Friday, February 8, 2013

Cookie Love: Flourless Fudge Cookies and Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

It's almost Valentine's Day! What special thing are you doing for the love(s) in your life?  To me, nothing says "I Love You" like a batch of warm and delicious, home-made cookies!

Today was the perfect rainy day for baking, so I made a batch of Flourless Fudge Cookies.  These cookies are dark, rich, chocolately, and decedent... they are firm on the outside, but remain soft and chewy on the inside.  It's like eating a tiny lava cake!  Not to mention, they are so quick and easy to make... and only take a couple of ingredients.

Flourless Fudge Cookies
via King Arthur Flour

"Ultra-chewy, rich chocolate cookies with no added fat? And no gluten? Impossible! But it's true: these flourless chocolate cookies get their texture from egg whites, and their flavor from cocoa powder (which represents the only fat in the recipe). Plus they're easy to make: Just stir together a few simple ingredients, scoop onto a pan, and bake for 8 minutes. You won't believe the delicious result." 

2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but good
1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process (European-style) preferred*
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
*For darker, richer-looking cookies, substitute 1/4 cup black cocoa for 1/4 cup of the Dutch-process cocoa

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Or line with parchment, and grease the parchment.

2) Stir together all of the ingredients till smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir again till smooth.

3) Drop the soft, batter-like dough onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2" circles; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

4) Bake the cookies for 8 minutes; they should spread, become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops.

5) Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool right on the pan.  Sprinkle with some additional confectioners' sugar.

6) Yield: 16 large (3") cookies.

I couldn't stop at just one batch of cookies....

The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is my idea of perfection.  I just love those Peanut-Butter & Chocolate Kiss Cookies (my mom has been making for years), but didn't have any Hershey kisses today... so I changed the original recipe a bit and used dark chocolate M&M's instead!  These peanut butter and chocolate cookies are soft, chewy, and so delicious.

Peanut-Butter & Chocolate Cookies
recipe adapted from the book Cookies by Natalie Hartanov Haughton 

½ cup butter or margarine, room temperature
½ cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ - 1 cup chocolate chips or M&M’s

1) Preheat oven to 375.

2) In a medium bowl, beat together butter (or margarine), peanut butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy.  

3) Add flour and baking soda, beating until thoroughly blended.  Gently fold in chocolate chips or M&M’s.  

4) Shape into 1 inch balls, using a rounded teaspoon.  Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  

5) Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden.  

6) Remove from cookies from baking sheets, cool on rack.

Now this is what I call TRUE LOVE!


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