Friday, November 12, 2010

Gluten-Free Chocolate Decadence Pecan Cookies

Amazingly good!

I saw this post Cookies Everyone will Love, the other day on my facebook news feed, when I opened it up and saw the first cookie picture I was so excited.  I used to get a similar cookie from Whole Foods bakery that was so delicious, but I don't go to Whole Foods very often these days.  The biggest problem with the whole foods cookies is that it is not a dedicated GF bakery so even with my lack of sensitivity to gluten right now I still worry that some uneducated person knocked some wheat flour into the mixer.  Plus why spend money when you can make it even more delicious at home.

One great thing about making these cookies was, I had all the ingredients in the cabinet, a few months ago I had made a Flourless Chocolate Cake from Food Network that called for bittersweet chocolate (I'll discuss that in another post, suffice to say it was incredibly delicious).  I did have to buy the pecans, but with the holidays coming they will be in good use around this house.

I'm pretty spastic when it comes to reading recipes off the computer but I really wanted these cookies, so I started making them.  Thank Goodness my husband and in-laws were home because I had to send Ceci away while I was making them.  The steps got a bit convoluted and I was really stressed out while making them, and having a toddler eating raw flour sitting on the counter does not lower my stress level. One thing I will change in the future is to toast the nuts prior to making the cookies, instead of trying to manage them while working the cookie batter.

 I have simply tidied up the formatting of the previous post so it is a bit more fluid to read, I also looked at the original recipe from LemonPi and gained a little inspiration.  I tried to simplify the mixing process to exclude the double boiler, but was unsuccessful, the double boiler stays, sorry.  I was really hopeful to be able to a few less dishes.

To give you an idea of what you are headed for when you finish making these cookies, they can only be described as the brownie of the cookie world, and the perfect brownie at that!  There is a light crispy outside crust, protecting an amazing chewy tender inside, and filled with toasted pecans,  they are perfectly delicious!

I can just finished a second batch today and it was much easier to make the second time around, I also used coffee instead of vanilla.  I can't say that I taste coffee, but I think the chocolate flavor is enhanced, I think it might be a keeper of a tweak on the old recipe.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Decadence Pecan Cookies
Adapted from Alice Currah's  Adapted from LemonPi and based on Alice Medrich’s recipe from Bittersweet


1/4  Cup sweet rice flour
1/4  tsp baking powder
1/4  tsp salt

8    ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 Cups)
2    Tbs unsalted butter

2    large eggs
1/2 Cup sugar
2     tsp pure vanilla extract (or coffee, or OJ (no pulp), or flavored liquor)

1 1/2 Cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
6     ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1 Cup)

2 sheets parchment paper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside.

Place bittersweet chocolate chips and butter in a medium to large microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate butter mixture and microwave again for 30 seconds. Repeat this until all the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth, set aside.

Using a double boiler or make your own double boiler whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla thoroughly in the top bowl/pan over simmering water in the bottom pan.  Whisk egg mixture until it is lukewarm and then add it to the chocolate mixture, stirring until everything is well combined.  If eggs are not warm when you add them to the warm chocolate, the chocolate will cook the eggs and be a horrible mess of chocolate scrambled eggs.

Add the flour mixture, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and pecans to the chocolate mixture. Your batter will look like thick cake batter. Do not fear, after they bake they will look like and taste like cookies!

Scoop dough (it will look very wet and sloppy) into rounded tablespoons (I used a small cookie scooper) on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 12 minutes until the surface of the cookies look dry and set.

Remove the cookies from the oven, with the cookies still on the parchment paper, slide the paper onto racks to cool. If you leave the cookies and the paper on the cookie sheets the cookies will continue to bake, and be dried out.  Gently peel the parchment paper back after cookies have cooled for at least 30 minutes. If you can wait that long to start eating them, I certainly can't.

Some serving suggestions for you to consider Peppermint ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Or, as we discovered tonight they make FABULOUS ice cream sandwich cookies!  with Pumpkin Ice cream, Yummmm...... 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts!

I know what you might think, Brussels Sprouts Ewww!  And to that I say, then who ever cooked the Brussels Sprouts you ate was mean.  Tim and I found the deliciousness of Brussels Sprouts last year, I had seen more and more TV chefs using them and we were very curious why so many trained chefs would be using a veggie with such a bad reputation.  I got a small pack from the grocery store and Tim sauteed them and they were sooooo good!  I kid you not they taste like veggie candy to me!  Toasty and almost sweet, but with the salt and oil on them, I guess they might be the kettle corn of the vegetable world if I had to describe it.  When sauteed or roasted their natural sweetness comes out and they are just amazingly good.  We prefer ours a little underdone so they still resemble Brussels sprouts, you can cook them longer, but then they start to have an acrid burned taste to them which I can't stomach.

This weekend I found a huge bag of sprouts at Costco, 2 lbs to be exact, and brought them home.  Usually when we find them in the regular supermarket they are a 10-12 ounce package, which is fine if you only want to eat 4 sprouts each.  So finding this huge bag was great!  Usually Tim does the sauteing and since he does such a great job, I'm afraid to do it now.  I'm such a chicken when it comes to cooking.  I love baking but cooking drives me wild.  Then out of no where Food Network posts a roasted Brussels sprouts recipe on facebook yesterday, as if they knew I needed it.  I did tweak it a little to suit our tastes better.

I couldn't have been happier with how they came out, if I hadn't had such a delicious Shepard's pie to eat, I could have eaten a whole bowl of these Brussels sprouts.  One exceptionally important bit of information about Brussels sprouts, no matter how you choose to cook them, NEVER EVER Reheat them!!!  We tried heating leftovers one time and I gagged.  This may be why some of you think you don't like sprouts, they are AWFUL when reheated I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that they are in the cabbage family, and all the gasses they release, I couldn't say definitely.  Just a word of advice for you, don't boil them or reheat them, those are the horrible flavors that everyone thinks of when they hear the words Brussels sprouts.  

With all that said, if you cook them right they are delicious, and down right addictive.  So here goes, I adapted Ina Garten's recipe yesterday and came up with this.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts (Enough for one meal, with no left overs, about a handful per person)
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
White Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).  Prep Brussels Sprouts by trimming off the base ends just enough to get the dried or browned portion off, and remove any yellow or damaged leaves, and cut in half.  Place halved Brussels sprouts on a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and white pepper.  Use your hand to stir the sprouts around on the pan to mix and coat them.  Place pan in oven for 22 min, shake pan half way through roasting if desired.  Remove from oven and serve immediately, giving a few minutes so they don't burn your mouth, but certainly don't eat them cold.
Brussels Sprouts on the cookie sheet just after being removed from oven

Try them tonight and rethink your opinions of Brussels Sprouts!