Friday, November 18, 2011

BEST EVER GF Chocolate Cookies + 3 Variations

I don't even know where to begin with these cookies. I saw them floating around on pinterest a long time ago and saved them for my sister who has Celiac Disease. They looked soooo incredible and enticing, despite the gluten-free label on them. The final selling point was the fact that they are also dairy free, and then I knew that I had a casein allergy (milk protein). If you haven't heard, I was also recently told the cut the gluten out of my diet, and now 'la vie' is going gluten free! I immediately knew this had to be my first recipe, I loved it because it didn't contain the usual GF ingredients that make the specialty food taste "off". Let me tell you what. These are amazing. Whether you have dietary restrictions or not, you will LOVE these. I promise. Fudgy, chewy, insanely chocolate filled... I adapted the standard recipe from Epicurious, tweaking it a bit. I also am including three other variations of the cookie as well for the holiday season. I made all 4 kinds today and they were all awesome the first time through, so the post can be done today! Maybe Friday will now be Gluten-Free Friday for "la vie".

Nonstick vegetable oil spray/Misto (I use a Misto)
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar + more for rolling cookies in
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Mint Chocolate
VARIATION ONE: Mint Chocolate
Sub in 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract for the vanilla/almond
Sprinkle the dough balls with crushed starlight mints instead of powdered sugar

VARIATION TWO: Aztec Chocolate
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Sprinkle the dough balls with chili powder

VARIATION THREE: Peanut Butter Chocolate
Replace 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips 

Ready to make them? Here we go!
Aztec Chocolate
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a double broiler, taking care not to burn. Alternatively, melt them in glass bowl in the microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend, stir in extract. On low speed, beat together the sugar/cocoa mixture into the meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).
Peanut Butter Chocolate
Place extra rolling sugar (or peppermint, cinnamon sugar) in a small bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.
If your dough isn't thick enough to roll into the sugar, just let it sit for a few minutes, it will become less runny.

Close up ;)
I couldn't wait for them to cool before devouring so props to you if you can! Today has been a really great day and I'm excited to see what happens next. Last night I experimented with GF pizza and it was vile. John said he couldn't tell the difference. That means that I'm officially looking for a new taste tester ;) Just kidding, John!! However, I have a plan of attack and we're going to try the pizza again tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it turns out. Enjoy your day and as always, thanks for reading!

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