Payard Flourless Chocolate Cookies

March 15, 2009

A couple of months ago in Desserts Magazine I saw this recipe for flourless cookies. With the following description “Their crackled surface gives them an elegant look, and because they are so easy and take barely any time to make, they are perfect for last minute entertaining” I immediately bookmarked them as a must try recipe for Passover. Easy flourless cookies for the holiday on which we avoid flour and never have enough time for all the cooking seemed like the perfect combination.

This recipe certainly lived up to its description. The thin chewy cookies are both quick to make and absolutely delicious. They taste like a brownie in cookie form, intensely chocolatey and completely satisfying. I will be making these not only on Passover but all year long when I need a quick, last minute dessert. They are even faster than brownies made from a mix! Additionally, they do not have any fat in them besides the nuts, which I appreciate because I am trying to use less margarine (especially passover margarine) these days due to health concerns.

I misread the recipe and only used 3 egg whites rather and the 4 it calls for, and I thought the cookies were outstanding, so try it either way. A great cookie on so many levels! 

Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

(From Chocolate Epiphany)

  • 2 3/4 cups (272 g) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped 
  • 3 cups Passover confectioners’ sugar* 
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature 
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 


Preheat oven to 350. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk (or combine in an electric mixer on low speed) the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder, salt and chopped walnuts. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract , and whisk or beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Do not overbeat or it will stiffen.

Using an ice cream scoop or a generous tablespoon spoon the batter onto the baking sheets, 5 per sheet, leaving 3 inches between each mound so that they have room to spread.  If there is additional batter wait until the first batch comes out of the oven before scooping the rest of the cookies.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks. Let cookies cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*If Kosher for Passover confectioners sugar is unavailable use this recipe here to make your own.

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  1. I was looking for a quick flourless cookie recipe and this fit the bill. But, I did give it a bit of a Mexican twist– added 1 t. chipotle powder, 2 t. cinnamon, and 1/2 t. cayenne. Chocolate with a bit of a bite. Yum!

  2. I love your website and I’m excited about trying some Pesach recipes! I have a question about this one – do you think it can be made without the nuts, or do the cookies depend on them for structure? Could I substitute mini-chocolate chips instead?
    Thanks for all these great recipes!

    • I think these cookies do depend on the nuts for structure. If you decide to try them without do let us know how it goes, but I suspect they may not come out right. If you are looking for a great flourless chocolate cookie that doesn’t need nuts I would highly recommend these. I have made many different versions of these cookies, substituting the mint lentils with plain chocolate lentils, candied orange peel, more chocolate chips, or any other additions you can think of. That would be a safer bet if you want a cookie that will be sure to come out well without nuts. Enjoy!

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