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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A few years back, Whole Foods used to make something very close to these and labeled them as gluten-free chocolate chewy cookies. Your description has me believing this is basically that recipe! I'm so excited - I loved those cookies. I'm drooling at the thought.

Oye Heidi - you are a devilsh woman! My biggest struggle as a holistic health counselor/ yogi/vegetarian is trying to make all these sinful decadent desserts healthier - of course dessert is my TRUE weakness. Any suggestions for a replacement for the eggs? I know sometimes you just have to suck it up and say this is a 'special occasion' to splurge but will egg replacers make this taste like poo instead of puddles? Thanks for all you do!


These sound just like the "Chocolate Chewies" at Whole Foods (at least the WFs here in the Chicago area, not sure if they have them everywhere). They are my favorite!! I can't wait to try these. Thank you for this great post!


And don't forget they're gluten-free! If only they were glutton-free.

wow, these look absolutely delicious! I have been trying to cut back on chocolate for now, but will have to try these in the future! (When I can save a few for me and my husband and give the rest away!)

yayyy! gluten-free! heidi--can one use silpat instead of parchment and get good results?


You had me at "a collision between soft meringue and a fudgy brownie." These look amaaaazing. Thank you for sharing this.


These do look delicious and I am going to make some!

Audrey Strong

Nooo!!! I just have in the oven right now some butter free muffin - I have to make a decadent sweet for a friend who's leaving, who is testing for a milk allergy - and you come up with those perfect solutions to my dilemma?!? And they are not so decadent, as someone else noted - all the omega 3 in the walnuts... Well, I guess my friend is going to get two goodbye treats instead of one :)

as usual thanks for another killer addition to my virtual recipe box! Heidi-- have you ever thought of adding forums to your site? Clearly from the amount of people commenting on every post there could be some serious food conversations!! Sorry, not trying to tell you what to do with your genius and beautiful site, just a random thought.


This recipe is very similar to a chocolate-hazelnut macaroon recipe I use, so to those who were asking, I would suggest hazelnuts as an excellent alternative to walnuts or pecans! The hazelnuts need to be toasted, then the papery skins can be rubbed off by gathering the nuts in a kitchen towel and rubbing or shaking the contents for a few minutes. Don't worry if you don't get all the skins off!


No refined flour. Lotsa protein and Omega 3s in the walnuts. Cocoa has lotsa fiber. Really not so bad...and they sound delicious!

Can rationalize anything...

That is definitely the Nuvrei cookie. I LOVE THAT COOKIE. I am totally obsessed with it. And I'm not normally a cookie person. Nuvrei is a tiny, subterranean, French pastry shop in the Pearl District, but they supply pastries to a number of coffee shops and cafes in town, so you may have found it elsewhere.


No refined flour. Cocoa has lots of fiber. Eat these w/some milk for protein. Not so bad really. And they sound heavenly.

Can rationalize anything...

My husband has a nut allergy to everything BUT peanuts, almonds, pine nuts and cashews. I was wondering if anyone thinks one of these will work well? I may try cashews.... thoughts?

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, HEIDI. I had this , or a very similar recipe years ago. It somehow got given away or misplaced. This is a WONDERFUL COOKIE, and not too bad health-wise as the base is the egg whites. Love it! Keep up the good and not-so-good (occaisionally!) posts. xoxo


It sounds crazy but my imagination is creating an irresistible smell of chocolate right now...

Great recipe - this can also be tagged for all of the Jewish readers out there as a FABULOUS passover recipe. Thanks Heidi!


Far out Heidi!! These look awesome. I will be whipping up a batch this weekend (or 2 if I wreck the first one). :-) Hope you are well.

Lisa Maass

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