Mmm chocolate!

I have people coming over tomorrow night and I wanted some sweets to add to the cheese and crackers that I’m putting out – but after an extended holiday season filled with chocolate making I was a bit stumped as to what to make. I ended up coming across recipes for Chocolate Espresso Cookies from Bake or Break and Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers from Smitten Kitchen…but I had a few hitches along the way…

Chocolate Espresso Cookies

I tried to follow the recipe as closely as possible but I had a few hitches: first, I ran out of eggs. I had miscounted how many I had left vs how many I needed to make the two recipes and was short. My solution was to use the 4 egg whites called for in the gluten-free financiers (below) and put the 4 remaining egg yolks in the cookies to use as the “2 large eggs” that the recipe calls for. Well I’m not sure if it was the eggs or the recipe itself but I got a very, very dry mixture:

A second, confounding factor may be the fact that I don’t own an electric mixer – I just have a hand chopper/beater thingy (how’s that for descriptive eh?). But I was able to save the cookies! I added 1 cup of cold, brewed coffee to add some liquid in (3/4 cup may have been enough in retrospect). The dough mixed up to a sticky paste which I wrapped in saran wrap and stuck in the fridge.

I didn’t wait the 4 hours that the recipe called for, instead I started rolling out the 1″ balls (I got 36 exactly) about an hour later – the dough was less sticky but the perfect consistency for the balls to hold together without trouble.

They baked up quickly – just over 10 minutes at 350 degrees. I sifted icing sugar over the tops of them when they were done and I think I like how they turned out (my guests will be my true “testers” tomorrow night):

Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers

Some of my guests are gluten intolerant so I bought things like rice crackers rather than wheat crackers to put out with the cheese – but I also wanted them to have a sweet option. Some of the gluten-free recipes I came across were downright intimidating with ingredients I not only had never heard of but could also not pronounce – thankfully Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Financiers seemed straight-forward enough for me to follow. I couldn’t find any almond flour but luckily had read her solution of using ground almonds and found some in the bulk section of the grocery store.

Mixing up the ingredients was a lot easier than it had been for the espresso cookies, my little red hand mixer seemed to work well:

I did run into a bit of a hitch when I realized that the recipe called for financier or mini muffin tins but I just used my regular sized ones and filled them half way or less. I was also momentarily thrown by the direction to “grease and flour” the pan and actually saw myself reaching for the flour until it dawned on me that it would defeat the “gluten-free” attempt I was making. I wasn’t sure what the purpose of flouring the pan would be so I threw some of the ground almonds into the bottom of the muffin tins for the first batch – I didn’t do this for the second batch and the bottoms were fine so I’m not sure if there’s really a need.

The financiers popped out from the muffin tins really easily and looked like little pucks. But they don’t taste solid and hard – as a friend of mine pointed out, they’re alot like two-bite brownies.

I had decided ahead of time to double the recipe because 15 didn’t seem like enough – and I’m glad I did. Even with the doubling I only got 22!! And I was stretching the last 2…probably has something to do with using the larger tins.

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