Cocoa Melt Away Cookies

cocoa meltaways plated

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies photo by vsimon

clockwise: powdered sugar, cocoa and cinnamon, granulated sugar

These were a happy accident last year. It started out as a trial run of a recipe called Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies from Bon Appétit. The ingredients were cocoa, dark chocolate, eggs, a bit of cornstarch, salt and a lot of powdered sugar. No flour, no dairy. I could give it a go.

This is an easy recipe. And I inadvertently made it easier. Well, I got distracted and forgot to add the melted chocolate. It was melted. And still in the microwave, out of sight. I didn’t even notice my mistake until I was making a cup of tea, many hours later.

Not to worry, the chocolate did not go to waste. I can’t say for sure, but it is likely I just spooned it out of the container and into my mouth. I have been known to do that. Hopefully I shared.

According to the recipe, the dough would be very stiff.  Mine was very soft and sticky, more like thick batter. Even then, I didn’t think about forgetting something.

I put the batter in the fridge for a while to see if it firmed up. It did, a little. So I proceeded with the recipe, dropping blobs of batter into powdered sugar, more or less as directed. And baked them as directed.

They are crispy outside, melty and chewy on the inside. And very sweet. You can drop them into a mix of cocoa powder and cinnamon to cut the sweetness. A bit of cayenne would be fun too.

My mistake was worth repeating. But we wondered what we missed with the original recipe. So we made that too. That cookie is rated 4 stars on the Bon Appétit site. Lots of folks like it. But is a different cookie, heavy and dense. And there is a place for that.

This one is thin, crispy, airy, chewy. We like this version so much better.

cocoa meltaways with mug

cocoa melt away cookies photo by vsimon

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies

makes 18 three inch cookies metric measures
3 large egg whites, room temp 150 gm
2 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided use 270
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not cocoa drink mix 50 gm
1 tablespoon cornstarch 8 gm
¼ tsp salt 2 gm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer two or three cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt.

On low speed, add the dry mixture to the egg white mixture. Continue until well blended.

Refrigerate mixture for 20-30 minutes to firm up a bit.

Place remaining powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Drop cookie mixture by tablespoon into sugar, coating generously. This will be messy.

I use two spoons to plop the batter into the sugar. And two more spoons to cover it in sugar. Then I gently pick up the coated batter, and place it on cookie sheets. Give them room, they spread.

You will have some powered sugar leftover. But you need the extra to cover the bottom of the bowl. Otherwise the batter will stick to it. And I don’t mind wasting a bit of sugar.

Bake about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets about 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

Variations

For a darker and less sweet cookie, roll batter in cocoa powder instead of powdered sugar. Sub 1/4 cocoa powder for the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. I don’t like wasting cocoa powder. So I am just  more careful, making sure there is cocoa covering the bottom of the bowl before I drop in the batter. And the cocoa doesn’t coat the batter as thickly as powdered sugar does. So less goes further.

Add some spice. A teaspoon of cinnamon can go into the batter or the coating.

Add some heat. Cayenne or chili powders can also go in the batter or the coating. Add as much, or as little as you like. Sweet and heat is a great combo.

Add some cool. Just a few drops of mint extract added to the batter adds a lot of flavor and scent.

Make it mocha. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the batter. Or grind it fine and add to the coating.

What is your favorite flavor? And do you like it in, or out of your cookie?

Other easy holiday treats you may like are:

Sorghum Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondie’s

Lemon Bars Scroll to the bottom of the post.

Cocoa Bean Brownies

And there is so much more to share!

Custom Choice cereal giveaway

The lucky winner of her own Custom Choice cereal blend is Michelle.

Thank you Custom Choice for a tasty, fun, gluten free product!

Bon Appetite Blogger Holiday Bake-Off

It is still ongoing. Categories include cakes, cookies, custard, pie, and more. Vote for your favorites until December 13.

Your vote enters you to win a Kitchen Technology Center. You can vote in every category. I have already entered Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy. And I will enter Cocoa Melt Aways in the cookie category.

