Thursday Recipe Exchange: COOOOOKIES!

From our Food Goddess, TaMara:

First off, I am still in denial that Thanksgiving is next week. I’ve done a test turkey and JeffreyW has done a test duck. I may use his orange glaze recipe for my next turkey, which I’ll stuff with sliced oranges and spices. And that reminds me, there will be no recipe exchange next Thursday. I did make some excellent turkey soup from my test turkey leftovers, I’ll try and post that recipe sometime next week so you’ll have it if you’re looking for something to do with your leftovers.

For tonight, we’re going to chocolate heaven. I’ve had these on my list to try for months and finally decided it was time. They did not disappoint and were very easy and quite addictive. The original recipe (here: François Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies) was suggested to me by fellow blogger Glutenvygirl ages ago. I looked over the original recipe and a couple of similar recipes and then tweaked this one just enough to suit my own tastes.

Fair warning, this recipe is a little messy. Or maybe it’s just me. Cocoa powder and powdered sugar are preternaturally attracted to me. By the time I was done cooking, my Laura Petrie inspired black-kick-around-the-house-outfit looked like there’d been an assassination attempt on it by a snowman and his cooler ninja brother. Although, I should have known better after that disastrous visit to Café De Monde in New Orleans while wearing a black t-shirt and dark blue jeans. C’est la vie.

Next time I try this recipe there will be an apron.

Now I have a challenge for you. Because of various recipes, I have egg yolks and about 14 oz of pumpkin puree leftover in my refrigerator that I need to use up before they go bad. Anyone have any good ideas that aren’t pumpkin pie? Heck, I’d even take a pumpkin pie recipe if it is out of the ordinary.

What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner this year? Staying home or going to grandma’s house (or equivalent)? Anyone trying something new and daring?

Okay, tonight’s featured recipe, which by the way is gluten-free:

Notes: To separate eggs, the easiest way I’ve found is the Nigella Lawson method of using your hand. It is quick and easy. The original recipe called for regular cocoa and 3 cups of powdered sugar, that sounded much too sweet, so I reduced that first thing and since I love dark chocolate I used 1/2 dark and 1/2 regular cocoa. Next time I think I would go full dark chocolate. It was still very sweet, but I’d be afraid of reducing the sugar more because I think you need the volume. That doesn’t mean I won’t give it try sometime. You need to let them cool completely otherwise they stick to the parchment. They were still warm when I pulled the first one off, and it left crumbs and wasn’t as structurally sound as the completely cooled ones ended up being. You’ll need parchment paper for this recipe or a silpat.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Walnut Cookies

2 cups walnut halves or pieces
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp unsweetened Dark cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Bowl, baking sheet, parchment, wire cooking rack

Toast walnuts for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees, cool and rough chop. Reduce oven temperature to 320 degrees.

While walnuts are cooling, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt until well mixed. Add walnuts and mix well. Add vanilla and then egg whites one at a time. Whisk to combine, but do not over mix. You want the batter to be about brownie mixture consistency. A bit moister than regular cookie dough, but not too moist, like cake batter (is that helpful?). Three egg whites might be the perfect, or may need to add one more. Drop mixture by the spoonful on parchment paper and bake at 320 degrees for 14 minutes. Move PARCHMENT paper AND cookies to a wire rack to cool. Do not remove until cooled completely. Makes 2 doz.

58 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Next time I try this recipe there will be an apron.

    What you want is a muumuu. A long-sleeved, neck-high, ankle-length muumuu.

  2. 2
    Felonius Monk says:

    Ahhhh — food. Just what I need. I’m starvin’ after wading through all the crap in the lower posts.

    Thank you. Looks good.

  3. 3
    CatHairEverywhere says:

    These look great and I can actually have them! Yay and thanks! (I am gluten intolerant.) Think I may delight the family and make these for dessert tonight…

  4. 4
    redshirt says:

    Giant Turdcakes.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    JGabriel says:

    Those cookies don’t look like cookies.

