At this year’s Easter Celebration, one the guests was also celebrating Passover which overlapped this year for the first time in ages. For those of you who may not be familiar with Jewish dietary laws, leavened bread is forbidden during the 8 day celebration of Pesach (Passover). That rules out the use of flour in baking. So Andrew, who had offered to bring dessert to the gathering, look around for a recipe to serve to our observant friend. And in the process, he found a recipe completely devoid of flour. What’s interesting is that Bon Appetit, whose recipe this is never even mentioned that these crazy-good cookies were Gluten-Free. Instead, they wrote “If a fudgy brownie and a chocolate chip cookie had a baby, it would be this decadent creation.” The truth is these cookies are so good, the last thing you’d say in describing them is that they’re Gluten-Free.
So what is Gluten anyway? Gluten’s a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It’s responsible for the elasticity of bread dough and it helps bread hold its shape and absorb liquids…think Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. However for an unknown number of people, gluten causes their immune system to go into overdrive. My college roommate and still one of my best friends, Michael Cox, was an early victim of Celiac Disease. He went through hell before he was finally diagnosed. Now he’s such an expert, he wrote two Gluten-Free Cookbooks. You can order them on Amazon. Just go to the link below the recipe.
It’s estimated that 3 million Americans have this very serious auto-immune disease and should not eat a speck of gluten. Sadly, many of these people are undiagnosed. Even more frightening is that the incidence of Celiac Disease has gone up 400% in the past 50 years. What’s causing this rise? Unfortunately, trying to eat healthier may be one reason. The drumbeat for Whole Wheat bread has meant its consumption is on the rise. Used to make bread, high gluten flour can be as much as 13 percent gluten. If you’re experiencing gut issues, cut out gluten in your diet for two weeks. If you see an improvement, you very likely have a gluten problem. But don’t feel sorry for yourself. Have one of these delicious cookies instead. Andrew insists that, on top of everything else, they are a breeze to bake. Here is the recipe.
Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Absolutely luscious melt-in-your-mouth good! And they're Gluten-Free
- 3 cups gluten-free powdered sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large egg
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons cacao nibs
- Step 1 Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven. Preheat to 350°.
- Step 2 Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in egg whites and egg. Fold in chocolate and cacao nibs.
- Step 3 Spoon batter by the tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart.
- Step 4 Bake, rotating sheets once, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and set just around the edges, 14–16 minutes.
- Step 5 Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool on pan (they’ll firm up).
- Step 6 Cookies can be baked 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.