We’ve had a couple of crazy snow days and this recipe was one of those extras that I suddenly had time to try because driving anywhere was not exactly an option.  Borrowed from Smitten Kitchen, these are absolutely delightful, and have the added bonus of being gluten-free!  This also happens to be the very first recipe in Food52’s Genius Desserts! – enjoy!

Chocolate Walnut Cookies

2 and 3/4 c. walnut halves, toasted, cooled and roughly chopped

3 c. icing sugar

1/2 c. + 3 T. cocoa

1/2 t. kosher salt

4 egg whites, room temperature

1 T. vanilla

sea salt flakes to finish (if you wish)

Preheat oven to 325 and position 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven, then line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

Using your electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together on low speed the icing sugar, cocoa and salt and then add in all of the walnuts.  Increase the speed to medium and add in the egg whites and vanilla and beat just until the mix has moistened.

Spoon the batter onto your baking sheets in evenly spaced tablespoon-sized mounds – you’ll need to give the batter regular stirs in an effort to equalize the walnuts between batter mounds.  They won’t all be perfect, just try your best.  Allow the uncooked mounds to rest on the baking sheets for about 30 minutes if you have the time.  Bake for 14 minutes and then remove them from the oven and carefully slide each entire piece of parchment with the cookies intact onto a baking rack(s) to cool completely.  Sprinkle with sea salt…if you remember!

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