These incredibly decadent spiced chocolate cookies are gorgeous, delicious, and completely gluten free.
Christmas cookies are a tradition in my household. Over the years, my mum and I have tinkered with and created a bunch of incredible recipes. They are all made only one time of the year, and are given as gifts to our family and friends – so they need to be very special. These chocolate snowball cookies are a rather new addition to our repertoire, but have still been practiced and perfected for many years.
The base of these cookies is actually just ground almonds. You can buy ground almonds in the bulk section of most grocery stores, but if you have whole, raw almonds in excess, a quick few pulses in a food processor should do the trick (make sure they are finely ground with no big pieces). I actually think these might be my favourite Christmas cookies. I love the chewy texture of them and their insane choclatety-ness. They also have such a unique, winter-y flavour courtesy of the cardamom and orange zest.
Nobody in my family is gluten-free, but it is always nice to have a gluten free option for your holiday guests! And you would seriously never know with these cookies. I think that their flourless-ness is more of a means to an incredible chewy texture rather than an actual dietary adaptation. Regardless, I though it was great idea when I first started adapting this recipe!
Finally, these flourless chocolate snowball cookies freeze like a dream (fully baked) for up to 1 month. I am planning to do 5 different Christmas cookies for my holiday treat boxes this year, so these of course are the first ones I made. I just through them in the freezer and move on to the more finicky and time consuming recipes.
Flourless Chocolate Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (about 1 large naval orange)
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 225g (8oz) semi sweet bakers chocolate
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- Melt chocolate on a double boiler and set aside to cool to room temperature
- Whisk almonds and cocoa in a small bowl with cardamom, orange zest, and baking soda until the orange zest is well dispersed
- In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric beater for 2 minutes (until light and creamy)
- Beat egg and vanilla into butter and sugar
- Add cooled chocolate and stir
- Fold the dry almond mixture into the wet ingredients until completely combined
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ and set up 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- Prepare 2 small bowls, one with icing sugar and one with granulated sugar.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, it should be from enough that you can roll piece in your hands
- Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and dip the balls first in granulated sugar, and then in icing sugar. Make sure to cover completely. Place them on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart
- Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Tip: These freeze super well for up to 1 month! I like to make these ones earlier on in the Christmas season and pop them in the freezer for later.