Gluten-Free Mini Chocolate Whoppers

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Sometime this past fall, a reader who uses my cookbooks asked for a bit of help converting her husband’s favorite drop cookie. The original wheat version came from the venerable cookbook, Maida Heatter’s Cookies, published in 2011. It didn’t use much flour, but she wanted to make sure she could reproduce it perfectly. I was intrigued by the recipe. It used a lot of chocolate and nuts and a couple eggs, but only very small amounts of a handful of other – obviously critical – ingredients. Being a baker, and a chocolate lover, and overly curious, I made the recipe. When the cookies disappeared within a day and half, I made it again and served it along side another dessert at a dinner party. The entire plate of cookies disappeared as people kept grabbing more. It was a keeper.

Test Kitchen Notes: The original recipe use 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate and 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. I tried it that way, but I also tried with all semisweet and liked it better. There is so little flour, that you don’t need xanthan gum. I tried toasting the pecans (according to the original recipe) and I tried it without toasting the pecans. Truth be told, the difference is marginal and you have my permission to skip the pecan-toasting step. Really, no one will ever know.

So, if you’re looking for a relatively easy, new cookie to add to your holiday table, try these mini chocolate whoppers. You won’t be sorry!

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Mini Chocolate Whoppers (gluten-free)

Adapted from the recipe in Maida Heatter’s Cookies, 2011

Makes 30 cookies

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix*
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons powdered (not granular) instant coffee or espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
4 ounces (generous 1 cup) coarsely walnuts,
4 ounces (generous 1 cup) toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (see Cook’s Note below)

*Find my Brown Rice Flour Mix in the recipe section of this blog.

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Line cookie sheet with parchments paper.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Beat eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla extract in large bowl of electric mixer for two minutes until smooth and light. Add the melted chocolate mixture and mix at low speed just to blend well, but not longer. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until just blended. Mix in the chocolate morsels and the nuts.

5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough unto prepared cookie sheets 2-inches apart. Bake in center of oven for about 11-13 minutes (check after 11 minutes to see if they are done). The cookies will have puffed up a bit and you will be able to smell the chocolate. They will appear dry on the outside, but should be moist on the inside. Do not over-bake or they will dry out (it’s better to under-bake then over-bake if you’re not sure).

6. Remove cookies from oven and slide parchment sheet with baked cookies onto counter top. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container. After four days, store in refrigerator (fat chance, there probably won’t be any left). Can be kept in refrigerator for 2 weeks or frozen for up to one month.

Cooks Note: Bake pecans about 5 minutes in preheated 350ºF oven.

©2016 by Annalise Roberts

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