Am going to try my hardest to keep this brief, in the hopes that you will find yourself sooner, rather than later, in your kitchen making these cookies. The background on these babies is this: In early September, I found myself Dominique Ansel Kitchen, eating a chocolate pecan cookie. Not really my thing, frankly, as I tend to find uber-chocolate-y cookies just too chocolate-y and I rarely seek out gluten-free items (like never), but I was with a friend, sharing goodies, she was intrigued, and so we tried it. It was very chewy (which I love), but just too chocolate-y (yes, there is such a thing). The texture was amaze-balls, however, (you’d never know it was gluten-free) and it was thick, with a crispy exterior. I wouldn’t call the interior molten exactly, but it might have been had we been eating the cookie warm.
My friend and I both agreed that the cookie had tremendous potential, and I agreed to take a stab at it. And, oh, what a stab I took: I probably made these cookies at least ten or 12 times — maybe even more — as I attempted to achieve gluten-free cookie perfection. I used Dominique Ansel’s recipe (it is in his cookbook), as my starting off point, but with some major tweaks: I used arrowroot as my thickener, removed the pecans, substituted brown sugar for some of the granulated, added a bit of cocoa powder for chocolate flavor (without having to add actual chocolate), and when I did add the actual chocolate, I used semisweet, rather than dark. I decided to ignore his method, and prepare the cookies as I do my brownies. The resulting cookies were fantastic in flavor and texture. They were super thin (as you can see in the pictures) so the ratio of the most perfect crispy, brownie-like exterior to the molten and brownie-like interior was out of this world. However, the cookie had no structure and although delicious to pull apart and eat with your fingers, I’m not sure I would have actually called it a cookie (more like broken chocolate-y deliciousness).
Chocolate cookie (both gluten-free and gluten-full) research was in order. I quickly discovered some recipes for inspiration. As for gluten-full chocolate cookies, I looked on Epicurious for thoughts on methodology, and Food 52 (cause it popped up on my instagram feed) and I started to get the feeling that, along with me, everyone and her mother was making chocolate cookies. But I digress.
Long story short, in order to get the structure I was after in my cookie, I decided to forego my brownie-making technique, in exchange for a modified version of both Dominique Ansel’s and Claudia Fleming’s (ie: much vigorous whisking ensued). My resulting cookies were as tasty as my first batch (crispy, yet chewy, deeply chocolate flavored, yet in a measured way), but did not break into pieces when lifted from the cookie sheet. Okay, the end . . . You’re free to go now . . . (into your kitchen, I hope).
Flourless Chocolate Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 5 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp dutch process cocoa powder
- A generous 1 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips divided
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 yolk lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp vegetable shortening
- Combine the sugars, arrowroot powder, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to incorporate.
- Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously — I did this for at least 3 minutes (taking breaks, yes). Or use a stand mixer.
- Melt 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips and the vegetable shortening in a double boiler over medium heat (be careful about steam or water droplets getting into your melting chocolate).
- Once melted, remove from the heat and add to the egg and sugar mixture, and whisk to incorporate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. These cookies get better the longer they rest prior to baking.
- When ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Scoop the dough with a small (around 1 1/2 Tbsp) cookie scoop onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place the sheet in the refrigerator again, briefly.
- Bake the cookies, one tray at a time, for about 9 minutes (for a slightly underdone cookie) and up to 11 or 12 for a crispier cookie.
- Repeat with any additional cookie dough. Cookies should be eaten warm (if you ask me), and so I recommend only baking as many as you want to eat at that time.
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