Flourless Sparkling Chocolate Cookies

Today is the final day of SSS—A Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts. (I know it’s sad, but not to worry . . . we’re never short of treats here at gfe.) Chocolate is often synonymous with Valentine’s Day, and, well, love … quite honestly. Gosh, I can’t imagine why that would be, can you? (Okay, this is one of those times where a sarcasm font would sure come in handy!) I have only included a small amount of chocolate in the SSS roundup so far … the mini chocolate chips in Monday’s recipe—Surprise Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. So I’m here today to share two lovely chocolate treats.

As you all have figured out, I love to bake. I especially love to bake cookies. Well, we’ve gone all week without a cookie recipe, so let’s fix that right now by giving you a rich, “make-you-fall-in-love” chocolate cookie recipe. I’m not talking about falling in love with another person. I’m talking about falling in love with this cookie. Is it really so wrong to love a cookie? There’s no need to buy a card or send flowers after all. Of course, if someone bakes these cookies and presents them to you for Valentine’s Day, you may actually fall in love with that person, and not the cookies. But, it could be a close call.  An important note: The batter has to be refrigerated overnight. I don’t want you to go to make these on Valentine’s Day and find out you have to wait until the next day to enjoy them.

Flourless Sparkling Chocolate Cookies
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.)

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (regular, mini, or chunks)
3 tbsp butter, room temperature or softened (but not melted)
2 eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for “decorating”)
3/4 cup ground almonds (I used Honeyville Blanched almond flour)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt chocolate in double boiler and stir in butter.

Beat eggs and add sugar gradually.

Continue beating until eggs are very light. Gently stir into the chocolate-butter mixture.

Add ground almonds, combining well, but gently.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Form into 1-inch balls and roll in bowl of granulated sugar as shown.

Place on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set.

Makes about 3 dozen.

From Canadian Celiac Association (CCA)

Shirley’s Notes: This recipe appears to be an adaptation of Thomas Haas’ (the famous “chocolatier”) Chocolate Sparkle Cookies. His cookies were billed as the world’s best cookie by Saveur magazine a few years back. His original recipe has a few more ingredients as I understand, including gourmet chocolate, honey, and coarse sugar (for rolling). Haas sells his version at his Vancouver gourmet chocolate shop. I’d love to try them one day. But, this version from CCA is simpler and much less expensive to make, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I take these cookies with us when we’re having guests join us to camp on our mountain/river property. The recipe makes 2 – 3 dozen (depending upon how large you make the balls before you bake them).  That’s plenty as they fit in a smallish cookie tin and take up less room when packing—always a plus when camping. And, really, folks are extremely satisfied after just eating a few.

Can you tell that I just love doilies? (And, not just for Valentine’s Day. I love all kinds of doilies, for all seasons, and when I taught elementary school, many projects involved doilies. Mr. GFE and I host a big Valentine’s Day party every other year as a gift to ourselves and our friends. Tomorrow would be the night if we were having it. However, this is an “off” year and while I’m grateful that we don’t have to worry about hosting with snow and limited parking, I will miss the anticipation and excitement.

As the bonus recipe, I’m also sharing a chocolate version of the POMerdoodle ice cream recipe. It’s gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. You can view that recipe with more photos here on my Out and About page.

Here’s the complete SSS–Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts roundup:

~Surprise Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

~Cinnamon-Sugar Crusted Almond Popovers

~Perfect Pound Cake

~Pleasing Pecan Pie

~Flourless Sparkling Chocolate Cookies (this post)

~Chocolate POMerdoodle Ice Cream

Off to have one of these Flourless Sparkling Chocolate Cookies to brighten my Valentine’s Day weekend … hope you have a great one!

Not just gf, but gfe!

This post is linked to Valentine’s Day roundup and Calling All Cookies.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


50 Responses to “Flourless Sparkling Chocolate Cookies”

  1. Lauren on February 12th, 2010 11:00 pm

    Flourless and fabulous! These look amazing =D.

    • Shirley on February 12th, 2010 11:48 pm

      Hey Lauren–Thanks! I do like the sound of that. :-) They are really wonderful cookies. I highly recommend giving them a try. Might make good Olympics-watching fare. ;-)


  2. Iris on February 13th, 2010 12:57 am

    These are very GFE! A gluten free cookie recipe with only 5 ingredients!? Awesome!

