Flourless salted almond chocolate cookies

date02.07.14

Salted Almond Chocolate Cookies

Spoiler alert: Today’s post is brought to you by the letter C as in Chocolate and the number 1,000,000 as in how many total page views we hit last week!

When I first started this blog in January two years ago (TWO YEARS AGO?!), we were taking photos with our point and shoot camera on our coffee table at night with the overhead lights shining from every direction in multiple colors. Lucas would then spend WAYYYY too much time editing them in Photoshop to make the food look remotely edible. Most of the time it still didn’t! Yuck, what is this? Delicious, but you’d never know by looking at these pictures. I had a standard WordPress theme that really didn’t do anything I wanted it to. That feels like decades ago. About a month in, we discovered that food styling really was a thing, natural light was our best friend, and Adobe Lightroom was way easier. This realization started my love affair with leftovers. As you can see…we still had a ways to go.

At some point in those first few months, we borrowed a dSLR from Lucas’s work and felt the power of control. Control over depth of field, light, and so much more. And even though my most popular post to date - pepperoni pizza quesadillas - was a product of our trusty point-and-shoot + iPhone, I dreamed about owning my own. Once I felt like I’d outgrown my camera’s features, we upgraded to a Canon 5d Mark II in May 2012…that had way more bells and whistles than I could figure out. On the day I took my first food photos with the dSLR, I specifically remember chatting my friend Buddy, “it turns out I don’t know how to use the camera…I need a tutorial.” He was so patient – I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Zero. Zip. Nada. It’s like tossing a kid who doesn’t know how to swim into the deep end and saying “swim!” Except I didn’t drown.

Six months after starting the blog – to mark my 100th post - we launched our self-hosted dot com with a custom theme (built by my talented husband who watched hours of video to figure out how to build it – In our wedding vows, I did say he can make or do anything). In the past year and a half, I’ve learned so much – about cooking, about blogging, about photographing food, about editing photos. And much of that is from you, my readers, and your thoughtful feedback.

Salted Almond Chocolate Cookies

This post marks another milestone in Snixy Kitchen history - 1 MILLION page views! And we’re going to celebrate with chocolate cookies. With a little salt and almonds. Because we’re fancy like that.

Things have come a long way since  the birth of Snixy Kitchen, and I owe so much thanks to you all for sticking with me (especially when I left you hanging with huge lags in posting during my qualifying exams and wedding). To thank you for your support, comments, and love that got me to a million, I’m hosting a chocolate-y giveaway (entry and details below).

I spent a long time wavering over what to do with my old posts…the ones with pictures that leave way too much to the imagination. I felt so sad for the recipes that inspired this start of my blog – they are the ones that mean the most to me and the ones I use the most frequently and they hardly got their time to shine. I could just delete them and start over, but then what about all those stories I told? The stories that give the food life. It feels kinda rude to just trash those moments. So, instead, I’m revisiting these old recipes, revising the steps and updating the pictures. I’ll keep the old text, sometimes adding a few sentences, building on the story of the dish. You’ll see these scattered throughout my upcoming recipes (don’t worry all original links will still lead to the recipe).

Starting with a makeover for my dad’s spicy green beans! Look at that – before, these comforting simple green beans were just a blur in the background of a strange picture of…something sorta resembling chicken. Progress feels good, folks.

Dad's Spicy Green Beans 
                 January 2012                                                   February 2014
 

Time for these flourless salted almond chocolate cookies. Many of you have heard me talk about my namesake Sarah before – even though she might try to deny it, she’s a wonder in the kitchen. And she does it with such ease. She can look at a recipe and instantly tell if she’s going to like it or what it’s missing. Leveraging her kitchen skills, I asked if she’d be in charge of the cookie table for our wedding. Many of the women in our family and my mom’s best gal pals brought a few dozen of their time-tested homemade cookies to share on a dessert table for our wedding – so many delicious cookies (and with the scorching temperatures, they all tasted fresh out of the oven too – ha!).

Sarah’s daughter Sofia made a plate of my favorite Mexican Wedding Cookies,  and Sarah whipped up a variation of this dark chocolate flourless cookie. Things went by so quickly at the wedding that I didn’t even get to try them – in fact, after cutting the cake, I didn’t step foot in the dessert area (up on the deck) again (shocking!). There definitely weren’t any of these cookies left the next day, so they were obviously popular. For her version, she rolled them in powdered sugar instead of the salted almond topping. Since I just posted loads of stories and pictures of our wedding, I thought a wedding-inspired cookie would pair well.

