Experimental Cookie Semi-Failures

It’s that cookie-baking time of the year (happy Solstice, by the way, and I hope your Saturnalia is going well), so I threw together a couple of flour-free recipes. I’m not entirely satisfied, and I’ll tell you why.

Miscellaneous cookies, miscellaneous quality.
Miscellaneous cookies, miscellaneous quality.

The first cookies I made were the flourless peanut butter cookies. Many recipes abounded all over the web, from a three-ingredient version (1 cup PB, 1 egg, 1 cup sugar) to some a bit more detailed. But all of the recipes bragged about the cookies being moist and chewy.

roll, squish
roll, squish

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies:
1 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup Splenda (or 1 cup sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda

Roll into balls, flatten with a fork, then bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°.

These cookies aren’t moist. They aren’t chewy. They are kind of … soft, in a way. But when you bite into one, they fall apart into a sort of gummy cookie dust. The flavor is good, it’s just the texture that needs help. You definitely need a beverage on hand to wash these down.

The chocolate peanut butter cookies are the same recipe, with the following additions:
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

I hoped to make a milk-chocolatey flavor addition. Clearly it wasn’t enough cocoa, because you can barely taste any chocolate flavor. and even with the inclusion of the cream, these cookies are even drier than the regular ones. Back to the drawing board!

Now, onward to the white fluffy cookies. They’re actually meringues, which may or may not techically be a cookie, but I’m calling them cookies anyway.

stiff peaks
stiff peaks

Coconut Meringues:
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup Splenda (or 1/2 cup sugar)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Add the sweetener/sugar and extracts, beat to stiff, glossy peaks. Gently fold in the coconut. Drop onto parchment paper. Bake at 225° for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave the pan in there for another hour.

These came out the best of the bunch. They’re just as crumbly and delicate as the peanut butter cookies, but merinuges are supposed to be that way. I’ve made these in other flavors before as well; just replace the extracts with any non-oil flavorings you like. Non-oil because once I tried them with peppermint oil, and learned that any oil or fat will deflate the egg whites.

On the good side, I just got a new hand mixer. Not only does it have the traditional mixer doodads, it also came with a whisk attachment. Which made whipping up egg whites awesomely fun. I’d had the old mixer for almost 15 years, so it was definitely time to upgrade.