Chocolate Spice Quickies

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These chocolate spice quickie cookies work very well gluten-free.  With the egg and all the chocolate, which I doubled from the original recipe, to give the dough structure, they hold together very nicely, with a slightly sandy texture from the almond bits.  Dorie Greenspan suggests using them for ice cream sandwiches, so with the weather warming up, now is a good time to indulge!

 

Chocolate Spice Quickies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 25-30 cookies

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds (whole, sliced or slivered)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of ground allspice OR cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Just under 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

 

  1. Put the flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder, spice, and salt in a food processor and pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the almonds are finely ground. Turn the ingredients out onto a sheet of wax paper or into a bowl.
  2. Put the sugar and the butter into the processor and whir for a minute, then scrape the bowl and process for another 15 seconds; the butter and sugar should be smoothly blended.
  3. Add the vanilla and egg and process for 30 seconds, the scrape and process for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the chocolate and pulse to blend.
  5. Finally, add the dry ingredients and pulse until they are fully incorporated. You’ll have a soft, fudgy, very malleable dough.
  6. Scrape it out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into oblong.
  7. Using the plastic wrap, roll the dough into a log 7 to 8 inches long and 1 inch in diameter.  Twisting the ends of the plastic wrap firecracker-style to tighten the roll.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Because the dough is so malleable, the log will flatten out while chilling.  After about 1 hour, you can re-roll it to make it round.  (The logs can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 4 days or kept frozen for up to 2 months; slice and bake the frozen logs without defrosting – just add a minute or two to the baking time.)
  9. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  10. Using a thin knife, cut the logs into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving at 1 inch between rounds.  (The cookies don’t spread much.)
  11. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 7 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly puffed and their tops look dry. Transfer the sheet to a rack and wait 1 minute before carefully lifting the still-fragile cookies onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
  12. The cookies can be kept in a tin for about 4 days.
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Molasses Crinkles

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These molasses crinkle cookies are tender and chewy and taste strongly of (what else?) molasses and spices.  In fact, they reminds me of the holidays.

 

Molasses Crinkles
From a friend

Yield: 36-40 cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4-1 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want the cookies)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/4 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • White sugar for topping (optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in egg and molasses until well blended.  Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled.
  4. Beat in baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ground ginger.
  5. Stir in as much flour as you can, then beat until well blended.  The cookie dough will be soft and sticky.
  6. If you have the patience, you can refrigerate the dough at this point so it’s easier to handle.  (The cookies will look more regular and pretty if you use chilled dough.)
  7. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and drop them onto the cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.  If desired, roll the balls in white sugar to coat them.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets back to front and swapping them top to bottom halfway through baking.

 

Candied Ginger and Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Candied ginger and chocolate fans, this one is for you!  These cookies are chewy and full of gingery, chocolate-y goodness.

Original recipe

 

Candied Ginger and Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Yield: 30 cookies

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar OR 1/3 cup white sugar+dollop molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sea salt dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter, sugars, and molasses if using together.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Beat in baking soda, ground ginger, and salt, followed by the flour a little at a time.
  5. Fold in chocolate chunks and chopped candied ginger.
  6. Scoop into rounded tablespoonfuls and place on cookie sheet, spacing 2 inches apart if using gluten-free flour.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until set in the middle.
  8. Leave cookies on the tray for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Store in an air-tight container or bag for up to 4 days. Alternatively, place in freezer to store longer.

 

Flourless Oatmeal Drops

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These are nice, simple oatmeal cookies that have a chewy texture.  They’re even flourless to begin with, so no modifications are necessary!

Baking notes:

  • Definitely use parchment paper to line the baking sheets.  I tried aluminum foil and greased it, but the cookies still stuck pretty aggressively.
  • The original recipe says you’ll get 2 dozen cookies, but following the recommended cookie size of about a tablespoon, I got about 4 dozen cookies.

