Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

12 Days of Cookies
– Day 10 –

I will fully admit that I’m bad about finding healthy alternatives to baking, or rather, alternative ingredients for my baking. I don’t pay much attention to sugar-free, gluten-free, etc. as it’s admittedly not my forte. I found this recipe on Food52, though, and was curious because not many cookies can claim to be “gluten-free” unless they use a non-wheat flour. Much to my surprise, these don’t contain any flour at all!

These whip together in seconds and are held together by egg whites. I found the recipe fun and easy to alter as well, some variations of which I’ll include at the end of the recipe. They bake up quickly in 15 minutes flat, and they stay crunchy and chewy for days.

I do want to make note that people with a severe gluten intolerance need to be careful as powdered sugar does contain cornstarch, and to varying degrees, so if your body is super sensitive to gluten these still might affect your stomach. If you’re just trying to eat gluten-free, though, these will be a perfect cookie to try!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Food52
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen cookies (slightly heaping #50 scoop)

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (see note)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

2. Using an electric mixer, mix the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt on low until combined. Add the egg whites and vanilla, and mix on low for a few minutes until the batter comes together. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. If batter doesn’t flatten, press down with fingers to flatten a bit. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the surfaces are cracked.

4. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on tray before removing to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Variations:

1. Chocolate Peanut Butter – Add 2 Tablespoons peanut butter to the batter before folding in the chips.

2. Orange Chocolate – Fold in 1/8 teaspoon Boyajian Orange Oil to the batter before folding in chips.

3. Chocolate Almond – Remove 1/2 cup chocolate chips and replace it with slivered or sliced almonds. For extra almond flavor, also fold in 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

4. Chocolate Coconut – Remove 1/2 cup chocolate chips and replace it with shredded coconut.

5. Spiced Chocolate – Replace the cinnamon with 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.


Cook’s Notes

The original recipe calls for semisweet chocolate chips, but I found this to be very sweet since the batter is mainly composed of powdered sugar. I used half 60% chips and half semisweet chips and enjoyed that flavor balance. Feel free to play around with different chocolates until you have your desired taste!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two of my favorite things in life are peanut butter and chocolate. When you combine the two together, it’s magic! One of the first recipes that grabbed my attention in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking was their recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I’ll admit their brief description of the cookie (because there was no accompanying picture) is what sold me.

Despite feeling that a few of the ingredients were off in quantity, I decided to make the recipe as is because I felt it fair that I critique the original recipe before attempting my own revised version. The original recipe produced a very thin cookie that spread immensely and, in my opinion, didn’t have nearly enough chocolate chips. So I decided to increase the flour by 1/2 cup to help stiffen up the dough, and I also doubled the amount of chocolate chips. The result, if I say so myself, made the perfect cookie – crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle and loaded with chocolate chunks.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another change that I made was to add in some semi-sweet chips (despite their recommendation not to). They felt the darker chocolate would taste bitter which I did not agree with at all, plus I personally found the milk chocolate to be too mellow. I’m also a fan of darker chocolates and often find milk chocolate too sweet, so I only added in a little semi-sweet to help offset the milk chocolate. I felt it provided a nice balance of chocolate flavor, plus I felt having two different types of chocolate added depth to the overall flavor.

One final adjustment was in the yield. Their recipe claims it makes 2 dozen, but mine made a little over 3 dozen. Even when I made the original recipe, I got way more cookies out of the batch than they did. As with a lot of the cookies I bake, you’ll want to have rounded scoops of dough and I used a #50 scoop again.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy; scrape bowl well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla and peanut butter and mix until just incorporated.

3. Add half the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

4. Scoop dough by rounded scoopfuls and place on a parchment-lined pan. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (218 degrees C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

6. Place chilled cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, or until the edges are lightly brown.

7. Put cookies on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Okay, so this is my first “official” food post. It probably won’t come as a surprise to my friends that I’m choosing something that combines peanut butter and chocolate – two of my most favorite things ever. I made this cake earlier this year and instantly fell in love. It’s extremely rich, dense and amazing… and let’s just say you’ll probably need a tall glass of milk to go along with it! In my opinion, it is best served at room temp because the chilled cake becomes super dense.

On a side note, this blog is still very much a work in progress and I’m working on getting some different functions added. The one main function I want to add is a print function because it’s always so handy to be able to click the print button instead of having to copy/paste. Please feel free to chime in with any other comments or suggestions you may have!  I will also do my very best to answer any questions and such along the way. Thanks for all your support! Without further adieu…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Cake:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups brewed coffee, warm
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips)

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temp (1 stick)
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or more, as needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Cake Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 13×9 pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa powder and coffee until smooth; set aside. In another bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at time, and then add vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. The batter will be very thin.

4. Pour batter in pan and sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake on rack.

Frosting Instructions:
1. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and peanut butter until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla. Whip until light and fluffy.

2. Spread frosting on cooled cake. Sprinkle chopped chocolate and peanuts on top. Enjoy!

Cook’s Notes

1. This cake can also be baked in 3 – 9” round cake pans and stacked. However, it is an extremely rich cake and so I would highly recommend keeping it as a sheet cake. :) If you do stack it, you’ll likely need to double the frosting mixture.

2. Milk or almond milk can be substituted for the heavy cream in the frosting. I’ve been known to use plain yogurt when nothing else was available!  You can also add more or less depending on whether you want it to be a soft or firm frosting.

3. Unless specified, I always use unsalted butter.