December 27, 2011

Chocolate Puddle Cookie — gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free too!

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I had planned to post this recipe before Christmas. But somehow, inevitably, my plans went awry. So here I am two days after the festivities, wishing you and yours a belated Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays with a batch of special cookies from my kitchen to yours to ring in the New Year.

From intricately decorated cookie varieties to beautifully frosted cakes, the holiday season inspire us to indulge in all manners of sweet treats, right? I for one have been slightly obsessed with baking sweets this month. If you remember, I started off this month with chocolate caramel slice and now I’m ending it with chocolate walnut cookie. Rightly so. Just don’t brand me a chocoholic, I really outgrew my chocolate craze a longtime back.
This cookie recipe is a splendid treat for anyone on gluten-free diet. It’s not only gluten-free (GF) and grain-free, it’s dairy-free too—perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant. Wait, that’s not the best part. For a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe it’s not at all intimidating—you don’t need to go shopping for GF flour or other mysterious ingredients to make these cookies. Really. The ingredient list is remarkably short—just 6 familiar items you might have in your own pantry that can be mixed and baked without too much work. This’s absolutely why this recipe is so attractive.
Now then, who can resist a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and pretty delicious foodie treat? Something that’s chocolaty too? Not many, I know.

I fell in love with the name, chocolate puddle, when I first saw it at Heidi’s 101 cookbooks. I noticed that the ingredients listed nuts too. Chocolate and nuts, now I just couldn’t resist. That’s when I researched into this intriguing recipe on the internet and landed on the original François Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookie recipe. François Payard is a celebrated pastry chef who used to run the, now closed, Payard Patisserie & Bistro bakery in New York city. Apparently, his flourless chocolate walnut cookies were a huge hit in the store. This popular recipe is also featured in his book Chocolate Epiphany.
Crunchy, crisp exterior and chewy, fudgy, chocolaty interior studded with flecks of walnut—it turns out, these cookies are halfway between a meringue and a brownie. After my first bite, I thought they tasted close enough to one of my macron mishaps in the past. The omission of egg yolks and use of just whites give them this meringue quality, with the chocolate and nuts adding to the gooey, fudgy character. All in all, sugar, chocolate and nuts come together in this chewy giant sized treat that make them perfect for dunking into your tea, coffee or milk.

Talking health, these cookies contain hero foods—cocoa and nuts. As you know, cocoa is high on antioxidants. And nuts are no longer a dietary foe—they contain healthy oils, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and when used in moderation will not lead to weight gain. Going nuts, especially walnuts, is good for diabetes peeps. For all it's health benefits, unfortunately, these cookies are high on carbs (read sugar) and are not recommended for anyone with a blood glucose intolerance. They are not overly sweet as the massive 2 cup sugar indicates. Sweetness is really mild, so there's no way you can cut down the sugar in the recipe.
I had such fun time making these, especially delighting in the heady scent of chocolate wafting from the oven and later making the most of the festive season by giving small parcels to few lovely neighbors. My friend Shaily was my taste tester for this recipe. I always make a point to get new recipes tested by someone besides my family and myself as I am, truthfully, focused on the outcome before I post it on the blog. I appreciate honest feedback and Shaily was good enough to rate this a 95 out of 100, with my Anzac bikkies scoring 99 in her opinion for it’s chewy, addictive taste. Yes, Anzac is a crowd pleaser—I remember all the amazingly positive feedback I’d received when I shared it with few other friends in our compound.

Now, if you are celiac, before you start mixing and baking, remember to check the label of powdered sugar to ensure it is gluten-free. Similarly, lactose intolerant people should make sure that the chocolate, if using, is dairy free.

Hosting a New Year’s party, are you? Then serving dessert couldn’t be any easier than layering a few crushed cookies with macerated berries, scoops of ice cream and a generous drizzle of rose syrup (I used Roof Afzah). It’s a treat, trust me.
Chocolate Puddle Cookie

Adapted from here and here

Makes 18 giant cookies
Prep 20 minutes, Cooking 15 minutes

1 ½ cups walnut halves
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoon cocoa powder (I used natural cocoa, not Dutch processed)
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon chocolate chips (optional)
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
scant ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 3500F/1800C. 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 them.

