Flourless Double Chocolate Nutella Cookies

Wanna know the real reason I made these cookies flourless? It's not because I wanted gluten-free cookies, although these are perfect for people avoiding flour. I wanted a chewy, fudgy cookie that crackled on top. I love the combination - a crackly, chocolatey exterior and chewy, brownie-like interior. Yes, you can achieve that with other flourless cookie recipes - but I find most recipes dish up cookies that stick to the baking sheets (even with parchment paper) and then the cookies fall apart. 

Hence brown rice flour. I added stone-ground brown rice flour to the batter because it adds strength to the cookies, while adding a rich nutty taste.

But why add cornstarch? Brown rice flour is hearty, and cornstarch "softens" the grain and helps tenderize the cookies. 

These are healthy too: Not only are these cookies flourless, the contain just 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of butter for the whole batch - 2 dozen large cookies! And, I used 2 large egg whites and 1 large egg, which slashes 10 grams of fat from the batch.

Why the salt? I adore a sprinkling of crunchy sea salt on sweet cookies (the flavors balance each other). Try it, you'll love it!

Flourless Double Chocolate Nutella Cookies

3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 tablespoons Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling over top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2-4 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the powdered sugar, brown rice flour, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Mix well with a whisk and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and remaining cup of powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg whites and egg. Beat in the Nutella and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar-brown rice flour mixture. Beat until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter onto the prepared baking sheets - use a cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon for each cookie, leaving about 2 inches between cookies (you'll need to work in batches to prevent overcrowding the pans - I used 4 cookie sheets total, 6 cookies per pan).
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are crackly and the edges are set. Cool on wire racks before sprinkling with the sea salt.
Makes 24 cookies