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  • Betsy Hendrix

Flourless Christmas Cookies

This particular cookie kept eluding me for quite some time. It intrigued me with its sparse ingredient list and promises of deep cocoa and chewy texture. And I failed about five times before finally getting it right and knowing what to look for. So I’m sharing what I learned in hopes that you’ll be able to gain from my process.



So why this cookie? It’s not only gluten free; it doesn’t use any flour at all. I can appreciate that as GF flours are often costly, and I don’t always find GF flours in the Middle Eastern supermarkets. I am a big fan of pavlova and other meringues, so the egg whites provide that lovely chew without all the work. Adding a tiny bit of peppermint essence just puts it over the top for the holiday season. So here are some ways to avoid the mistakes with this cookie:



Personally, I would recommend weighing everything when it comes to this recipe. Eggs can vary in size and even scoop amounts can be different from person to person. I've found it works more consistently if I weigh my powders instead of relying on my measuring cups.



This is not your typical batter either. You are looking for a very thick batter, almost thicker than brownie. You’ll feel your arm muscles being put to work as you stir and will be very tempted to think it needs more liquid. It doesn’t! I had to try a few times before I eventually got the exact right consistency. It took some work, but I’m glad I can easily whip up a batch in a matter of minutes.




I made three major errors the first few times I made these: One, I did not get the batter thick enough. Two, I took them out of the oven when they looked ready, but it was way too soon. They will deflate into a gooey puddle if you do that. They should still stand up after bringing them out. They might deflate a tiny bit, but they shouldn’t fall altogether. Third, I naturally turn my oven on to 180 degrees C (350F) and it's just too hot for the delicate egg whites. They crisp up too quickly on the outside, which doesn’t leave that fun inner chew. I highly recommend a test batch of a few cookies to check your oven sensitivity, which can vary based on your altitude. I've settled on 160C (320F) with great results.




Ingredients:

400 grams of powdered sugar (just over three cups)

80 grams of cocoa powder (just under one cup)

4 egg whites -- mine measured to about 140 grams

5 mg of peppermint extract -- about half a teaspoon


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F (160 C)

  2. Place baking paper on sheets and set aside.

  3. Weigh or measure the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Add the egg whites and peppermint and mix with a sturdy whisk until any powdered sugar lumps are gone.

  5. Check the batter to make sure it's thick enough. Place about a tablespoon on the tray. It should spread slowly to about two inches wide. If it spreads more quickly than this, add additional cocoa powder a little at a time to thicken the batter. Continue with the rest of the batter.

  6. Bake for about 15 minutes. You may need a few minutes longer depending on the oven. It’s okay if they are cracked a little on top.

  7. Let them cool on the baking paper. If you remove them too soon, they will deflate.

  8. Carefully peel off the cookies from the baking paper. They want to stick, so be delicate but firm. These keep well in a lidded container for a week.

These made about three dozen. I hope you love them and they fill your home with cheer!






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