  7. 7
    JGabriel says:


    What you want is a muumuu.

    Isn’t that a rainforest? Muumuu the Rainforest?


  8. 8
    dexwood says:

    Something new and daring you ask? I’m going to try being friendlier to my asshole “George Bush is the Greatest President Ever!!! Brother-in-Law.Sure, it means I start drinking earlier, but hey…

  9. 9
    psycholinguist says:

    how about some kind of punkin creme brulee or custard kind of thing?

  10. 10
    bodacious says:

    What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner this year?…well, the Saturday Farmer’s Market has been providing mini-artichokes. Mmmmmmmm, slice lengthwise and saute those suckers (after dis-robing a few leaf levels). Butter/a drizzle of chicken broth/ and then squeeze some lemon juice over the top after ~ 20 min. That’s one of the Thanksgiving vege’s this year.

  11. 11
    Bmaccnm says:

    Pumpkin souffle, seasoned with parmesan and maybe some thyme or sage, but probably not both. In little ramekins, because they’re cute. You’ll have to break a few more eggs.

    Pumpkin soup with the same seasonings with those little butter dumplings from “The Vegetarian Epicure.”

    Cook up an onion with some thyme and pepper. Heat the pumpkin in this and then stir in some nutmeg and a little cream. Stir a little of this into your beaten yolks (how many do you have?) Cook some linguine or maybe some ravioli. Drain the pasta, add the pumpkin-onion sauce, then the slightly warmed yolks, but don’t let them solidify.


  12. 12
    aimai says:

    I gave my kanchi chori the Payard cookbook for Christmas last year and she makes and freezes these cookies all the time–she freezes them unbaked and then we bake them four at a time when we need a cookie fix. She also adds dried sweetened coconut, coffee powder, and dried cherries and nuts to them sometimes. They are wonderful each and every way.


  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    I have a nice pumpkin fudge cake recipe somewhere; let me dig through my pile of recipes…

    …found it.

    You’ll need a full size bundt or similar pan; I use a kugelhopf mold.
    1 cup butter
    5 oz semisweet chocolate
    1 3/4 cup flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/8 tsp salt
    3 eggs
    2 cups sugar
    1 2/3 cups pumpkin
    1/4 cup Kahlua or similar

    Oven to 350
    Butter pan, dust with cocoa powder
    Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler
    Sift together flour, baking powder&soda, salt
    Beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Add chocolate, beat until blended
    Mixing at low speed, add flour mix and pumpkin to batter.
    Add liqueur, mix to combine.
    Pour into pan, bake for 1 hour 10-15 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean.
    Cool on rack for 45 minutes, turn out cake.
    If desired, garnish by sifting powdered sugar over cake.

  14. 14
    jibeaux says:

    I agree that pumpkin creme brulee sounds magical. I once made a very nice pumpkin cheesecake, but I don’t remember where the recipe came from anymore. For the easiest thing, you could probably just toss them into some pancake or waffle batter this weekend.
    Dammit, I really want cookies now.

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    @bodacious: The Italians deep fry those in olive oil until crisp, then season and scarf in large quantities. I really need to try those, it sounds fantastic.

    I have an idea for the pumpkin and the egg yolks, but I’ll have to get the link for it when I get home. There is a pumpkin pie recipe that uses egg yolks instead of whole eggs I’m thinking of, but it’s unusual in the spicing too. Or I might just mull it over in my brain and come up with something completely different.

    Oh BHF: did you know Nigella has a new series?

  16. 16
    BGK says:

    As family is down to just my mother and me, a friend of mine invited us to her family’s home for both Thanksgiving and Xmas. I’ll be toting my cornbread-sausage stuffing and a sweet potato cheesecake.

  17. 17
    BGK says:

    As family is down to just my mother and me, a friend of mine invited us to her family’s home for both Thanksgiving and Xmas. I’ll be toting my cornbread-sausage stuffing and a sweet potato cheesecake.