Meanwhile, combine egg whites in a spouted cup; 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. 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. The key is to add half the egg white to start with, check consistency and then slowly add the rest to make a thick goopey, scoopable batter, not runny. Now stir in walnuts and chocolate bits, if using.

Lower oven temperature to 3250F/1600F and position rack in the middle of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spoon tablespoonful of batter on to baking sheet in evenly spaced mounds leaving heaps of space in between—at least 3 inches. These cookies really expand, so err on the side of precaution. Bake for 14-17 minutes until cookies are puffed up with glossy, lightly cracked tops. 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 overbake them.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. Then slide the parchment to wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, peel cookies off the parchment carefully.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Good for nibbling, giving, or perfect for entertaining holiday guests—mix them, bake them and share them!

Before I sign off, let me wish you all a healthy, happy, prosperous and most wonderful New Year ever. Let us welcome 2012 with lots of good spirit, great company and plenty of delicious food. 

Happy New Year!


  1. The most beautiful pictures. OMG I can't keep my eyes off. Super delicious cookies. Great job dear.
    Belated festive wishes:)

  2. I am SO making this...maybe even today, despite having a bad tummy...I think chocolate fixes an upset tummy no? It probably does...your amazing pics just fixed my headache, so I'm sure the cookies in reality would be a cure-all!

  3. gr8 pics dear..........i am in love with ur lens sense

  4. scrumptious!! Too irresistible. WIshing you a healthy New year and loads of good luck and happiness, Nash.


  5. Grt pics no words... Hv a wonderful new year!!!

  6. Those chocolate cookies with the little cracks on top look divine and your pics make me forget the world for a few minutes, everything becomes beautiful :) Happy new year Nashira

  7. Nash, I keep telling you and I tell you again, love your pics. They speak volumes. What I would not give for a piece of that cookie. Happy New Year dear.!God Bless..!

  8. yummy cookies..Should try it sometime..Awesome clicks...


  9. Can't wait to try this..its irresistible,chocolaty and divine..
    Wish you and family a happy and prosperous New Year

  10. I love chocolate and these amazing photos are telling me I have been missing out on one delicious cookie-yum! These are well worth a try in the kitchen, thanks for sharing this tasty recipe.

  11. Absolutely beautiful photos..Thank you so much for dropping by my blog, glad to follow you :)

  12. love those hearts and all of your pictures! those perfect shiny puddles!

  13. If I am to judge these cookies and if seeing is believing then I am sure I would give it a 100%.

  14. Awesome! You just seem to become better and better!

    I haven't outgrown my chocolate craze as yet, and this is just heaven for me.

    Wish you and your loved ones a belated Xmas, and a happy and properous 2012!

  15. Wow what a pictures dear !!
    really a virtual feast!!!
    have no words to say
    U r truly a great artist !!!

  16. Very creative clicks....Love all of them...Cookies look superb....
    Hey Very Happy and prosperous 2012...:)

  17. Great recipe with stunning clicks! Happy and Prosperous New Year my dear friend.....

  18. no flour or butter? about super healthy cookies! love that crispy crackling texture. looks super crunchy

  19. I'm so trying this one out,Nash.Just a few ingredients,those being my favorites,is simply awesome and my kind of thing.Love the heart stencil designs.

  20. They look so yummy! I grudge the time I have to spend in a kitchen...I don't know why I've never been able to enjoy myself in there. So on the rare occasions I've baked, while the resulting dish has turned out well, I never enjoyed doing it. I wish I had the patience to make something like this.
    Have a great new year!

  21. Beautiful and marvelous dear. Bookmarked this.

  22. awesome pics and it looks so chocolatey

  23. Awesome photography! and lovely cookies..

    Wish you too a wonderful new year!!

  24. What gorgeous cookies! Really tempting. Your pictures are wonderful too.

    Best wishes fro 2012!



