Let me start this by saying, this recipe is not health food. It is most definitely an indulgent treat. That said, it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and full of healthy fats. I got the idea for this recipe from my aunt. Every Sunday my family meets for lunch at my grandmother's house. Lately my aunt has been bringing these chewy walnut chocolate cookies. I normally can easily say no to cookies. They just don't appeal to me enough to be worth consuming the not-so-clean ingredients they typically contain. But these cookies are different. They are just so rich and fudgy I couldn't resist. So I decided I had to create my own version with ingredients I trust.
The controversial ingredient that I had to change to make this recipe work was confectioner's sugar. I love baking and confectioner's sugar has been my enemy. It is essential for making candies and icing, but I have been avoiding it for ages. Well, these cookies won't work without it so I had to get creative. And I'm so glad I did because I found that replacing confectioner's sugar is incredibly easy. Necessity truly is the mother of invention.
To make the powdered sugar:
Put coconut sugar in a high speed blender or coffee grinder and blend until powdery, about 30 seconds.
Seriously, thats it. Why did it take me so long to figure that one out? So now that you know how to make powdered sugar without refined white sugar, you can make these delicious cookies. This recipe is also great for replacing confectioner's sugar in my maple marshmallow recipe.
Another change I made to these cookies is to add cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are small pieces of husked cacao beans. If you can find them, opt for raw cacao nibs. They have that delicious chocolate flavor with minimal processing and no added milk and sugar. They add amazing crunch to smoothies or oatmeal. Cacao nibs are an excellent source of magnesium which is crucial for muscle function. They are also full of antioxidants which are necessary for disease prevention. But my favorite health benefit of cacao is its mood-boosting effect. Cacao stimulates the release of certain neurotransmitters which improve your mood. Right on!
Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup powdered coconut sugar
3 heaping tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cacao nibs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast chopped walnuts on parchment paper lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until they smell fragrant. While the nuts toast, mix together powdered coconut sugar, cacao powder, and salt. Add the nuts and stir. Now add egg white and vanilla and stir until batter is evenly mixed. This can be also be done in a standing mixer on low or medium low, but a hand mixer is too fast. Finally fold in the cacao nibs. Spoon out heaping tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes. Makes about 8 cookies.