Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Cookies


I am already thinking ahead to Passover. I gave one of my favorite flourless cookies from last year a test run.

The cookies are based on a recipe from Maida Heatter that has been copied all over.  Or rather, it is based on that recipe plus a variation by Alice Medrich that calls for all semisweet chocolate and a mere two tablespoons of butter.

I figured out last year that I could substitute the flour with half potato starch and half cocoa. The small amount of butter, I discovered, could easily be replaced with vegetable oil.

The recipe is flexible. Use lots of nuts, a little, or none at all and the recipe still works. The original recipe called for 2 cups (8 ounces), but my sister and Mom prefer to make these cookies with half that amount.

Most recipes for these cookies call for a mixture of unsweetened chocolate and semi-sweet. You can, however, use all bittersweet or all semi-sweet.  Alice Medrich works out all the details in her version of this cookie, Bittersweet Decadence Cookies, which appears in the wonderful Bittersweet. (although here is another nearly identical recipe that calls for all bittersweet chocolate: Sarah Levy’s Brownie Cookies)

The batter can be used right after mixing, or you can chill the dough which makes it possible to shape even little balls.
You can make very small cookies (my preference) and get 3 dozen, or make them twice as big and get a mere 18 cookies.

My preparation method is a little unorthodox. What you are supposed to do is melt the butter and chocolate in one pot, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and beat the eggs and sugar in another bowl and then combine everything. I have worked things out so that I use just one bowl instead of two bowls and a pot. The cookies come out delicious anyway.

The only problem is that the resulting cookies have a slight grittiness from undissolved sugar.  The original directions for beating the eggs with sugar and then folding in the melted chocolate probably leads to more sugar dissolving and less grittiness. Is that worth dirtying more than one bowl? I don’t know. Maybe.

Alice Medrich has the genius idea of heating the eggs and sugar in a bowl over the hot water. That would definitely help dissolve the sugar, but would also warm the eggs so that the melted chocolate does not harden when it is folded into what would otherwise be cold eggs. Brilliant. Maybe I will actually try that next time and be less lazy.

Passover Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of hot water. Add to the bowl:
8 ounces chocolate chips or bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (1 1/3 cups chocolate chips, if using chips) (actually, I use 10 ounces of chips, or 1 2/3 cups)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Stir until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Take off the heat and let cool briefly. Add :
1/2 cup sugar

After mixing in the sugar well, add and quickly mix in well:
2 eggs
(note alternative directions–to ensure sugar dissolves properly–are to use a separate bowl and heat eggs with sugar in the bowl over hot water, stirring until the eggs are lukewarm; then add the melted chocolate and then stir in the dry ingredients) (alternative alternative directions: you can also just beat the eggs with the sugar and then add the melted chocolate and the dry ingredients)

Then add:
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder (Maida recommended Medaglio D’oro, but I use decaf Maxwell House)

Now add the dry ingredients:
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 Tablespoons potato starch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups nuts (walnuts or pecans) (optional)
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks (or 1 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drop the batter by spoonfuls on parchment lined baking sheets or chill the dough and then roll it into small balls. The yield should be 3 dozen, but you can make the cookies larger and the yield will be 18. Cooking time for the small cookies, 12 minutes. Bake another couple of minutes for the larger cookies. Medrich says to bake the smaller cookies for 12-14 minutes.

Note: the chocolate should not be a higher percentage than around 50-60 percent. Medrich suggests that if you want to use 7o percent chocolate, reduce the chocolate to 5 1/2 ounces, add an additional tablespoon of butter and add an additional 1/4 cup of  sugar. For more details on adjusting this recipe for different percentages of chocolate, see p.287 of Bittersweet.

Hip Kosher has a version of this recipe that has a pinch of cinnamon in it.

Update: Shoshana of Couldn’t be Pareve made a version with mint lentils instead of the nuts and chocolate chips.

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4 Responses to “Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Cookies”

  1. shoshana Says:

    These look great! If I have time I will try them this year, if not they go into the recipe box for next year.

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Thanks, Shoshana, I am eagerly awaiting yourblog posting on those killer lookinghazelnut chocolate cookies!

  2. Chocolate and More Chocolate Passover Desserts « Pragmatic Attic Says:

    […] Heatter’s famous cookies (also known as Soho Gobs, Mudslides, and a bunch of other names) are a fail-safe cookie choice. […]

  3. Chocolate Cookies You Must Make for Passover « Pragmatic Attic Says:

    […] (From the archives (February 2009), but updated with new pictures and more information) […]

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