Salted Almond Chocolate Cookies

When I first went to make a batch of these cookies, Sarah and my mom sipped wine at the kitchen table. I tossed questions Sarah’s way to make sure I got it all just right. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, she said, but 5 minutes in, the whole house smelled burnt. When I pulled them out of the oven, the bottoms were charcoal black while the tops/middles still wet. This, after I’d just burned a batch of champagne lollipops. Not to mention having burned several batches of cookies over the past few months. Imagine steam coming out of my ears that cued an 11pm trip to the grocery store to pick up an oven thermometer. When some very scientific tests proved that the oven temperature wasn’t the issue, it dawned on me that my cookie-burning karma started shortly after I got these new dark non-stick baking sheets.

I tossed in another batch – following the recipe exactly the same – using my old uncoated baking sheet (it’s really the 9×12 bottom of my roasting pan, but in our old house, it was the only thing that fit in the itty-bitty oven). Both times I used parchment paper, but the second batch came out perfect. Lots of people have success with the dark non-stick baking sheets, so I’m not sure why they gave me problems, but my hypothesis is that the issue lies in a combination of my gas oven and the dark pans. I’ve since inherited my late grandma’s baking sheets (ones that she got used from the University she worked at in the 80s). More tests are needed. I’ll report back.

Salted Almond Chocolate Cookies

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “I thought you didn’t like chocolate?” Short story: it’s growing on me. Long story: A few months ago, I was having one heck of a day – nothing particularly momentous happened, but I was fed up with one too many minor annoyances. And for some reason I found myself at the market during the time when every old person in Berkeley shops…slowly. When I finally reached the check-out line, I was greeted by a bucket of miniature chocolate squares – sea salt and almond chocolates from Lake Champlain. Impulse therapy buy. Drown my frustration in chocolate. I’m here, as someone who declares a strong dislike of chocolate, to tell you, “this is some wicked good chocolate.” That means something. And, of course, the next time I went to the market, I had to test another to make sure…and another…and another. When my mom came to visit, I grabbed two more while checking out and handed one to her. She took a bite and stopped in her tracks in the parking lot, “THIS is the chocolate you need to buy me from now on.” The wedding of salt, almonds, and chocolate is addicting.

So to put my own twist on Sarah’s recipe, I drew upon this tiny chocolate bar for inspiration. Flourless salted almond dark chocolate cookies. These few-ingredient morsels are coated with a light sprinkling of fleur de sel that balances the rich deep dark chocolate to make the sweetness pop. Salt makes sugar taste better. Period. I think I’ll be putting salt on all my chocolate confections from here on out. Or maybe even all my desserts. Scroll down for the recipe.

Lake Champlain Chocolate

Now for the giveaway! I want to share my new favorite chocolate with you, my dear readers. One reader will receive: Two bars of Lake Champlain’s Organic Sea Salt and Almond Chocolate. And so you can make your very own salted almond chocolate cookies, I’m coupling the chocolate bars with 10oz of Lake Champlain’s Organic Fair Trade Unsweetened Cocoa. Note: This giveaway is not affiliated with Lake Champlain Chocolates in any way and all opinions are my own.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Ruta from Mix it Up for winning the chocolate-y prize box!

Flourless salted almond chocolate cookies
Author: 
Yields: 1½ dozen medium cookies (18)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (divided into ⅔ cup for melting and ⅓ cup for mixing in whole)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1-1/3 cups powdered sugar (divided into ½ cup for mixing with the egg whites and ½ + ⅓ cup for mixing with the dry ingredients)
  • ⅓ cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • A pinch kosher salt
  • For topping: about ½ dry roasted almonds
  • For topping: about ¼-½ teaspoon fleur de sel (or sea salt)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt ⅔ cup of the dark chocolate chips over a double broiler, stirring constantly. (Alternatively, melt them in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, for about 2 minutes).
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites over medium speed until soft peaks form.
  4. With the beaters going, slowly mix in ½ cup of the powdered sugar and keep beating until the mixture resembles fluffy marshmallow creme.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together rest of the powdered sugar (1/2 + ⅓ cup), cocoa powder, cornstarch, and kosher salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture.
  6. Stir in the melted chocolate and the other ⅓ cup of chocolate chips until combined.
  7. Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to drop a tablespoon balls of dough  about 2-inches apart on the baking sheet.
  8. Top with almonds and bake until puffed up and beginning to crack, 10 minutes.
  9. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle with fleur de sel and transfer them to a rack to cool.