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 7:50 pm

      Thank you, Iris! :-) I want to make another version of this recipe using cocoa and coconut oil, and perhaps even agave instead of sugar. So many plans … ;-)


  3. Learner on February 13th, 2010 9:03 am

    I love your ideas (have been going through your earlier posts with excitement)! I’m gluten free, but also casein/dairy free, egg free, and soy free. I notice many of your recipes (particularly the baking ones) have eggs in them. For some things like muffins, etc. I can use the egg replacer, but I get the sense that in many recipes, the egg is key to the product.

    Do you have ideas on how to modify recipes like that? Or can you do occasional posts for baked goods that are free of eggs as well?

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 9:30 pm

      Hi Learner–Welcome to gfe! Thank you so very much for your feedback. :-) I am committed to making the lifestyle change easier for folks who are gluten free, casein/dairy free, and soy free (almost all my recipes are soy free, although I very rarely label them as such). But, I have to admit that I haven’t ventured too far into the egg-free realm yet. I’m sure you’ve looked online for egg substitutions. Here’s a link that mentions bananas, rice milk, flax seed meal, applesauce, potato starch, and arrowroot powder as possible egg substitutes (with endorsements by the folks who use them).

      I did make my flourless peanut butter cookies egg-free once by accident. Then I tried it again and it didn’t work. I believe that the first time it worked because my brown sugar was older and acted as a better binder, and the second time it was brand new and too fluffy. I am going to give it another try, but just that experience lets me know that baking egg free can be a challenge. I like a challenge so I’ll certainly make more attempts and share any successes here. But, all that said, let me point you to some fellow gluten-free blogger friends who often do egg free, dairy free, soy free, etc. They would be Ali at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, Kelly at The Spunky Coconut, and Karina at The Gluten-Free Goddess. But, I’ll seriously try to think of some egg-free recipes (plus more “free”) that fit the gfe approach.

      Look forward to seeing you again at gfe,


      • Learner on February 14th, 2010 8:28 am

        Thanks :-) Great resources, I’ll definitely be heading over there as well. The entire “free” process seems to be a lot about experimentation and tinkering to get things right – challenging, but in a good way. I can’t wait to see what you post next on gfe – its really a wonderful inspiration and site!

        • Shirley on February 14th, 2010 3:23 pm

          Hi again Learner–Thanks so much for your very sweet words! I truly appreciate them. My experiences cooking gluten free (and even dairy free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, often) have taught me to focus on foods and dishes that are naturally free of those ingredients and sometimes make some simple substitutions, so I’m sure that egg free will be similar. Yes, I like the way you put it! “Challenging, but in a good way.” These dietary needs get us to think outside the box, literally, and that’s not a bad thing at all. ;-)

          Ah … what I’ll post next … I haven’t even figured that out yet. LOL


  4. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on February 13th, 2010 10:41 am

    The cookies look great and I love the simplicity. HAppy V Day to you!

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 9:36 pm

      Hi Carol!–Thanks, dear. :-) Happy Valentines’ Day to you as well … I’m betting you have some great plans. ;-)


  5. Alta on February 13th, 2010 1:53 pm

    Yum! Don’t you love almond flour? I love Honeyville – it’s so much finer and better than Bob’s Red Mill for things like this. These look great.

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 10:10 pm

      Hi Alta– Thank you. :-) Yes, I am almost at the end of my Honeyville bag. Honeyville is fantastic. (I don’t consider Bob’s to be almond flour; it’s ground almonds to me, but not “flour.”) Honeyville has provided so many wonderful baked goods the last few months. :-)

      BTW, Chelsey at The Crazy Kitchen did this post about making your own almond flour using a coffee mill. Her almond flour looked very impressive and if I ever get a coffee mill, I plan to give it a try. As she shared, almond flour made that way is more economical and it would be fun to make as little as needed or if in between Honeyville orders. ;-)


  6. Pam on February 13th, 2010 4:13 pm

    Such Yummy Goodness and oh so pretty!

    Happy V-Day Girl!


    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 10:21 pm

      Hi Pam–Thank you … I think you’d love them. ;-)

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, my dear! xo …


  7. Brian on February 13th, 2010 7:55 pm

    Let’s see, chocolate, butter, and sugar. Yep, I’m in. These look delicious, great pictures.

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 10:23 pm

      Hi Brian–LOL … yep, those sound like your favorite ingredients. ;-) They do make for some might fine cookies!

      Enjoy and thanks so much!


  8. Kim on February 13th, 2010 8:24 pm

    Oh, yum!! I love chocolate & I have to try these! What a great week of recipes, Shirley! I love to see all that you make.

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 10:30 pm

      Kim–Very few of us don’t love chocolate … so I just had to add some chocolate recipes at the end of the Suite of Sweets. (Be sure to check out the Chocolate POMerdoodle ice cream on my Out and About page, too.)

