No flour. No butter. What exactly are these chocolate treats made of then? I’m glad you asked! They are a simple combination of cocoa powder, egg whites, confectionary sugar, salt, vanilla, and LOTS of ground walnuts. With a list of ingredients like that, you might even be able to consider these cookies to be healthy and light. A decent amount of protein with a low amount of calories from the egg whites, and a bunch of healthy fat from all the ground walnuts. And don’t forget the antioxidants from the cocoa. But! These cookies weren’t engineered to be a “healthier” chocolate cookie, they were meant to be made for Passover where flour is forbidden in the diet. I’ve been meaning to make these for a while now and just happened to have the inclination to do so the other day. I just couldn’t pass it up! And neither should you. These are a great cookie even if you don’t want to serve them during Passover. Maybe you just want a healthier cookie? Or to try something different? OR! You are on a gluten free diet? Yes, these are also gluten free. Quite the multi-purpose cookie, huh?
A few hours before setting out to make these cookies something devastating happened. Just completely discouraging, leaving me on the verge of tears. My Kitchen Aid mixer died. I use that machine almost every day! And it’s not something that can easily be replaced from Germany. I am going to have to order one and pay a TON of money in shipping because they’re so darn heavy. I was highly disappointed because this was my second to die within a period of 2 1/2 years. And I was totally distraught because I only had about 4 weeks left here in Germany, before moving home to the States for 10 months, so it was pointless to replace it before I left. I’ve been living without one since then and it’s been quite an adjustment. I had to go out and get a cheap-o handheld mixer because I didn’t even have one of those. It’s doing the job, sure, but it makes me appreciate my stand mixer even more.
Now, what is the point of that story? My point is that I was about to whip these babies up when it died so I had to use simply a whisk to assemble them (I hadn’t yet purchased the handheld mixer). I do NOT recommend doing that. These cookies depend on the volume of whipping egg whites to create the stability of the cookie. Mine were like soup- they had no height and spread like crazy across the cookie sheet. I went through with baking them and everything regardless. They did end up incredibly flat, with what I assume is an inaccurate texture, but they were still delicious. I just highly recommend actually using a mixer with this recipe so that they come out perfect.
Two other notes- The walnuts are used in place of the flour and butter. When ground they create almost a powder, similar to flour, and they have a high fat profile so they are like butter in that way. But please, try to use very finely ground walnuts. It will give you the best texture without a doubt. ALSO- if you like the idea/result of these cookies, head on over to the Sans Rival Cake. The cake layers are almost identical to these cookies.
- ¾ cup dutch process cocoa powder
- 2½ cups confectionary sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups walnut, finely chopped
- 1 Tb pure vanilla
- 4 large egg whites
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line sheet pans with silicone mats or use non stick baking sheet.
- In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cocoa powder, confectionary sugar, salt, and walnuts, and mix for 1 minute on low speed to evenly distribute.
- In another bowl, briefly whisk together vanilla and egg whites.
- Increase the mixers speed to medium and slowly add the whites to the dry ingredients. Mix for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl. Scoop 2 oz of cookie batter (using large scoop) onto prepared pans, leaving 3" between cookies.
- Place sheet on the middle rack and immediately reduce the oven temp to 320 degrees F. Bake for 14 minutes or until small, thin cracks appear on the surface and the cookies are firm to the touch. Allow cookies to cool slightly and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.