I like chocolate. I like chocolate cookies. I especially like chewy chocolate cookies.
This recipe is inspired in part by Francois Payard’s Flourless Chocolate Cookies and a top-dog-secret recipe from the pastry chef at The Beverly Peninsula Hotel who gave us the recipe after we begged (literally) for months – a long time ago.
Even then, the recipe was faxed to us exactly as they use it in a hotel kitchen which feeds hundreds daily. That meant my choice was to either make enough for the entire apartment complex or work on my math skills to convert it to a tiny kitchen recipe. Since I didn’t have 85 pounds of cocoa in the cupboard, I had to break out the abacus.
I probably make this particular recipe every few months. I have to give most of them away because I will eat every single cookie if they are in the kitchen – whispering my name. We eat plenty to satisfy that intense chocolate craving and sometimes we even wait until the next day to eat more. The good news? These taste even better the second day.
Makes about a dozen 4-inch cookies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You will bake them at 325 degrees.
- 4 large eggs, whites only at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1 tablespoon freshly (read: same day) made espresso or dark coffee
- 2 ¾ cups ( 270 grams) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- ¾ cup ( 85 grams) of unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 cup (6 grams) instant espresso (regular or decaf)
- 8 oz. of chopped toasted pecans (or your favorite nut) and still optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Separate the eggs while cold. Let the whites come to room temperature. Whisk the egg whites, the vanilla and the espresso in a measuring cup or other small bowl. Set aside.
Sift the powdered sugar, cocoa and instant espresso through the strainer into a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Pour in the liquid and using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, mix on low until incorporated. Turn it up to medium and whisk for a few minutes until glossy-ish.
Mix in the nuts with a wooden spoon.
Using a quarter cup ice cream scoop, place about 5 mounds on one cookie pan lined with parchment or silpats. Repeat. To flatten, shake the pan and hit it on the counter a couple of times. The dough should spread out. If not, use the back of a slightly wet spoon to flatten slightly.
Let them cool thoroughly on the cookie sheet. Only when stone-cold cool peel them off the silpat or parchment and turn upside down on a rack to continue to cool and dry.
Store in a tin for best cookie keeping Line each layer with parchment because the layers will stick otherwise. And as it goes with chocolate, they taste even better the second day.
If you need to re-crisp them a bit, set them on parchment on a baking sheet and place them in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to preheat at 350. When the oven beeps to let you know it is up to temperature, remove the cookies. And there you are. Happy cookies.
Note: You have to sift the dry ingredients or risk lumps in the batter. It takes just a few minutes to get it through the strainer. Feel free to leave out the nuts or use another kind. Just be sure they are lightly toasted for best flavor, and chopped.