Last week, while the snow was falling outside my kitchen window, I made cookies. As I measured, stirred, shaped, and baked, I thought of Minnesota mornings when I was growing up. I would wake up and the light coming through my bedroom window would be different. It was a cleaner, softer white than that of a sunny fall morning. This was before the time of smart phones and before I cared much about watching the weather forecast on TV, so I never knew what I would wake up to. The morning after the first substantial snow of the season was filled with feeling of joy and excitement that is difficult to replicate as an adult. From there, my mind went to making snow men in the yard, drinking hot chocolate with mini marshmallows floating on the top and slowly turning to foam, and the smell of firewood coming from the fireplace. It's been a long time since I've experienced a snow like those of my childhood, but last week was pretty close.
There is something endlessly magical about waking up to a world where the usual street noise is muted and everything is covered in white. For me, it is comforting and makes me feel at home. I know a lot of people (perhaps some of you who are reading this right now) despise the snow and cold and driving in all of the winter weather. I wish I could help you remember what it is you loved about the snow as a child. If you didn't grow up with snow, perhaps you can think back to the first time you saw it. So much beauty. So much peace. So much joy.
These cookies make me think of the first snow. Deep, dark chocolate dough is shaped into a ball and tossed in some powdered sugar. As the cookies bake, they spread ever so slowly, revealing cracks that peak through the bright white surface. It's a little like the grass that barely peaks through the fresh snow as it piles up that first time.
I think we should all make these cookies. Let's bake them for our friends, neighbors, children, parents...and as we bake, let's think about what gave us joy as children that we tend to overlook as adults. It can't hurt, right?
Flourless Chocolate Cookies
- 4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 egg whites
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Working in 20 second intervals, melt the chocolate. Stir after each 20 seconds until the chocolate is smooth.
- Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly add 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, corn starch, salt and another cup of the powdered sugar.
- Gradually add the cocoa mixture to the egg whites with the mixer running on low. Beat until combined.
- Fold in the melted chocolate until incorporated. The dough will be dry and stiff but that's a good thing.
- Place the remaining powdered sugar on a small plate.
- Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll in the powdered sugar and place on your parchment lined baking sheet. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart.
- Bake until the cookies begin to crack on the top, 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly on the baking sheet.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.