  18. 18
    Jay C says:

    “Test Duck” sounds good: I’ve always thought the orange flavor makes a good alternative to the “usual” Thanksgiving turkey recipes: here, in the Best Interest of Food, is my suggestion for the BJ foodies. Enjoy:

    One turkey (preferably fresh: thawed frozen is OK: be sure it is thoroughly thawed out): rinsed and dried.

    One large or two small oranges
    Two large or three medium onions.

    1 cup Mandarine Napoleon – Ideally: if cost is an issue use:
    1/2 cup MN mixed w/ 1/2 cup Triple Sec, OR: 1 cup Triple Sec.
    1/2 cup frozen orange juice (undiluted): mix with liquor

    Preheat oven to 400 F
    Rinse and dry turkey; rub w/ salt & pepper inside and out.
    Quarter orange(s): squeeze juice into a cup. Add to glaze.
    Peel & Quarter onions.
    Rub turkey with oranges: Stuff turkey with as many onion and orange quarters as will fit.
    Put turkey on a rack in a roasting pan: scatter remaining orange and onion quarters around base.
    Place pan in oven: roast at 400F for 45 minutes.
    Remove: pour half of glaze/marinade over turkey: lower heat to 350F: roast 20 min per pound, re-basting with glaze every 20-30 min until glaze is gone: after that, use pan juices.

    When turkey is done, remove pan lid: roast 30 min @ 400 to crisp: use pan juices to make gravy.

  19. 19
    aimai says:

    As for thanksgiving, now that you mention it I’m in denial as well. I will probably make the rolled turkey breast “porchetta” style that I tried last year from Martha Stewart. It was hands down the best turkey I’ve ever had and there were no leftovers or gristly bits. Stuffing with dried cherries. Maybe fennel gratinee. Brussel sprouts with maple/mustard or else sliced with pomegranate seeds. I’m attracted to the notion of doing a duck as well–maybe the Nigella Lawson way where you parboil it the day before and then roast it at the last minute? I am planning to begin with tiny demi tasse of parsnip soup with shreds of carmelized shallot on top. After that I haven’t figured out what to do. Too many choices and the main struggle in my house is that the ktichen and dining room are fully exposed to each other so everything has to be cooked and cleaned up after in a nearly impossible way. Wish I had two kitchens: one for show and one for cooking.


  20. 20
    beergoggles says:

    6 whipped egg yolks + 2 cups softball stage maple syrup + 16oz pumpkin (or any other kind of thick) puree = heavenly icing spread for any cake or cupcake of your choice. I like it with dark chocolate cake or brownies.

  21. 21
    schrodinger's cat says:

    You can use the pumpkin puree to make a spicy Thai soup.

  22. 22
    Bmaccnm says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Oh yeah- I forgot about that. With onion and coconut milk and yellow curry. Maybe some chicken or just some veggies. Oh my. Use the egg yolks to make little thin crisp pancake things to eat with the soup.

  23. 23
    YellowJournalism says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Also known as what I will need to wear after the holidays from all the wonderful baked goods.

    As for this recipe:

    Dark chocolate? Yeah!
    Walnuts? Yeah!
    Cookies?! Hell yeah!

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    My mom used to make dozens of different cookies every year. We used to bake for 3 days straight Thanksgiving weekend when she was alive and I had a job that gave me the weekend off. Now the kids are all gone, mom’s gone & I have to work Friday. Not much reason to make cookies & less time to do it.

    These are the best cookies in the world & I have never shared the recipe before (gluten free BTW)

    Wasp Nests
    2 C slivered Almonds
    3 egg whites (room temp – you want volume when you beat them)
    3/4 C sugar
    1/2 tsp Vanilla
    1/4 tea cinnamon
    1/8 tea ground clove
    3 oz semi-sweet chocolate – finely grated (this is no fun but its the only way)

    Toast the almonds & set aside to cool
    Beat the egg whites on low until foamy then slowly increase the speed beating until you have soft peaks, Continue beating while you add the sugar one spoonful at a time. When the eggs are thick and forming stiff peaks add vanilla and spices. Carefully fold in the almonds and the grated chocolate.

