The trick to getting through the holidays while staying on a gluten- and sugar-free diet it to make sure you have treats like these to indulge yourself. These sweet, rich cookies are a take on flourless chocolate cake, using ground walnuts as the flour.
Reader Peg H-S sent me this recipe asking, “Can you take the sugar out?” I’m so glad she did, as these are my new favorite cookie!
The original recipe is from Epicurious by Francois Payard.
The renovation: The recipe called for three cups of confectioner’s sugar, which is a fine, dry powder. Generally, you substitute 1/2-3/4 cup of agave syrup for sugar. But the challenge was to get the texture right, when swapping out a wet ingredient for a dry one. I removed the egg whites, and substituted flax seed as a binder. It took two tries to get these right, but they are amazing.
Kid tested and approved!
Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies
Makes 25 cookies (if using a tablespoon measure)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut parchment paper to fit two cookie sheets. Grind flax seeds in the blender to a fine meal and add to your mixing bowl. Add the agave syrup and stir.
Working ½ C. at a time, add the walnuts and some of the cocoa powder to a blender or food processor. Pulse until you have a fine meal, then add to the mixing bowl. Put the last ½ C. of walnuts in a heavy-duty plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl, and mix until all is incorporated.
Using a 1 T. measure, place on a cookie sheet, with about 2 inches between them. Take a piece of waxed paper and flatten each round. These will only spread a little.
A note about ingredients: I use raw, organic walnuts, organic golden flax seeds, and organic agave syrup. You can buy flax seeds already ground into meal. However, they last much longer if you keep them whole and grind them in small amounts. Always store nuts and seeds in the fridge. If you can find it, choose organic fair-trade cocoa. If you are gluten-free, make sure you choose a vanilla extract without alcohol.