  6. Fold in 1 1/2 c chocolate chips.
  7. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Put oven racks in upper middle and upper lower positions.
  8. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop dough in heaping Tablespoons on sheets, about 1” apart.
  9. Bake, reversing position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until edges of cookies have just begun to set but centers are still very soft, about 10 –11 minutes.  Cookies will be shiny, with cracks on top, and will not look fully cooked.
  10. Cool cookies on sheets about 30 minutes, slide parchment with cookies on to wire racks, and cool to room temperature.  Store in airtight container.

You can add 2 t of instant coffee powder at the end of step three if desired.  You can also substitute 1/2 c of almond flour for the GF flour.  You can also add 3/4 c dark chocolate chips and 3/4 c white chocolate chips for more chocolate variety!

Gluten-free Triple Chocolate Cookies PDF

2/18/10 – I think this recipe may have come from Cook’s Country magazine originally, although I think it has only been in publication for a couple years and I have been making these cookies for longer than that…one day I will solve this mystery!