More from Snixy Kitchen

Filed Under: , , , , , , , ,

91 Comments

  1. SSSV says:

    I’m working up the courage to try to spatchcock a chicken! Even just writing it is intimidating but I will get to it sometime this year! There. I’ve said it. Now I have to do it!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Woah! I’ve never tried that, but please let me know when you do! (Don’t forget to log your entry in the Rafflecopter widget above!:)

      • SSSV says:

        I know. It’s crazy. But I’ve been reading about it and I think I can do it! I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for 2 years, I must have come across your site right from the beginning because I swear it’s been longer than that – huge congratulations! I’ve dreamt of starting my own food blog for years… who knows, maybe I’ll get to that this year too. :) I’ll keep you posted!

  2. Kristen says:

    Love to perfect crispy skin on a roast chicken, on BOTH sides of the chicken. Many tasty tries have been had and progress is being made, but still work to do to get it perfect!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Oh man – my husband just made some SUPER crispy (on both sides) chicken thighs this week. We’ll post the recipe soon! Thanks for coming by my blog:)

  3. Mariana says:

    I’d like to learn how to make creme brûlée and safely use a kitchen torch!

  4. Chris says:

    I’d like to learn how to make a delicious chili.

  5. Melissa says:

    Congrats on all the milestones Sarah!

  6. Angela says:

    I want to learn to make pho and ramen from scratch!

  7. Jessica says:

    Those cookies look awesome! Congrats on this milestone, Sarah! I’d love to find an awesome crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside salmon recipe. I make fish surprisingly rarely considering I’m a pescetarian!

  8. Tyler says:

    I want to master the art of candy making. And I will make us pounds and pounds of candy. Every day.

  9. Lisa says:

    I want to learn how to make a macaroon

  10. Spike says:

    Steak in a pan, because I don’t have a grill or a cast-iron skillet

  11. Cathi Ingold says:

    I have been looking for healthy sweets to make! These look and sound delish:) I hope I can win being in San Diego

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Yup – you’re definitely qualified:) If you haven’t already, be sure to log your entry in the Rafflecopter box above so it gets included in the random generator!

  12. Ann says:

    I’m very beginner in the kitchen and would love to be able to flip stuff.

  13. Susan Christy says:

    I’ve been cooking for years, but am still not good at chopping things finely. My knife skills could use some work!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      I was just saying to my husband, “HOW do the people on Top Chef chop so quickly and finely??!” I’m always worried I’ll cut my fingers off!

  14. Katie says:

    I would really love to cook fish. I would like to do something like maybe cod with a seasoned coating and a creamy lemon sauce. I don’t know were to begin!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      MMM – that’s my favorite way to prepare fish. We do a brown butter and lemon sauce over sole – I’ll have to share that recipe soon! (PS. If you haven’t already, be sure to log your entry in the Rafflecopter box above so it gets included in the random generator!)

  15. Shalini says:

    I want to make cake balls that don’t look weird and lumpy. The last time I tried they were all oddly shape :(

  16. Cailee says:

    I would love to make a super healthy grain-free bread. I’m gluten intolerant and I would really enjoy a healthy, TASTY bread!! YUM!!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      YES! Me too! I just bought Gluten-Free on a Shoestring’s bread cookbook and I’m working up the nerve to try it. Thanks for entering my giveaway! (PS. If you haven’t already, be sure to log your entry in the Rafflecopter box above so it gets included in the random generator!)

  17. Dane says:

    I want to master knife skills, like a boss.

  18. Sheri says:

    I want to learn to love to bake…again…

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      I’d be happy to host another baking weekend! (PS. Be sure to log your entry in the rafflecopter box above so it counts!)

  19. Melissa says:

    I’d love to perfect a moist chocolate cake, mine always end up a little too dry for my liking.

  20. itzia says:

    I’d love to gain some knife skills. total newbie here

  21. kate says:

    I want to be able to poach an egg properly. I always get nervous and overcook them.

  22. debikayo says:

    Self control around chocolate! :) I’ve been cooking for 40 some years, and I still can’t do a decent even dice with a knife. Can’t be bothered to be patient i guess. :)

  23. Linda K. says:

    I want to learn how to deep fry (without burning down the house!)

  24. Jen says:

    I want to learn to perfect meat! ..and learn all about the different cuts.

  25. Oh jeez… that’s an impossible question… there are so many skills I still want to learn. The latest obsession is my friend and I want to learn basic butchering skills. We know a butcher through a mutual friend and are thinking of buying a whole pig to learn how to break it down. I’m totally excited and equally scared and intimidated by it!

    Congrats on the 1 million page views! What an accomplishment! And these cookies look amazing!

  26. Lisa Becker says:

    I would like to learn to make some easy weeknight meals for someone who commutes–I get home around 6:00 or 6:30 and would love to have some meals in the fridge ready to heat up. Do you have any great crock pot recipes that are healthy and yummy? I could also make some meals on the weekends and save them for the weeknight…any ideas would be wonderful!

