Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate Sparkle cookies for the holidays (gluten-free, dairy-free)!

I am madly baking for the holidays, are you?  I love to have a few homemade sweets ready to take to a party hostess, to reciprocate for the friend who gives you an unexpected gift, or just to get me into a holiday mood!

These Chocolate Sparkle cookies were shared with me at a holiday party, so I'm sharing in turn.  They're gluten-free, almost soy-free (a small amount of soy lecithin is in chocolate) and dairy-free (sorry, they're not egg-free or nut-free) and simple to make. Chocolaty delicious and rich-tasting, they're crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and oh so pretty on a holiday table!  NOTE: the dough needs to rest in the fridge for at LEAST 8 hours, so make the dough the night before you want to serve them.  Also, because there are few ingredients, the quality of the chocolate is key to the taste.  Use the best chocolate available to you, Belgian (Callebaut) and French (Valrhona) are best.  If European chocolate is unavailable in your area, you can of course use Nestle's semisweet chips.  Please just don't use Baker's chocolate, that stuff will produce a flat-tasting cookie.


Chocolate Sparkle Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen 1-1/2" cookies

8 oz. (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate (I use Callebaut)
3 Tablespoons shortening (I use Spectrum organic, but you can use butter or margarine if your diet allows it)
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup sugar for rolling
powdered sugar for garnish

1. Melt the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler over simmering water.  Set aside to cool.
2. In an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on a medium speed, then gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar while increasing the mixing speed.   Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow and thickens, and drops into ribbons.  This should take about 3 minutes at high speed.  Fold in the chocolate mixture.
3. Gently fold in ground almonds and mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined thoroughly.  Put the dough in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at LEAST 8 hours, or overnight.
4. When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (do NOT use waxed paper, it will melt!  Grease the pan if you don't have parchment).
5. Put the 1/4 granulated sugar into a pie pan or plate.  Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough, rolling between your palms to form 1" balls and drop them into the granulated sugar.  (Your hands will melt the dough a little, don't be alarmed!)  Make enough to fill one baking sheet at a time.  If you need to take a break, put the dough back into the fridge.
6. Bake until the center of the cookies is no longer wet, 9-12 minutes.  Test cookies for doneness once the tops crack, but don't let them bake too long or they'll be dry.  Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
7. When slightly cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

Save in an airtight container.
Recipe from the LA Times
Happy holidays from the Food Allergy Queen!


Anonymous said...

Oh, these look great! I can't have them, but they look like perfect Christmas cookies for my best friend who's celiac!

Food Allergy Queen said...

Thanks icanteatspinach, they are yummy! I was stuffing them in my mouth as I was shooting them...."oh, that one is broken, oh, that one is shaped funny..."

I looked at your list of avoids to try and suggest a different dessert for you. It looks like you avoid additional sugar (both cane and beet?), but can have the naturally-occurring sugar in fruit? Can you have things sweetened with applesauce? How do you do with agave?


Maggie said...

These look phenomenal! Can't wait to try them. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!!! I am technically OK to have added sugars now (except for honey), so I've been going through a bunch of allergy desserts last night myself. It was very exciting, I'm trying gingerbread cookies and carrot cake today! We'll see how that works out! I will certainly share recipes if it does!

Valerie D said...

It doesn't say when to add the chocolate. I'm assuming that's when you add the almonds, yes? Can't wait to give them a try.

Food Allergy Queen said...

Valerie, I am so sorry! User error! Yes, fold in the chocolate after the eggs/sugar and before the almond flour. I'll change the recipe. Thanks for catching that. :)


PS. Even my non-allergic friends liked these, hope you do too!

Elaine said...

As a non-allergic friend of the FAQ I can verify that these cookies are WONDERFUL. My family bakes extensively and we all loved them. Nice work FAQ!

Anonymous said...

I would love to try these, they look sooo very good. The only problem is that my soy allergy is extreme. Is there any place you have found a chocolate without soy?

Food Allergy Queen said...

Enjoy Life foods has a soy-free chocolate chips but I haven't tried them:

Another reader buys kosher chocolate chips during Passover, but I'm not sure of the brand. Good luck!


Unknown said...

CAn I substitute the almonds for either tapioca, corn, or potato flour? We have nut, grain, and sorgum alleries.

WOW - just found this site - THANKS!

Linda said...

So glad to have found you and look forward to 'seeing' you on FB! Happy holidays--Linda

Food Allergy Queen said...

Unknown -- sorry, you can't substitute a starch for these because they'd be too soft. Try the peanut butter cookie recipe on here instead. Go to the word cloud and click on "Recipes".

Linda, thanks for your sweet note.