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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I am glad you went with your gut and posted this article. This would be a sin not to share. Thank you!

These look like the perfect Valentine's Day treat for the chocolate lover. Looking forward to baking them this weekend.

Wh-wh-WHAT??!!! There's a perfect snow day cookie if I ever saw one. Hallelujah blizzard!


i make something like this every day where i work - only we use chocolate chips you are right on w/ the over and underbaking issue... have to get it just right - know your oven, etc. in order for them to be perfect. mine don't have a long shelf-life - they can get dry fast - like in a couple days. what's the longevity of this particular cookie?

coco nib

I fell in love with these at Bristol Farms in California. They call it a chocolate meringue cookie. Of course they would not share the recipe... so bless you for finding one!

mary smith

Wow, those look delicious. I wish I had one right now.

Chocolate puddles sound incredibly yummy! And the walnuts throw in just enough for the health factor...!! Naimah

Your photography is so beautiful, those cookies look mouth-watering!

perfect timing! I need to make treats for a baby shower where the mommy-to-be needs gluten free options! :)


wow these do look so delicious! glad you decided to post the recipe!

Heidi- I am going to make these for Valentines Day. They look exactly like my favorite cookie from Chases Daily, except they add dry cherries...scrumptious!

Lynnette mouth is watering and I'm stuck at home due to the massive snow storm...this is exactly what I'm going to make right now! Thanks again for a fabulous recipe...I can't wait to bake these little puddles up!

Just tried them and they are excellent! I had a few difficulties a.) because I didn't have enough confectioner's sugar and b.) I didn't have parchment paper. I used what confectioner's sugar I did have and made up for the rest with one cup of sugar to 2 tbspn cornstarch ground finely in the spice grinder. I used foil on a tray because of the lack of parchment paper or a silpat and I was able to peel the foil off. But they looked like they were supposed to look and taste awesome! Thanks so much for the recipe!

Fuerza Dulce

NEVER wrestle with posting something that looks this good! Due to your nutritional leadership the rest of the time, we can handle it : )


Heidi, these look delicious, but can they be made without nuts? I am not a fan of nuts and chocolate together.

Beth Daniel Lindsay

I love that you even struggled with whether to post these. Thanks! Moderation in all things, including moderation. Perfect for our snowy day and my eternal quest to clean out my freezer.


These cookies were made in Savannah Ga. since, well, for a long, long time. The place to get them was Gottleib's Bakery. They were called Chocolate Chewies. Their recipe, published in their cookbook and in the NYT Sept. 4 2002, is almost exactly the same, the recipe makes fewer cookies. Only one difference; the Southern version uses Pecans!

The Butter

Wonderful - what a delightful treat for St. Valentine's day... i will bake them tomorrow. I guess its hard to make these egg-less...

I'm stopping at Whole Foods on the way home and making these tonight. They look similar to Chocolate Rads from the Model Bakery in St. Helena, CA and they were favorites of mine.


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