You can never get enough chocolate, and this recipe by pastry chef François Payard delivers a true, deep chocolate taste. They are easy to make and delicious from the first bite to the last. And there’s no flour in them, making them a good choice for those on a gluten-free diet. Read the labels on the ingredients you buy, to make sure some flour or gluten has not been added. It turns up in some unlikely places.
2¾ cups walnut halves. 9 ounces
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* Preheat the oven to 350°.
* Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
* Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
* Spread the walnut halves on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about nine minutes, until they are golden and fragrant.
* Let cool slightly then transfer the walnut halves to a work surface and finely chop them.
* In a large bowl whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt.
* Whisk in the chopped walnuts.
* Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (be careful not to overbeat or it will stiffen). Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds.
Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are glossy and lightly cracked and feel firm to the touch.
* Shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through.
* Slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto two wire racks to cool completely before serving.
— From Francois Payard, “Food and Wine” magazine