From Gail's Kitchen


These cookies have intense chocolate flavour (heightened by the addition of espresso powder) and a great consistency. And they’re been made relatively healthy with the use of coconut sugar (available at natural foods stores) and whole-grain oat flour. You can also replace the butter with coconut oil. (You’d better like coconut, though, because a bit of coconutty flavour will be imparted.) And if there are nut allergies among your friends or family, simply replace the pecans with 3/4 cup of dried fruit. I purchase only fairly traded chocolate and espresso coffee. It’s something you might want to consider, as well.

Makes about 30 cookies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into small chunks
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tsp finely ground espresso or instant espresso powder
3 large eggs
2/3 cup coconut sugar, light brown sugar or granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole-grain oat flour, spelt flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces or halves (or 3/4 cup raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit)

Line the bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fill a large saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Place the saucepan on the stove and bring to a simmer so the water is gently bubbling. In a medium or large stainless steel or tempered glass bowl, add the unsweetened chocolate, ¾ cup of the chocolate chips and the butter. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

Using an oven mitt to hold the bowl, stir the chocolate mixture occasionally with a heat-proof spatula until the chocolate and butter are melted, about 5 minutes. Place the bowl on the counter. Stir in the espresso powder; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until lightened and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until well blended. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture. Blend using a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in the pecans and the remaining ¾ cup of chocolate chips.

Drop the batter by generously heaping tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in a 350º F oven until the tops of the cookies are glossy and tiny holes begin to appear on the surface, about 9 minutes for gooey-centered cookies and 11 minutes (cookies will be slightly firm when lightly touched) for cookies that are a bit firmer.