 

Flourless Oatmeal Drops
Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

  • 1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 7/8 cup (7 oz) brown sugar OR 7/8 cup white sugar+dollop molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg OR allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves OR allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar OR cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups (8 3/4 oz) rolled oats (old fashioned OR quick cooking)

 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer, on medium speed, beat together butter, sugar, molasses if using, salt, spices, baking powder, vanilla, and vinegar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.  (It’s fine if you forget and add the eggs at the same time.)
  3. Stir in oats.  The mixture will feel very loose.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  The bottoms of the cookies are extremely sticky.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator and drop it by the tablespoonful onto baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
  7. Moisten your fingers and flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thick.  It’s easiest to keep a small bowl of water beside you for this part.
  8. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  Rotate the baking sheets halfway through and rotate them front to back.  The cookies won’t look completely done in the center when you take them out.
  9. Remove cookies from oven and let rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes.
  10. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I decided to experiment with xanthan gum, and I discovered that it does do wonders for structural integrity – these chocolate chip cookies were actually lightly domed!  However, they would still taste fine without it, so I consider it optional.  Pair these cookies with ice cream if you feel really decadent.

Original recipe

 

Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from All Recipes

Yield: 40 cookies

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white OR brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the melted butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Beat in vanilla and eggs until light and creamy.
  4. Beat in baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum if using.
  5. Mix in flour.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
  7. Drop cookie dough 1 tablespoon at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be 2-3 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are lightly toasted and tops are golden.
  9. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These mint chocolate chip cookies remind me of my favorite brownies.  They’re soft and chewy, and meld the chocolate and peppermint flavors wonderfully.

Original recipe

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Amy in the Kitchen

Yield: 12 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate OR semisweet chips

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  (Actually, the cookies are very sticky, so it may be better to line the sheets with aluminum foil and grease it.)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, egg whites, and peppermint extract.
  3. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until fully mixed.  Batter will be thick and glossy.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop 2 teaspoons of batter per cookie onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2-3 inches apart.
  6. Bake 10-13 minutes.  The tops will look like brownies, with a thin crisp skin.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  8. Use a wide spatula to remove cookies from sheets.
  9. To store, keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Almond Crackle Cookies

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Almond crackle cookies are deliciously crunchy and fragrant, as well as amazingly easy to make.  In the time that your oven preheats, you mix together three ingredients and then dollop the batter onto baking sheets.  Voila – cookies!

Baking notes:

  • Dorie Greenspan also gives instructions for making the cookies in muffin tins, which leads to a prettier shape, but getting them out of the tins is finicky.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have let them cool for longer than 10 minutes, but by the time I tried to remove them, all but five (pictured above) were stuck fast.  The good news is that if you soak the tins in the sink, the cookies will soften and you can clean out the tins.  The bad news is that you won’t have many cookies.
  • If you bake the cookies on cookie sheets, they will be thinner and more crunchy, which I personally prefer.
  • The batter is fairly robust: The second time I made the cookies, I only had 1 cup of almonds, so I cut the sugar to 5 tablespoons and kept the full egg.  The cookies still tasted good.

 

Almond Crackle Cookies
From Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies

Yield: 20 cookies

  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups sliced almonds (blanched or unblanched)

 

  1. Position racks to divide oven into thirds and preheat to 325°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Have a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon at hand.
  2. Whisk sugar and egg together in a bowl for a minute or so, until well blended and just a bit thick.
  3. Add the almonds and whisk until evenly coated with the mixture.  You need to use the batter right away — it separates as it stands.  In fact, it’s good to give the batter a stir or two as you’re spooning it out.
  4. Each cookie needs 2 teaspoons of batter.  Scoop the batter onto the baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches of space between the mounds of batter, and flatten each mound with your fingers or the back of a fork.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.  Rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom midway through baking. The cookies should be toasted-almond beige, and dry and crackled on top.
  6. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes.
  7. Carefully lift cookies off sheets with a wide spatula.  (If you used parchment paper, they release very easily.  You probably don’t even need to use a spatula.)
  8. If your kitchen is cool and dry, you can keep these in a tin or paper bag overnight. Keep them longer, and they might soften, a condition easily reversed: Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet and warm them in a 350°F oven for about 6 minutes; cool on the sheet.