    Drop spoonfuls of the mix onto a buttered cookie sheet an inch or so apart (they don’t spread much if you got the eggs stiff). Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Remove immediately with a spatula to cool on a wire rack.

    There is no other cookie like this, they are tasty and really do look like paper wasps’ nests

  25. 25
    PurpleGirl says:

    @aimai: What you need is a moveable screen to separate the kitchen and dining area.

  26. 26
    tofubo says:

    make alot of cookies, there’s some hungry guys in iceland, they look rail thin

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    Luscious Pumpkin Parfait

    1 envelope unflavored gelatin
    ¼ cup cold water
    3 eggs, separated
    1 cup sugar
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1¼ cup canned pumpkin
    ½ cup milk
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 more teaspoon sugar
    ½ teaspoon flavoring (rum or vanilla work well)

    Soak gelatin in cold water.

    Beat egg yolks, add ½ cup ½ cup of the sugar, pumpkin, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, milk, cinnamon & nutmeg.

    Cook in heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until well thickened.

    mix gelatin into thickened mixture until completely dissolved.

    Chill minimum of 2 hours in refrigerator.

    Beat egg whites and the other ¼ teaspoon of salt until stiff peaks form.

    remove chilled pumpkin mixture from fridge and beat while adding the other ½ cup sugar.

    Fold in (don’t mix) the beaten egg whites and return to refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

    Whip the cream and add the 1 teaspoon of sugar and flavoring.

    Remove chilled mixture from fridge and fold in the whipped cream, reserving some of it (refrigerated and tightly covered0 to be used as topping.

    Put mixture into sherbet glasses (or wine glasses). Covered with plastic wrap, they can sit in fridge (even for a day or 2) until ready to serve.

    When ready to serve, top each serving with a dollop of the reserved whipped cream.

    Makes 6 servings, but easily doubled with no alterations.

    Also have a handed-down recipe for the best cranberry sauce you’ve ever had*, should anyone be interested (and easy, because it can be made in microwave).

    *Online friend in Texas made it and so fell in love with it that the next year told me made double the amount and kept half back to eat instead of cereal for breakfast.

  28. 28
    The Golux says:

    @jibeaux: Pumpkin cheesecake is my suggestion as well. It’s easily my favorite cheesecake. I prefer a ginger snap crust (just use ginger snaps instead of graham crackers). When I’ve made this, I’ve taken the freshly baked hot crust and sprinkled semi-sweet chocolate chips over it. When melted, spread the chocolate evenly and let the crust cool, then fill as usual. Best. Cheesecake. Ever. And easily worth the extra ten units of insulin necessary to keep my blood glucose in check.

    Oh, and I’m almost certain those are the same cookies we’ve made on several occasions. Outrageous.

  29. 29
    cmorenc says:

    The one ingredient that would make those cookies awesomely better would put a legal smile on your face in a handful but growing number of states. I recommend lightly sauteing this extra ingredient in the oiled pan you’re going to use to mix the cookies in before baking them, which enhances the smiliness of the cookies.

  30. 30
    Persia says:

    For those of you too lazy or tired to cook – or who just doesn’t want a whole bunch of cookies to have to eat – I like this cookie in a cup. I put more salt in though.

  31. 31
    Jennifer says:

    Not a recipe but…I bet pumpkin would be yummy with a bit of grated ginger, brown sugar, and cumin, maybe top it off with some finely chopped pecans, put it in a buttered casserole, and bake.

    No idea on the proportions, oven temp, or baking time…but it sounds good, doesn’t it?

  32. 32
    waratah says:

    @dmsilev: This sounds great, I will make it this weekend.

  33. 33
    CatHairEverywhere says:

    @Schlemizel: Those look like meringues + awesomeness. I will have to try these- thanks!