If you are a blogger, be sure to enter a recipe. Elana, of Elana’s Pantry has entered Tart and Tangy Cranberry Bars.

The competition is stiff, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a gluten free winner! Especially in a popular mainstream cooking magazine.

Healthy Eats guest post

Healthy Eats is a blog associated with the Food Network. Last week they published my post of Sorghum Almond Drops, a whole grain, gluten free, dairy free, and egg free holiday cookie.

If you would like to see more gluten free recipes at this very popular healthy cooking blog, please visit the post and comment. I know some of you already have commented there, thank you very much!

Cocoa Bean Brownies

cocoa bean brownies

cocoa bean brownies

photo by vsimon who devoured them right after the picture

Maybe you read that right and thought, oh, cocoa bean bits in brownies, cool. But it really is cocoa and beans. You would never know if I had not told you.

Some years ago, I saw a recipe in USA Weekend magazine by Jean Carper for Chocolate Valentine Cake. Gluten free, and made with garbanzo beans. No wacky gluten free ingredients, nothing hard to find, or expensive.

It was a hit. But I took a good recipe and made it even better. Same great taste, texture and moistness, now it is a little simpler.

Quick and easy

Jean’s original recipe called for melted chocolate. Why not just use cocoa, oil, sugar, and skip the melting step? Five minutes prep start to finish. It works like a charm and is easier, cheaper, and more nutritious than a mix.

The amounts of ingredients have been adjusted a bit because the beans come in smaller cans now. And I have made this maybe a hundred times. With many kinds of beans. Kidney, black, white, garbanzo, whatever is in the pantry. It truly does not matter. Do buy unseasoned beans though. No bacon, no spice, ick, not in brownies.

Nutrition

I have switched to dark brown sugar because it has some antioxidants. The cocoa and the beans have much more though.

Beans, and cocoa too, are also good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals. What is not to love here?

You can substitute your own cooked beans too. Use 1 ½ cups in place of the canned beans.

Cocoa Bean Brownies (or Flourless Chocolate Cake)

yield: 16 brownies

A thin batter puffs during baking, and then deflates a little.

Very chocolaty, very yummy.

ingredients metric measures
1/2 cup pure cocoa, not cocoa drink mix 50 gm
1/3 cup canola oil 160 ml
1-15 oz can beans, drained 425 gm
1 cup dark brown sugar 180 gm
3 eggs 150 gm
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 gm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. How simple is that?

Oil an 8×8 inch pan. Or 9×9.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until brownies are just set.

Cool, cut and enjoy!

For a chocolate cake and a fancier presentation, use a round cake pan. Cut into wedges and serve with raspberry or strawberry sauce.

Tofu Mocha Smoothie

mocha tofu smoothie 002

tofu mocha smoothie photo by vsimon

Do you want a quick, dairy free eye opener?

Would you like the protein of two eggs in the morning, but cannot face the frying pan, or the egg?

Blend up a mocha smoothie made with silken tofu. This is definitely an A.M. adult beverage. And not too sweet. Make a small batch and save half in the fridge if you are “cooking” for one. It may be a bit thicker the next day. To chill out and thin, just add more ice cubes or water and blend.

Silken tofu is well named, nothing is silkier texture when blended. It is sold in shelf-stable blocks and comes in soft, firm, and extra firm textures. Organic or not. And light (lower fat) or not. Use whatever kind your store has. You may need to add a bit more water if you use the firm varieties.

Many folks want caffeine first thing in the morning. But you can use caffeine free coffee powder if you prefer.

Add the ice cubes if you like a bit of icy crunch. Omit the ice, and use more water, if you prefer your smoothies smooth.

Mocha Smoothie

serves 2 metric measures
12 oz block of silken tofu 335 grams
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar 80m grams
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 
   not cocoa drink mix
12 grams
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder 8 grams
1/2 to 1 cup cold water 120 to 240 ml
about 6 ice cubes 90 grams

Put it all into a blender and process until smooth. Thin or sweeten more to your taste. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Stay tuned for more smoothie recipes, dairy and dairy free. What flavors are your favorites?

This recipe was originally published in the Nourish column of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, July 2009.