Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.
I have a new friend who is on a strict gluten-free diet, which I have chosen to look at as a fresh cooking challenge. As with all new adventures, there have been hits and misses; I am still trying to work through my emotions about matzo balls made with almond flour.
But one dessert I made for G. has become a new favorite in my house, and a go-to cookie for all occasions, gluten-free guests or not. These are tremendously fast -- just the thing for a last minute dinner party -- totally delicious and the only person who won’t like them is the chocolate hater, who I am sure is working that issue out with the help of friends and family.
This is my adaptation of the Mexican chocolate cookie, which generally involves chili powder and crushed nuts. I have made the cookie in its original form, which I love, but decided when I was making it for a party that I would make a cookie that was not only gluten-free, but an option for those with nut allergies (or aversions) and without the spice that some kids might dislike.
Often there is an inverse relationship between the amount of effort expended to make food inoffensive and the pleasure taken from eating it. Not here.
This cookie is so pleasurably rich in chocolate, and offers such a delightfully surprising texture, that most people race toward them like deer to a salt lick, until they are all gone and your guests begin staring at you with mild accusation, as if you purposely didn’t make enough.
The key here is good chocolate -- the powder can be natural or Dutch processed -- and not overmixing. The batter will look a little odd once you get the egg whites in there, as if there is not enough binding agent. Don’t worry about this. Just plop these suckers out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and tuck them into the oven. Once they start cracking, they are done. Take them out and let them cool a while on the pan or they will fall apart as you attempt to remove them.
Once they are cooler, remove them to the rack. Then stand back. They won’t be there long.
This recipe serves a crowd
2.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2.5 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Photo by James Ransom