Don’t you just love this time of year? Decorations, parties, cookie exchanges…it really is the happiest time of the year. My department hosts an annual cookies exchange & today is the big day when we get together, enjoy a potluck lunch & go home with over a dozen cookies to share with our loved ones. In the past I’ve made Lemon Ricotta Cookies, Rasberry Coconut Cookies & Nutella Biscotti but this year I wanted to go gluten free. Not only that, I wanted to make my cookies as healthy as possible. After an extensive search & a lot of asking around I finally found this year’s winning recipe: Gluten Free Chocolate Meringue Cookies. These cookies are made with just 5 ingredients, no flour & are very easy to make. Plus, they’re light, airy & gooey inside, in other words this recipe makes the perfect cookie. I have to give credit when credit is due, this is not my recipe, its Ron Israel’s (the dessert genius himself). I made a few alterations to his recipe but for the most part stuck to his instructions. Let’s bake!
Ingredients (makes about 48 small cookies)
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped & 2 ounces separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325F & line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a pot, boil water to create a double boiler, melt 12 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate & once it’s melted remove from heat so it doesn’t harden. Mix in the vanilla extract, mix & let cool.
In a mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they are foamy (about 2 minutes). Change the speed to high & gradually add the sugar, mixing the sugar & egg whites until they form hard peaks (about 8 minutes). You’ll know it’s ready when you try to turn the bowl upside down (I know that sounds crazy but trust me) & the merinque stays in the bowl.
Begin folding in the meringue into the melted chocolate, fully incorporating it before adding the next amount. do this until you’ve mixed in all the meringue, then add the remaining 2 ounces of chopped chocolate & the walnuts & mix. Place cookie batter in a zip-lock bag & cut one edge off to pipe the cookies onto the cookie sheet.
Make cookies about 1 inch & make sure to separate each cookie for expansion. You should be able to pipe 16 cookies per cookie sheet. Place in oven immediately & bake for 10 minutes until cookies develop a crust. Remove from the oven & let cool for at least 10 minutes before handling.
Enjoy hot or cold & if you’re anything like me, be amazed these bad boys have no flour. Forewarning: these cookies are addicting. Buen provecho!