I feel like everyone is posting variations on these Flourless Chocolate Cookies. They’re all over social media right now, and can be found on long defunct food blogs and a zillion other places, I’m sure. What I’m saying is that you probably don’t need me to tell you about them, but here I am, doing it anyway, because they’re effing miraculous.At their most basic, these gluten-free cookies are made with just four ingredients: confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, salt and a couple of egg whites. Whisk them all together until a thick, glossy batter forms. There will come a moment during mixing where it seems too dry, but persist—it will pass.Dole the batter out on a baking sheet in heaping tablespoons and then bake until puffy. This is where the magic happens—the egg whites make everything expand to the point where the shiny cookie exteriors crack, and then, when everything begins to cool, they collapse on themselves to reveal crisp-chewy meringue edges and fudgy brownie centers. Told you they were miraculous.As far as substitutions go, this recipe is so simple that there isn’t much room for change. You can use whatever cocoa powder you want, but to the person who will ask: please don’t try hot chocolate mix—it’s not the same thing.Regarding the egg whites, please know that I tried everything I could imagine to use whole eggs, but it just didn’t work—the cookies were cookies, but they were chewy in an unpleasant way. Hard pass. Throw those extra yolks in with your scrambled eggs or make some Lazy Lemon Curd. Just don’t put them in these cookies.
Only have one egg white to spare? You can halve this recipe for 3 cookies. It can also be doubled.Now that I’ve addressed the simplest way to make these cookies, let me tell you what, in my opinion, is the best. Start with the original four ingredients and then add 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso granules, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/2 cup each chocolate chips and toasted nuts. Scoop and bake as written, until glossy and puffy and lumpy-in-a-good-way. Wait for them to cool before you peel off the parchment and…um, you’re welcome for the best brownie cookie I’ve ever had.But that’s enough about me. Would you leave these plain or fill them with mix-ins? Let me know in the comments or on social media!
Flourless Chocolate Cookies
makes 6 large cookies
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (natural or dutch processed)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add egg whites and whisk until smooth, glossy and a bit thick (the texture of brownie batter). If it seems dry during mixing, just keep going—it will get smooth.
Drop batter in scant 2 tablespoon increments (mine were 1 tbsp + 2-ish teaspoons) on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave them at least 3 inches apart. Bake 12-14 minutes, until puffed and crackly.
Let cool completely on their pan on a rack. Carefully parchment away from each cookie to release. Enjoy.
Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.
If you want to add mix-ins, add 1 cup total (chocolate chips, nuts, whatever) after batter is mixed. The cookie yield will be closer to 10.