  34. 34
    aimai says:


    Yeah, when we renovated the house we would have liked to be cool enough to have had barn doors put in between the two rooms but we couldn’t figure out how to fit them and I have thought about screens but the two rooms are really gorgeous together–like the kitchen is my stage and the dining room the theater, so I’m reluctant to block it off. Need the space to serve, too. I just have to be incredibly disciplined and throw all my dirty pans into a huge tub on the back porch so they can’t be seen.


  35. 35
    jurassicpork says:

    I’ve Fucking Had It (w/new original lead picture perfectly summing up the RWNJ response to Obama’s re-election).

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yeah, if it didn’t make me look my actual age, I’d probably live in a muumuu all.the.time.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Today I ordered a couple of strange and delicious-sounding dips (spreads or whatever) from a Canadian source, which I will gladly post tomorrow if anyone is as intrigued as I am. One is a Lemon-Dill-Maple, and the other is Onion-Chive-Maple. They both sound slightly grotesque, yet oddly appealing. I shall report back in a timely fashion.

  38. 38
    Joseph Nobles says:

    You know who approves of all these cookies? David Hasselhoff dressed as Captain Hook standing on top of KITT.

  39. 39
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Eating these cookies is like eating crack cookies. They are so freakin’ good (I think the addition of more brown sugar v. regular sugar helps a lot), and I gained 10-15 pounds my last year of college baking and devouring these repeatedly.

    I guess it goes without saying – bake and eat in moderation, advice which I followed quite poorly.

  40. 40
    nitpicker says:

    A “test turkey”? As if the holiday weren’t over-indulgent enough…

  41. 41
    aimai says:


    This sounds like a wonderful recipe. I am going to try it. Sounds like a vanilla version would be good with raspberries.

    Also: it occurs to me that the payard cookies would actually make a good filling for a chocolate/nut tart if you didn’t overbake them.

  42. 42
    Greyjoy says:

    It must be a night to bake. I’m making a Kentucky Pound Cake (similar to a rum cake, only with bourbon) and gingerbread cookie dough (cookies to be baked tomorrow). The house smells pretty great right now.

  43. 43
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @dexwood: Well, Bush certainly looks better than the next Republican they nominate. After Romney, I can only wonder if this is a linear or geometric progression to the bottom.

  44. 44
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:


    What you need is a moveable screen to separate the kitchen and dining area.

    Or guests that are hungry and a bit less fussy about aesthetics. I recommend teenage boys!

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    As promised. And I loves me some Chef John!

  46. 46
    karen marie says:

    @Schlemizel: Have you ever made these using sliced almonds instead of slivered?

  47. 47
    normal liberal says:

    @Schlemizel: My family also has a required cookie that uses finely grated chocolate – the simply best tool on earth for producing same is the original Microplane rasp grater, the foot-long thing that unlike their tarted-up product line,still looks like a woodworking tool. It also can’t be beat for producing lemon zest.

    I spent my childhood Christmases with raw knuckles thanks to these cookies (youngest kid gets stuck with grating duty; my brothers may have been trying to kill me via very slow exsanguination), but the resulting molasses spice cookies with chocolate are worth it.

    I will be trying your recipe for my gluten-intolerant niece. Thanks.

  48. 48
    meander says:

    I periodically make a delicious pumpkin-nut-spice brioche that would use your yolks and canned pumpkin. The recipe is from Amy Scherber of Amy’s Bread in NYC, and I got it from the hard-copy of the October 27, 1999 New York Times back when I was a subscriber. Unfortunately, the recipe doesn’t seem to be in their digital archives. It might be in one of Scherber’s cookbooks, however, and if you have access to a library with the NYT on microfilm, you could dig it up there. Or perhaps someone has included it in their food blog.

    The butter and egg yolks give the bread great body, the flavor of pumpkin is a warm background, the spices provide some zing, and the pecans give rich flavor and textural contrast. When toasted, the outside surfaces obtain a delightful crispiness that I don’t find in other breads. I imagine that it could make a base for a sublime bread pudding (and a very special one, given the effort required to make the bread).

