Not surprisingly, the majority of food consumption in our house today occurred during the gold medal hockey game (yay Canada! that goes for the women’s hockey team, too) and was served from our coffee table. What a game. What a couple weeks. For Vancouverites, tomorrow is going to be the morning after the four years before. (By the way, if you’re in the Vancouver area and are up before 7am tomorrow, I’ll on CBC radio discussing that very topic! Having been through the same in Calgary in ’88 and all, I guess I’m somewhat of an expert on what to do when you wake up in the morning and the Olympics aren’t coming anymore.)
My mom brought a Hunter’s Pie, filled with lean elk simmered in dark ale gravy with mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions, from Wapiti Ways.
Ali made Greek salad and garlicky guacamole and I did up some potato skins – not that I ate much of anything after filling up on half a dozen chocolate puddle cookies, warm from the oven.
And wow, did I make fast friends with these. OK, favourite cookie might be a little extreme – I could never be faithful to any one cookie. I’m fickle. I have food moods. But although I can’t promise to be monogamous, I think it’s safe to say I’ll love the chocolate puddle cookie for the rest of my life.
I had seen them on 101 Cookbooks, which triggered a memory of a similar cookie I used to make a decade ago. Within days an email came from my mom in Tofino, raving about a particular nutty chocolate cookie they kept cleaning SoBo out of, and her description matched them exactly. So since they’re freshly home from a few weeks away and came over to watch the game, I made a batch. They’re as simple to make as any cookie – you stir together icing sugar, cocoa and salt, add chopped nuts, egg whites and vanilla, drop in glops and bake.
They don’t come across as meringues, and aren’t as ridiculously sweet as one would think they’d be with 4 cups of icing sugar. They were crackly on the outside but wonderfully chewy and intensely dark, likely due to my Bernard Callebaut cocoa – completely devoid of butter but loaded with nuts (read: healthy fats) – SoBo uses pecans, my Mom recalls – but I jammed them with nice fresh walnuts. Next on my to-do list: pecans or toasted hazelnuts. Trust me: make these.
Chocolate Walnut Puddle Cookies
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
3 cups walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts
4 cups icing sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
4 large egg whites
1 Tbsp. good vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
Toast your walnuts or pecans, cool them and roughly chop them. In a large bowl, stir together the icing sugar, cocoa and salt. Add the nuts, then stir in the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and drop the batter in large mounds (about 2 Tbsp. each – I used a heaped soup spoon) spacing them well away from each other – no more than 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes – they will spread, puff, crack on top, get glossy and then turn matte. Slide the cookies on the parchment off the sheet onto a cooling rack and let them cool.
Makes 18 large cookies.
February 28 2010 10:52 pm | cookies & squares