These cookies will put you at the top of the Nice List

   

Christmas before last, I discovered a new favorite-cookie-ever that I made so often that first season, I ended up actually getting tired of them. Can you believe that?!

It’s only because I ate too many, as I tend to do if I find a cookie that I really, really enjoy. As a matter of fact, I’m currently semi-tired of chocolate chip cookies. That felt weird to say. Do I have a fever? That’s crazy talk. I wouldn’t turn one away if someone offered me one right now, but I might not jump up and go bake any on a whim.

See, I’ve been baking lots of chocolate chip cookies lately, using the recipe on the back of that enormous bag of chocolate chips from my favorite big-box store in El Paso. You know, the one that rhymes with Bosco?

I tried the recipe on the package once because I think we often overlook recipes that come with a food item. These recipes have been tested umpteen times in a test kitchen before they’re printed on every bag or box that they produce. Why wouldn’t they be considered a terrific recipe at that point?

I bake them in batches of four dozen cookies at a time, and they don’t even leave our house unless we’ve packed them in a snack bag. We eat them all. And we eat them whenever we want. It’s okay to do that during 2020.

But, I have taken a break from the most perfect chocolate chip cookies recipe I’ve ever found, and it’s time to whip up some gluten-free goodies.

Some of you might recall when I first shared this recipe exactly two years ago, but for those of you that didn’t clip it then, this is your opportunity to add your newest favorite cookie to your cookie baking repertoire.

Flourless chocolate cookies. Flourless? How can a cookie be flourless? I was skeptical at first, considering that there was no flour, no added butter, no baking powder, and I usually have everything for them on-hand. Gluten-free and no trip to the store? One bowl to clean up? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s true.

From my pantry, I grabbed a box of powdered sugar, cacao powder, semi-sweet chocolate chips, salt, vanilla and a couple eggs from the fridge. I use cacao because while it’s pretty much interchangeable with cocoa powder in baking, but it’s a super food. I’m always trying to put a healthy spin on food, and it’s a chance to brag about my “healthy” cookies.

Here’s the short story on why the cookies, made with eggs and powdered sugar, actually form cookies. Eggs are a binding agent, holding ingredients together. Egg yolks add richness but allow a crisp texture after baking, but egg whites tend to make cookies dry and cakey. To make up for the drying effect of the egg whites, extra sugar is often added. The egg whites act as strengtheners. When whipped, egg whites (also known as “albumen”) can swell up to eight times their initial volume.

Once mixed and scooped, the brownie-like batter spreads out on the cookie sheet and poofs up kinda strange, but one bite and you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face. Crisp, chewy, chocolatey, perfectly decadent. I made them two days in a row.

If you’re worried about being on someone’s “naughty” list rather than their “nice” list this Christmas (or any time for that matter), make these cookies and share them. Or make them and eat them all and stay naughty. It’s up to you. Merry Christmas, y’all!

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

    1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used cacao powder)

    a pinch of salt

    1 or 2 large egg whites at room temperature (I used 2)

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 355 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
Add the vanilla extract, the egg white and whisk until it’s a thick but moist batter. It will happen like magic! If it seems too thick, add another egg white. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving enough space between each cookie for them to spread a bit.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops are glossy and they begin to crack. You’ll want to keep an eye on them. Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet with a spatula.

Store the flourless chocolate cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, but you’ll probably eat them all before then.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies
(recipe from the Kirkland Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips 4.5-lb. bag)
¾ cup (or 1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts (I add chopped pecan pieces from my friends at the Davis Nut Company)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar in a medium-size bowl. Blend with mixer until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add baking soda and salt. Slowly add flour until thoroughly blended. Fold in chocolate chips and optional nuts with a spatula.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, use parchment paper for easy cleanup. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes until desired doneness. Makes about 45 cookies.

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