  49. 49
    Schlemizel says:


    I think they would taste good but a big part of the allure is that these really look like wasps nests. Plus I’m a sucker for toasted almonds & chocolate!

    The basic cookie is just a meringue so you could swap out a lot of stuff & still have a decent end product.

  50. 50
    Schlemizel says:

    @karen marie:

    No, I’m sure that sliced would work just fine though. Might not have the ‘stand up’ of slivered but I don’t think it would hurt them.

  51. 51
    Schlemizel says:

    @normal liberal:

    Yeah I use something similar although in the old days it was just an ordinary box grater. Still a PItA. Your chocolate molasses cookie sound interesting, would you be willing to share?

  52. 52
    normal liberal says:

    @Schlemizel: Ah, the box grater of yore, a testament to awkward design, and so much fun to clean.

    I’m happy to share the molasses chocolate cookie, but I’ll have to hunt down my word-processed copy of the recipe. I’ll look for an open thread later today to post it. It’s not some old family secret: the recipe was published in ads from the B’rer Rabbit molasses company about fifty years ago, and called molasses jewel box cookies. It’s a molasses and cinnamon roll-out dough, to which the addition of 3 ounces of grated unsweetened chocolate does really good things.

  53. 53
    Rugosa says:

    Make a pumpkin pie special by layering 2 or 3 sliced pears in it.

  54. 54
    ThresherK says:

    SpousalUnit and I have wrangled the role of perennial after-dessert guests to very good friends (after our visit the family for dinner), and I’m looking for something new to bring to dessert-after-dessert. I have a bit of a reputation to uphold on that front.

    Those cookies may be the thing. And I didn’t even know I was looking for them!

  55. 55
    Schlemizel says:

    @normal liberal:

    I googled – it was not easy but I think this may be it & I bet you $10 you cant guess where I found the recipe!
    – – – F I R E D O G L A K E !

    Molasses Jewel Box Cookies

    1 cup butter or margarine (1)
    1 cup light molasses
    2 cups light brown sugar, packed
    4 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    teaspoon cinnamon (or a touch more)
    3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, grated (2) finely (3)
    (Optional) icing and decorations to your preferences

    Cream shortening (4), add molasses and brown sugar. Mix/beat until light. Sift flour with baking soda and cinnamon; mix into creamed mixture and blend (5). Add chocolate and mix (6). Chill for at least four hours, or overnight.

    Roll dough thinly (7) on lightly floured board. Cut (8) and place cookies on greased cookie sheet. (Or, use one of those silicone-coated baking mats that Martha so loves.)

    Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Yield (according to the original recipe) is 14 dozen 2-inch cookies (9). Decorate as your holiday preferences and patience suggest. Yield does not reflect dough pilferage (10), which in our house is often significant.

  56. 56
    normal liberal says:

    @Schlemizel: Yeah, that was me. I forgot I’d posted it there, at the very end of some abandoned thread. I bailed on the Lake some time ago.
    Those parenthetical numbers refer to footnotes, but that’s the gist. Note 8 refers to the fact that you can treat these like refrigerator cookies – form dough logs, chill them, and slice thinly. It’s a reasonable alternative if you’re not in the mood to break out the rolling pin, cookie cutters, etc.

    They’re my favorite, so I’ve become a little evangelical about them. My brothers don’t seem to make them much any more.

    Edited to note that the footnotes are also posted in that long-ago Pull Up A Chair FDL thread, for anyone inclined.

  57. 57
    Original Lee says:

    Late to the party, but these pumpkin donuts are pretty tasty and should use up a lot of that puree.

  58. 58
    narya says:

    I replace some of the fat in carrot cake with pumpkin (and I use butter, not oil). Pumpkin flan also works, and can be made dairy-free if needed. Very good with gingered sugared pecans. Also, pumpkin bechamel with spinach is good, either on pasta or in lasagna.

Comments are closed.