brownies and sweet, sturdy quick breads. And I have been known to brag about my Key lime pie (regular and frozen), which is awesome, but I think it's also my birthright as a Floridian. Beyond that, my desserts often fall into the "ugly but tasty" category. And Dan and I eat them anyway.
We had some friends over for lunch about a month ago (more on that later) and I wanted to make something homemade for dessert. In this case, the issue was not my lack of baking skillz, it was that one of the guests was gluten-intolerant. So I decided to pull out my trusty flourless peanut butter cookie recipe, which never, ever fails me. (And is only five ingredients!) Then I decided to make a second cookie in case one of our friends didn't like peanut butter. And because I can't leave well enough alone.
Although cookies are not my forte, I had high hopes for a recipe I saw over at 100 Cookbooks for chocolate puddle cookies. Like the peanut butter cookie, it is made with a handful of basic ingredients and no butter or flour. Meaning that it would be gluten-free and possibly not a kitchen disaster. For some reason, I have a hard time nailing the right temperature of butter when baking. (Maybe I just need to make cookies with melted butter?)
As I guessed, these cookies are genius. They are foolproof, made in just one bowl, and taste like soft, chewy brownies. They actually seem more like a thin brownie than a cookie, which is totally not a bad thing. And there's the gluten-free angle if you care about that. Are you sold? Good!
Chocolate puddle cookies
From 101 Cookbooks.
(Makes about 20 cookies)
3 cups walnut (or pecan) halves, toasted and cooled
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used rum)
Preheat oven to 320 F degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil.
After your walnuts are cool enough to handle, chop them roughly (or give them one or two pulses in the food processor) and set aside. Sift together the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Stir in the walnuts, then add the egg whites and vanilla (or rum). Stir until combined.
Use a spoon to portion out the batter onto the cookie sheets in 2 Tbsp. mounds. Space the cookies as far apart as possible and not too close to the sides of the cookie sheets as they will spread.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The tops of the cookies will look shiny and cracked. When the cookies are done, don't use a spatula to move them to a cooling rack. They may fall apart. Instead, let them cool on the parchment or foil. Then, remove from the paper and eat! (Or save in an air-tight container.)