Are you a nuts or no nuts type of person?
I’m a no nuts person. I’ll never refuse a brownie, with or without nuts, (I just typoed that as “buts” and snickered to myself. I am apparently a 5-year-old boy) but I generally avoid using nuts in any baked good where the texture of the baked good is my favourite part about it. This includes things like brownies, chocolate fudge and banana bread. When I’m so enamored with feeling the texture of something on my tongue, I don’t like interrupting it with anything hard and abrupt like nuts. This of course doesn’t include baked goods where the nuts are key, say pecan pie or chocolate hazelnut cake. This is strictly a “1 cup walnuts (optional)” sort of situation that I always say “No” to.
These cookies break my brownie rule and are overrun with nuts.
2 cups of chopped toasted walnuts to be specific.
I considered omitting them. But there was already so little to the recipe, no butter, no flour, no egg yolks, it seemed that losing the last fat-providing, potentially structural component would turn these cookies into not much of anything.
Even with the nuts, they don’t hold themselves up very well. They ooze like chocolatey puddles, threatening to mingle with their brethren to form a single mega-cookie.
When they came out of the oven I was skeptical. They looked like thin little puddles of brownie, taunting me with all their copious walnuts.
I’m here to say as a non-nutter… don’t you dare skip the walnuts.
So that thing I said about avoiding nuts for textural reasons? I find that the walnuts in this cookie are the texture. It’s not about errant walnuts in my brownie. It’s about crunchy toasted walnuts surrounded by brownie goodness.
You got me this time Mr. Walnut… *twirls imaginary moustache*
Walnut Brownie Puddles
Adapted from Epicurious.com
- 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-4 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place walnuts on a separate large baking sheet and toast until fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Let cool.
Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Stir in walnuts. Add 2 egg whites and vanilla; beat with a fork or electric mixer on medium, adding half an egg white at a time until batter is just moistened and resembles thick brownie batter. (I used about 3.5 egg whites but should have probably used 3) Do not overbeat batter or it will stiffen. Drop batter by the tablespoonful onto baking sheets in evenly spaced mounds. Bake cookies until tops are lightly cracked and glossy, about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. (They taste even better the next day!)