  25. Looks gorgeous! breathtaking pics!

  26. This chocolate cookie looks awesome perfect. Love the texture.

  27. Yum di yum..flourless n butterless..this I gotta try ! I love chewy cookies with soft interiors.. :)

  28. yummy and irresistible cookies...amazing clicks as usual..:)

  29. wow!...just beautiful and not to mention healthiest cookie around!...sinfully chocolaty too!...yumm!
    happy Holidays!

  30. awesome...awesome..awesome n creative clicks...loved all your shots...cookies looks so delicious n bookmarked this unique recipe..thanks for sharing!!
    if you wish plz do link it to bake fest..
    "Wishing you n your family a very happy new year 2012"
    Spicy Treats
    Ongoing Event : Bake Fest # 2
    Do participate in My 300th Post Giveaway-ends by 31st Dec

  31. Delicious and mouthwatering cookies...Grt pics no words...

  32. I've made Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies before and they truly are divine!

  33. life should be moment to moment choc puddles like that! gorgeous thru and thru!!


  34. Fabulous cookies!!!! Feel like grabbing them off the screen!!!
    Prathima Rao
    rats corner

  35. awesome!!!! just loved the way u clicked those snaps...i am looking it over n over again

  36. Wow never have I drooled over cookies so much as I have these. I soooo want one.

  37. salivating,drooling and getting itchy to grab a few; awesome clicks gal; loveddddddddddddddddddd the puddly chocolatey cookies

  38. Oooh those cookies look SO yum Nash! Happy New year to you and your family :)

  39. Hi,

    I was looking for some cookies recipes, when I found one of your recipes in another blog.

    Your recipe:

    The other blog:

    I know how much effort we put in our blogs, and it's not fair that others use our work and pictures.

    If you know other blogs that have been copied by this blog, then please let them know.



  40. Thank you one and all for your handsome comments and lovely wishes. I cannot emphasize how much your lovely thoughts and notes has touched me in 2011. Again, thank you for your generosity!

    Holding you close in my thoughts and wishing you a fabulous New Year! Love and hugs!

  41. Wishing you a very Happy New Year, filled with loads of happiness, good health and wonderful blessings. May all your wishes come true.

  42. wow...thats a lovely recipe dear...loved all ur pics.....wishing u n ur family a very happy new year !

  43. Happy Holidays to you.
    You have some beautiful photos here on your blog.


  44. There are so beautiful...!!! No no I think i am running outta words.... I am so freaking jealous of u!!! I can never think of something so pretty!!! Anyway.... I cant resist... Its an A M A Z I N G R E C I P E !!!!!

  45. All photos are so mouth-watering!!

    Happy New Year, sweetie :)

  46. Lovely! The photographs are gorgeous, and the cookies sound delicious.

  47. Absolutely fabulous photos of a delicious cookie.
    Thank You. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year.

  48. These cookies are absolutely decadent! Love the clicks.

  49. happy new year Nashi... the cookies are fabulous and truly ingenious!

  50. Happy New Year Nashira! Good going dear. Lovely pics. Love your 200% dedication to each post. Lovely!

  51. Hey dear, am following you publicly on GFC. Do check mine out and do the same if you like it. Thanx.

  52. The photos and the cookies are fantastic - btw Nashira, as luck would have it our flight out of delhi was so delyed because of fog, we had to spend an afternoon/night at Doha :) thought about you - They put us ip in a lovely hotel downtown and I relaxed after a fab swedish massage to wake up and catch the flight next morning!!!

  53. i HAVE TO TELL YOU Nashi.. I am so in love with your pictures. So much that I might fly to Doha to catch some of it :) Love it..

    Happy New Year :)

  54. The cookies look crunchy, soft and divine!! and hey congratulations on winning the host award on the DMBLGiT event!! You totally deserve it girl :)

  55. That is an amazing recipe and the ingredient list shocked me. NO FLOUR! did i read it correctly ?
    I have no idea how you did those hearts with chocolate dust .. but that is a piece of art. Teach me pleassseee :)

  56. Amazing presentation....

  57. Hi, I am hosting my first event and giveaway - Valentine Special. Do look it up and send me your great recipes towards the event.

  58. Congrats and keep up the good work! You rock :)

  59. You have such-ay beautiful blog! lovely reads and recipes too!

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi