I’d be lying if I said my intention in creating new versions of the brown butter brownie cookies were solely altruistic. Second to the brownies themselves, brownie cookies are my favourite thing to make and to eat. Tomorrow won’t be the first time I have eaten a brownie cookie for a pre-breakfast snack, if you feel me. Something else you should feel, however, is that this a win win-situation. The result of my willingness for ‘extra experimentation’ (read: desire for breakfast snacks) is these flourless brownie cookies.
Yes, I have made gluten free brownie cookies before. However, catering to different niche diets is my favourite thing to do, given that I adhere to so many. Currently, my SIBO is flaring up and my tolerance for grains and starches is at an all time low. So, while the original recipe caters to gluten free and the Bushfire relief E-book caters to grain free, this recipe caters to both. It is gluten free, grain free, starch free AND nut free. At this point, the only dietary missing is vegan. Which is fine, because I have a recipe for vegan, gluten free brownie cookies here.
GENERAL NOTES FOR THE FLOURLESS BROWNIE COOKIES
- I use my Kitchenaid for these brownie cookies. It makes life easy. You could also try using a hand beater, and although I haven’t tested it I’m sure it would be fine.
- Browning the butter is critical to the liquid content in this recipe. Because we’re not using any flour, liquid content is more important to these cookies than it is to the original ones. See below for substitutions, noting that the quantity is different for butter substitutes.
- Chocolate choice is important. I suppose this is technically an ingredient note, but it deserves a mention here, too. See notes below.
- One thing worth mentioning is that chocolate often hates water (although there are exceptions). When you’ve melted the chocolate and are in the process of pouring it into the egg mixture, make sure you have wiped the condensation off the bottom of the bowl. You don’t want errant water getting into the batter.
- As I’ve mentioned in the recipe, it is helpful to grease your tray just slightly before lining it with baking paper. The batter is thick and sticky, and greasing first ensures the baking paper sticks to the tray, which in turn makes for easier cookie shaping.
- The first lot of cookies will be smoother than the second, because the mixture solidifies the longer it sits. This means that it’s a good idea to get the cookies onto the trays as soon as the batter as ready. That said, you can use a VERY lightly warm water moistened hand to smooth down any craggy bits. This will give the cookie a smooth and round top (purely for aesthetics!)
- They firm up and are easier to remove from the tray when totally cool, so give them rest time after baking.
INGREDIENT NOTES FOR THE FLOURLESS BROWNIE COOKIES
- Extra large eggs always and forever, please.
- You can use dutch processed or regular cocoa, either is fine. They might have a slight bearing on the colour of the cookie but not on the actual result.
- Caster sugar (superfine or baker’s sugar) is important in creating shine and supporting the cookie from collapsing. Currently I have no refined sugar free alternatives.
- On the note of important things, salt is C-R-I-T-I-C-A-L to these flourless brownie cookies. There is no flour to cushion the blow of the sugar and chocolate, so salt is very necessary to balance that all out.
- I highly recommend using a 70% dark cooking chocolate for this recipe. 70% is deep enough in flavour to provide nuance to the cookie, while the sugar content is helpful in creating a chewy brownie cookie. Moreover, the milk solids and fat in the cooking variety seem to be critical in attaining a super shiny crust on the cookie. Lindt 70% (which is what I recommend for my vegan recipes) contains no milk fats or solids as it is vegan. It also contains less sugar, so will contribute less to the crust and chew. Fear not, you can find my recipe for vegan, gluten free brownie cookies here.
- I haven’t tried these with a coconut oil chocolate and I have no plans to.
- To be honest, there aren’t heaps. This is mainly because these cookies have 6 ingredients, so there’s not much to substitute. However:
- As mentioned, you can use either Dutch processed or regular cocoa for these cookies. I find dutch processed (in general) produces a red tinged end result with a classic chocolate flavour, while regular produces a more floral one. I daresay these effects won’t be pronounced in this recipe, given the small quantity of cocoa.
- You can safely omit the vanilla bean paste if you can’t find it or don’t want to find it. It adds a beautiful extra layer of flavour but isn’t critical to the end result.
- For a lactose free cookie, you could probably substitute ghee, given that it’s essentially the end result of brown butter. With that in mind, though, make sure you only add 20-25g, to account for the weight loss of the 30g butter in the browning process.
- In the same vein, you could substitute a butter alternative, using 20-25g as opposed to 30g. Again, I haven’t tried this, but the butter isn’t critical to structure here so it won’t matter much.
FLOURLESS BROWNIE COOKIES
- 30 g butter dark browned (see notes for alternatives)
- 200 g 70% dark cooking chocolate see notes
- 150 g 3/4 cup caster (baker/superfine) sugar
- 2 extra large eggs
- 2 tablespoons cocoa Dutch processed or regular
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder make sure it’s gluten free if it needs to be
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon table/fine salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste optional, see notes
- Preheat the oven to 180C or 356F. Place a tiny bit of butter or oil on 2 baking sheets and then line with baking paper. The butter will stop the baking paper moving around as you spoon the mixture on – it’s quite stiff.
- Brown the butter in a small saucepan over a low-medium heat. It should weigh just under 25g once browned. Pour the butter into the bowl of your kitchen mixer, using a silicon spatula to get every last skerrick from the saucepan.
- 1/4 fill the saucepan with water and place it back on the heat. Atop the saucepan place a heatproof bowl and add the chocolate. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl or you burn the chocolate, which would be tragic. As soon as it has fully melted, take it off the heat, wipe the water off the bottom of the bowl and set aside.
- Add the caster sugar to the butter and mix until just combined – it will look like damp sand. I like to use my balloon whisk attachment for this.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl (I have been burned by a bad egg in cookie dough before) and add them to the stand mixer. Turn the speed up to high (around a 6 on a KitchenAid) and beat for 7-10 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Once the egg mixture is ready, stop the mixer and add in the melted chocolate. Use the silicon spatula to get it all out. Whisk on low for a minute or two until combined, scrape down the bowl, and then add the remaining ingredients – cocoa, baking powder, salt, and vanilla bean paste, if you’re using it. Return the mixer to a low speed and mix until combined, scraping down the sides if necessary.
- Use two spoons to form 8-10 circular cookies evenly across the two baking sheets. They don’t spread much, but leave room between each cookie.
- Try to make the tops as smooth as possible, but know that you can allow them to harden a bit before smoothing them out with your hands, very lightly moistened with water if necessary.
- Place each sheet of cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes. They will look done by 8 minutes, but will still be very malleable underneath. For best results, allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the baking tray. They keep well for a few days in an airtight container – I like to keep mine in the fridge so they’re nice and chewy.
- If you’re a sea salt fiend, they are delightful with a small sprinkle of Maldon on top.