  27. Nicole Podesta says:

    Egg poaching….it’s my favorite way to eat eggs!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Mine too! I love how smooth they are when they’re poached. Sometimes when I’m too lazy to poach, I do what I call “lazy man’s half poached egg” where I crack it in a hot pan, then quickly put 1-2 teaspoons of water on top and cover it for a minute. It gives a very similar texture without all the fuss!

  28. Rachel says:

    SInce Im allergic to Chicken and Turkey, I have never attempted to cook either bird. This leaves my husband very sad. So.. I’d love to learn.

  29. karen says:

    I’d like to learn how to make Indian food more authentically

  30. Alison says:

    I’d love to get sushi rice to taste like the real thing- somehow it usually just isn’t quite right- probably due to lack of proper rinsing, fanning, (time) etc. that is required

  31. Nicole says:

    I want to learn to get my pan temperature and amount of oil right so I can cook without nonstick pans!

  32. Jenny G says:

    I’d love to perfect the skill of making the perfect steak either on the grill or in a cast iron pan. I never get it quite right!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      This is one of the things in the kitchen my husband is so good at. Do you use a thermometer when you do it? I found that that greatly reduces the margin of error for us (then we don’t have to worry about undercooking it…which ultimately leads us to overcooking it!:)

  33. Dee says:

    I’d love to learn how to make a flaky pie crust.

  34. Michelle C says:

    I want to learn how to make the perfect sunny side up egg!

  35. maureen says:

    I would love to know how to make a souffle.
    Actually I would also love to cook better–in general.

  36. Madeline says:

    I’d like to learn how to make the perfect poached egg!

  37. How to flip an omelette!

  38. Maxine says:

    Lightening fast chopping skills!

  39. Buddy says:

    I want to learn how to make yummy food in batch so that I can eat it for the rest of the week without it turning gross.

  40. Nancy says:

    How to bake!

  41. Kelly says:

    I need to get better with knife skills! P.S. – That box looks familiar! :)

  42. David says:

    I need to get and use cheesecloths.

  43. Kathleen says:

    I’d like to get better at “eyeball-ing” measurements!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      I remember when I first started baking that my mom’s best friend would tell me “yeah, just eyeball it” and I’d be like…but what does that MEAN? Like a teaspoon? Like 1/4 cup?? Haha.

  44. Melissa says:

    I would like to learn how to make pasta!

  45. Phi says:

    Being able to slice veggies and meats perfectly and the same way each time regardless of the consistency of the food product.

  46. Sofie says:

    I want to be able to comfortably cook different meats and know when they are done!

  47. Shannon C says:

    A poached egg!

  48. Liz Blunt says:

    I’ve never tried to make yeast breads. I’ve never worked with yeast, but I’d like to.

  49. Bonnie Eng says:

    I am so happy you messaged me on my blog. Your site is such a find! And 1 million hits!? How amazing is that!? Congrats on your success!!

  50. Terri B says:

    I would like to learn to make yeast breads.

  51. Evra Baldinger says:

    I want to get really good at looking in the fridge and whipping up an awesome meal (that my family will eat) in less than an hour using whatever I find. :)

  52. Linda says:

    This is the “year of the pie”. I want to master pie crust and pie baking this year. I tend to avoid making pies to avoid the prep work and disappointments in pie crust. I want to conquer that skill and become fearless about pies.

  53. Annette says:

    I want to learn how to cut up a whole chicken. I get stuck at the leg/thigh and can’t find the joint where I’m supposed to place the knife.

  54. Katie T. says:

    I am still trying to perfect gluten-free baking! It’s been a struggle since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 2 months ago… but these cookies look perfect! I love the naturally gluten-free dessert recipes like these gorgeous cookies.

  55. Angela Young says:

    Also trying to perfect gluten-free baking.

  56. Jenny says:

    i would like to learn how to make sauces. i love spices and am tired of relying on bottles sauces.

  57. Miriam says:

    I want to master a homemade puff pastry! no more pre-made frozen crusts/shells.

  58. Amy L says:

    I’d really like to learn to master pie crust. I’m a pretty good baker, but for some reason I have trouble with pies.

  59. Brian says:

    The kitchen skill I want to learn most would be hand tossing pizza dough. I like making pizzas but I always press the dough into the pizza pan.

  60. Kira says:

    Yum! If Sarah who doesn’t like chocolate likes these they must be heaven for us chocoholics!

  61. Cathi Ingold says:

    To bake sweet treats with healthy ingredients!

  62. Christopher says:

    How to prepare a turtle for turtle soup.

Leave a comment