Chocolate Puddle Cookies Recipe

I came across a cookie when I visited Portland, it was a crackle-edged puddle of chocolate with a texture that made me think of the collision between a soft meringue and a fudgy brownie.

Chocolate Puddle Cookies

I came across a cookie when I visited Portland a couple years back. It was a crackle-edged puddle of chocolate with a texture that made me think of a collision between soft meringue and a fudgy brownie. I kid you not, love is not too strong a word to use here. I fell hard for this cookie.

Chocolate Puddle Cookie Recipe

Without getting too serious, I've been having an internal debate about whether or not I should post this recipe. When I post sweets or treats, I like them to have some sort of whole grain twist, or feature a natural sweetener. I mean, that's usually how I cook and bake. But I have a big-time crush on this cookie, and I figured I'd post the recipe in all it's powdered sugar, chocolaty glory in case some of you want to make a batch. In short, there are just six ingredients between you a baking sheet of these, no mixer necessary - just a big bowl and wooden spoon.

As far as the origins of this recipe? I came across a recipe shortly after my return from Portland that sounded very close to the cookie I tasted there (they seemed to be a version of the François Payard's Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookie), but the recipe I was working from didn't work all that well for me. The good news is, it did provide a good starting point. I adjusted a few ingredients and my technique, and now I've been able to make them reliably. That being said, please read the head notes before making these, they have a few quirks that aren't like other cookies - and I've outlined the exact ingredients I've tested and had success with. I hope you enjoy these - they've become family favorites. And if you're looking for more chocolate inspiration, this flourless chocolate cake is a classic, everyone loves this Violet Bakery Chocolate Devil's Food Cake, and you can't go wrong with these incredible brownies.

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Chocolate Puddle Cookies

I've used both 365 organic powdered sugar from Whole Foods, and Hain organic powdered sugar with success. I prefer to use non-alkalized cocoa powder (Scharffen Berger or Dagoba) but also tested with Droste, which is a Dutch-process cocoa powder. All with success. On the nut front, be mindful of how you toast your walnuts - it's the single factor that impacts the personality of these cookies most. Using deeply toasted walnuts makes for a much more intense, nutty cookie. Lightly toasted walnuts can sometimes be mistaken for chocolate chips, and make for a much more mild cookie. Both good! Also, cooking time - you don't want to over or under bake here - over bake, and your cookies will cool too a crisp, under bake, and they are too floppy and crumbly. Also, underbaking makes it more difficult to remove the cookies from the parchment paper after baking - you get the swing of it after a batch or two. Use large eggs, I suspect if you use extra-large, the batter will run, and you'll have to compensate with more powdered sugar.

3 cups / 11 oz / 310 g walnut halves, toasted & cooled
4 cups / 1 lb / 453 g confectioner's (powdered) sugar

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons / 2 oz / 60 g unsweetened cocoa powder

scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon real, good-quality vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 320F / 160C degrees and position racks in the top and bottom third. Line three (preferably rimmed) baking sheets with parchment paper. Or you can bake in batches with fewer pans.

Make sure your walnuts have cooled a bit, then chop coarsely and set aside. Sift together the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and sea salt. Stir in the walnuts, then add the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

Spoon the batter onto the prepared sheets in mounds of about 2 tablespoons each, allowing for PLENTY of room between cookies. These cookies are like reverse Shrinky Dinks - they really expand. Don't try to get more than 6 cookies on each sheet, and try to avoid placing the batter too close to the edge of the pan.

Bake until they puff up. The tops should get glossy, and then crack a bit - about 12 -15 minutes. Have faith, they look sad at first, then really blossom. You may want to rotate the pans top/bottom/back/front.

Slide the cookies still on parchment onto a cooling rack, and let them cool completely. They will keep in an airtight for a couple days.

Makes 18 large cookies.

Prep time: 20 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

A nice variation on this recipe includes gin soaked raisins: Gourmet Magazine December 2000 Maida Heatter's Chocolate Cookies with Gin-Soaked Raisins I also prefer pecans to walnuts.

designcooknyc

We make these for Christmas every year; our recipe is called "Beacon Hill Cookies".

Shelly

My God these look incredible!!!! I almost fell off my chair. MUST try for Valentine's Day (as I am my own Valentine this year...)!

Oh, my goodness.... I could kiss you! I cannot eat any kind of grain products (no starch) and thought great chocolate cookies would never be in my future. Never would I have believed such a thing was possible. I truly love you for this recipe!!!!!!

Zernike

Sure wish there were a way to make these friendly to diabetics. Could something like splenda for baking be used, or is there a health or other reason not to (at least, for a desperate diabetic needing a good chocolate cookie)? Looks absolutely wonderful!

These look amazing - I'll definitely be making them over the weekend! I think I'll go with the pecan idea too. (first time posting, but I've been looking at the blog for months, and finally bought Super Natural Cooking a few weeks ago. Love it!)

Susan UK

Thanks for posting your recipe in weight measurements also. That's one less recipe for me to convert! I'll have to wait until next week to make these since I made chocolate cupcakes the other day. They do look sinfully yummy.

I think these are very similar to the cookies occasionally available at my local, Lexington Coop in Buffalo, NY. I've always thought their special ovens allowed this meringue like top with a delicious gooey innard. But no! I'll bet this will do it. they add dried cherries and needless to say they are the proverbial topper on the sundae.

dana

Every now and then it's nice to treat ourselves to some chocolate-y goodness. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe. I'm going to try these this weekend :)

@Mar: I also saw a similar recipe in nymag, I actually ripped out the recipe and put it in my recipe notebook. I've been intending to make it for ages for my roommate who is allergic to gluten. Heidi, I love the pecan suggestion, I think I am going to make these cookies today. It is a veritable blizzard here in NYC and this will be a nice project to do when I leave work early.

Sometimes you just have to go for it and eat something because you want to, not because it's good for you - life's too short not to!

Can't lament the absence of whole grain when you're using Omega-3 filled walnuts, Heidi! I suppose if you're really feeling guilty, you could try grinding sucanat or florida crystals into confectioner's sugar and tell us about it?

Stephanie

*sigh* It's things like this that make me weep inside that I can't eat chocolate anymore. But i MIGHT risk anaphylactic shock for these cookies. Just don't tell my mother.

i was going to point out, but, someone already beat me to it, that these are definitely the payard flourless chocolate cookies. i'd know that recipe anywhere! and they are delicious and dead easy. i like them with some orange zest thrown in.

sk

Sometimes you just have to drown yourself in chocolate. Not everything you eat HAS to be good for you (whole grains, no sugar). Sometimes it has to be good for you emotionally. Chocolate does that. I'm going to make these this weekend. And i won't feel a single teeny bit guilty if I eat more than one! I'll justify the mood enhancing and health benefits of chocolate as well as the protein and Omega 3's in the walnuts! And enjoy every bite! YUM!

Sue

Heidi, Surely you jest. How could 18 of these wonderful cookies possibly last for more than a few minutes much less a couple of days? You should revise your recipe to read "locked" container instead of airtight container. :-) They look amazing. ~Rosemary

These cookies look AMAZING! I will be joining what looks like a lot of other lovestruck people, and making these in the next couple of days.

Anonymous

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