Otherwise known as Puddle Cookies, but that’s a name I could do without. Sounds kind of twee.
I am the worst baker. Maybe it’s my inability to be precise (a very necessary evil when it comes to baking), or perhaps I can blame it on my oven, which is an old lady by anyone’s standards. But these cookies, biscuits, chocolate delights…whatever you want to call them, are the easiest things I have yet to have thrown in my oven.
And look at them, don’t you want to just dive into them? Oh, ok, so now Puddle Cookies makes sense (I still hate the name). But they are good, really good and really really simple. 6 ingredients. Powdered sugar, cocoa powder, walnuts, egg whites, vanilla essence and a bit of salt. (warning, these cookies are really sweet, but hey, they don’t contain any butter and that’s hard to find in a cookie these days)
Go ahead, try them. You won’t be disappointed.
1½ cups of walnuts (or a mixture of walnuts, pecans and cashews if you like)
2 cups powdered (caster) sugar
¼ cup plus 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (best quality possible)
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
scant ¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350˚F/180˚C.
Spread the walnut halves on a large baking tray and toast in the oven for 9-10 minutes until golden and fragrant.
Let cool, then transfer nuts to a clean work surface and coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, combine egg whites in a cup and set aside.
In a large bowl, blend sifted cocoa powder, sugar and salt using a fork—the powders are so fine that they tend to fly out of the bowl if you are using a whisk (thanks to Plateful Blog for that tip). Tip in vanilla and egg whites. Using a hand held electric mixer whisk everything together until just moistened without over beating as it will stiffen. The batter should look like a thick brownie mix. Now stir in walnuts.
Lower oven temperature to 325˚F/160˚C and position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Spoon tablespoonfuls of batter on to each baking sheet in evenly spaced mounds leaving heaps of space in between—at least 3 inches.
On a large sheet I placed about 5 or 6 at the most. These cookies really expand, so err on the side of caution. Bake for 14-17 minutes until cookies are puffed up with glossy, lightly cracked tops. Shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Cookies will seem a bit soft when you take them out of the oven. They firm up as they cool, so be careful not to over bake them.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days.