      Thanks so much, Kim. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the week of gfe goodies. Hugs,


  9. Chaya on February 13th, 2010 10:07 pm

    These look so tempting so I am going to make them and post them on the flourless recipes at Sweet and Savory.

    Bloggers seem to be looking for flourless recipes. My most popular are the flourless brownies and chocolate cake.

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2010 10:32 pm

      Hi Chaya–That will be great! :-) I think folks have learned that flourless means a recipe that’s easy and absolutely delicious. ;-)


  10. Ellen Allard on February 14th, 2010 1:26 am

    Oh Shirley, these cookies look divine! They look crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – perfection! Do you think I could make them without eggs? Maybe I could sub in a flaxmeal replacement egg. I will keep you posted if I have success. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Shirley on February 14th, 2010 3:14 pm

      Hi Ellen–They are pretty darned good. So good that I don’t make them very often at all. LOL You’ve decribed them perfectly … a little crunch on the outside, but lovely and soft on the inside.

      I really have no experience with flax meal, but I’s say give it a try. I’ll keep my fingers crossed as I’d really like these cookies to turn out for you! Plus, know there are many other gfe readers who’d like to bake egg-free treats. :-)

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you, dear! Thanks for emailing me about your Valentine’s Day recipe roundup! Hope everyone will check it out and add some more great recipes as well.


  11. Heather @CeliacFamily on February 14th, 2010 2:20 pm

    These look great. I will definitely have to give them a try.

    • Shirley on February 14th, 2010 3:31 pm

      Hi Heather–Thanks! Please report back and let us know what you think. :-)

      Happy Valentine’s Day!


  12. Jennifer R. on February 14th, 2010 4:29 pm

    We just opened up a bag of Honeyville Blanched Almond flour — made snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies — perhaps this week will be your chocolate cookies. I’ll sub out the sugar with either agave or coconut sugar (I don’t buy regular white or brown sugar anymore) and use raw cacao powder in lieu of melting chocolate chips. I’m sure these will be absolutely awesome!! Thanks, Shirley!

    Oh, and what would happen if I did not refrigerate overnight?? Just curious :)

    • Shirley on February 14th, 2010 4:51 pm

      Hey Jennifer–Yum on the snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies—certainly two of my favorites! :-)

      I’d be concerned about making a one-for-one sub with the agave because of its liquid nature. Do you usually sub coconut sugar one for one? That would make sense and I sure want to try that. I just received some raw cacao powder myself (in the iHerb giveaway I won from Amy!), so I’d love to hear that would work. I also want to try this recipe with cocoa and coconut oil vs choc chips and butter, but some time in the future.

      If you don’t refrigerate, your cookies will definitely spread too quickly. You want to maintain their certain size and keep that soft middle intact. Consider that this recipe is largely chocolate chips. You might try “cheating” by placing your bowl of dough in the freezer for a while. I’ve employed that method with other items that need to be chilled. ;-) And, the whole chemistry might be changed by your use of raw cacao powder instead of choc chips. You might not get the soft middle, but you might not get the spreading either. Still, I’d recommend chilling at least some. Use your best baking judgment. ;-)



  13. Melanie on February 15th, 2010 8:50 pm

    Hi Shirley,

    I just made these cookies tonight and served them with coffee ice cream for my kids while they watch the Olympics! A big hit here – Thanks!

    • Shirley on February 16th, 2010 11:04 am

      Hi Melanie–So good to see you! :-) That sounds like a fabulous combination and a fun time!

      Thanks so much for sharing,


  14. Chaya on February 15th, 2010 10:21 pm

    Please stop by Comfy Cook. Something is waiting for you and thanks for everything.

    • Shirley on February 16th, 2010 11:05 am

      Chaya–You are so spoiling me! ;-)

      Thank you a million times over for the award! :-)


  15. glutenfreeforgood on February 17th, 2010 8:20 pm

    Gosh, those cookies are gorgeous! Seriously, they are perfect. That might have to be the cover shot for your cookbook.

    Okay, I’ve been trying to avoid treats and you tempt me with cookies and ICE CREAM. My two favorite things! I can always count on you for some amazing GFE treats, that’s for sure. Okay, okay, you’ve twisted my arm. I’ll try the cookies and the ICE CREAM!


    • Shirley on February 18th, 2010 7:51 am

      Melissa–LOL on the cover shot … laying more groundwork for me, huh? Are you a book editor/agent on the side? ;-)

      The ice cream is delicious and pretty healthy … the cookies you might have to re-create a bit to be as healthy as your Montana chocolate chip cookies. But, they are phenomenal, without a doubt. I gave half of the batch to a friend for her family for V Day and her description was “magnificent.” :-) You’re right … having these together would be a fabulous idea!



