Chewy Chocolate Cookies from The Ballard Inn
Nestled among the bucolic vineyards and horse ranches of the Santa Ynez Valley, The Ballard Inn has remained a sought-after romantic getaway for nearly half a century. For many of those years, the morning chef at The Ballard Inn (Florina) baked delicious cookies that the innkeepers delivered to the guest rooms each evening as a part of the inn’s nightly turndown service. Florina’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies were a favorite among staff and guests alike. It’s the perfect cookie to enjoy on a cold day by the fire with a warm cup of coffee.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, the cookies are also ideal for sharing with your sweetheart. These dense and gooey treats combine chocolate and coffee, both of which are touted as aphrodisiacs.
The cookie is full of contradictions, managing to be stick-to-your-teeth chewy and reminiscent of a fudge brownie while containing almost no fat. With only six ingredients, most of which are probably already waiting in the pantry, it’s the perfect combination of quick, easy, and addictively delicious.
The recipe forgoes any chemical leavening, instead getting all its lift from whipped egg whites. It’s also versatile. With only two tablespoons of flour in the entire recipe, it’s easy to make gluten-free without changing the texture or flavor. The recipe can even be made vegan by substituting aquafaba (the water from cooked or canned chickpeas) for the egg whites.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies
Courtesy of The Ballard Inn
Makes 18 cookies
- 4 egg whites (about ½ cup, preferably room temperature)
- 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and grease the paper.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy.
Sift the sugar, cocoa, flour, and coffee into the whites. Add the water and continue beating on low speed to blend, then on high for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. With a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts.
Spoon the mixture onto the prepared sheets using a one-ounce scoop, making sure to leave at least one inch between cookies. Bake until firm and cracked on the top but soft on the inside, 12 to 15 minutes. With a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.