  16. Diane-The W.H.O.L.E. Gang on February 18th, 2010 3:05 pm

    I can see that this recipe is going to get me into trouble. It looks so easy. Even I can do it. I have some left over Whipped Cream made from coconut milk. I think it needs these cookies. Have you tried freezing the cookies? If I leave them out I’ll eat them all at once.

    • Shirley on February 20th, 2010 9:55 am

      Yep, you could make it with no issues and look like a baking rock star! Wow, you’re being good with that whipped cream. I’ll never look at that coconut cream at the top of the can of chilled coconut milk the same way ever again. Add a dollop of that to one of these cookies and you’d have a seriously fine dessert! I haven’t tried freezing them, but it seems quite plausible. Just reheat one or two of them for a few seconds in the microwave. Ooh, that sounds good … warm truffle center. I’ve never frozen them before because my tactic is always to share. I eat a few and imediately give the rest away or take to work with me. Have any neighbors you love, or want to love? ;-)


  17. Annie on February 28th, 2010 12:05 pm

    Okay, so what I can sub for the butter in this recipe? (Hopefully, you have a solution, because oil or shortening would, I think, make this too soft or not soft enough, in that order.)

    I’m not making this and tormenting myself by not being able to eat it. That’s never actually fun…

    • Shirley on February 28th, 2010 1:04 pm

      Hey Annie–Good to see you again! :-) Although I haven’t personally tried it, dairy-free “butters” should work. In fact, Kishari, The Food Allergy Queen, made these cookies using Spectrum successfully. You can see her post here. I’ve seen other recipes that advise substituting ghee or coconut butter as well. So give it a try. At worst case, the “batter” might not be firm enough after chilling (you’ll know if it won’t easily roll into balls), and you’d have to add a tad more almond flour. Sorry, I can’t share my own personal experience at this point. I do plan to make this recipe using cocoa and coconut oil at some point and will report back then. :-)

      Let us know what happens if you make the recipe! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no type of torture will occur with a dairy-free version of this recipe. ;-)


      • Annie on February 28th, 2010 1:07 pm

        Awesome! I have Spectrum on hand, which means I might be able to adapt this to fit what I have on hand by next weekend. If only there was one more day in the weekend…

        Nah, torture only occurs if I think it’s a good idea to cook *with* dairy. And I’m usually intelligent enough to figure out a dairy sub so that doesn’t happen. ;)

        • Shirley on February 28th, 2010 1:41 pm

          :-) Dear, I am so with you on needing one more day in this weekend! I have a support group meeting here on Tuesday. Mr. GFE left me alone so I could have the house to myself for a few hours to get ready. Now all I want to do is enjoy the quiet … translation: I haven’t done much in the way of getting ready yet. LOL

          Thank goodness no torture will be involved in the making of these cookies then. ;-) Enjoy what’s left of this weekend!


  18. Chaya on March 1st, 2010 4:24 pm

    I have to tell you that I made these and they are delicious. Well, one batch was. I don’t know what happened. I made two batches, together. The only difference was that one was on the top shelf and one the middle.

    One came out beautifull and another fell flat and tasted sweeter, a little too sweet.

    The good bunch had a better taste. Go figure.

    I am glad I made these winners and hope to post them this week.

    • Shirley on March 1st, 2010 10:05 pm

      Hey Chaya–I’m glad you had some success. To be honest, I’ve never had success baking cookies on the top rack. It’s not the same temperature there as it is on the bottom rack. I have cookie sheets that allow me to place two side by side on the bottom rack. I can see where being flatter would change the taste. You need a little rising action to have the crunch on the outside and the softness on the inside. ;-)

      Thanks for sharing your success and “less than success” to help out other gfe readers!


  19. Chaya on March 1st, 2010 4:25 pm

    Shirley, thanks for the correction on the brownies. I appreciate when you do this. I don’t want to confuse everyone, nor do I want anyone to think the blog is not GF, all the way.

  20. Adele Long on November 21st, 2013 12:25 pm

    Is there a substitution for almond flour,
    I am allergic to all nuts but would love to
    make these

    • Shirley on November 21st, 2013 1:07 pm

      Hi Adele–Welcome to gfe! :-) You could make flour using sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds to sure in this recipe. You can just grind them to flour consistency in a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or even a food processor, but you have to be careful with the latter to not over process them and turn them into seed butter. Good luck!


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