Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover or nothing at all this time of year, you’re going to want to try these low carb fudgy nut cookies, which just so happen to be kosher for Passover. Take it from this Gentile – they’re so good you’ll want to make them all year!
Growing up in West Virginia, I always associated this time of year with Peeps, Easter egg hunts, and the bunny and chick-shaped SweetTarts my mom would ALWAYS include in my Easter basket. Late March/ early April meant spring, my birthday, and, of course Easter. Nothing particularly special to eat except the above-mentioned items, and the occasional Cadbury Egg.
That all changed when I moved to New York City.
Suddenly, this time of year became all about seders, and strange-to-me terms like “kosher for Passover.” Not only was I 100% Gentile (despite a Jewish-sounding name); the temple in my hometown had actually shut down because there were too few Jewish families to support it! I had no context and was really and truly clueless, and did not appreciate matzo in the slightest. But over the ensuing years I’ve come to appreciate the importance of Passover for my Jewish friends, and am so grateful to have been welcomed into their homes for many a seder.
But what does a girl bring to a seder, when the thought of anything involving unleavened bread makes her want to hide in her Easter basket?
These cookies, that’s what.
I discovered them, like most of my favorite recipes, by happy accident, around this time of year a few years ago, and have been making them ever since…. for seders… for Christmas… because it’s a Tuesday…. you know, the major holidays. I’m addicted to them because a) they’re ridiculously easy and b) they’re ridiculously healthy! Egg whites = protein = good for you. Nuts = protein + healthy fats = good for you. Cocoa powder = antioxidants = good for you. The only thing that’s not technically good for you is the powdered sugar… but everything else is so damn healthy it hardly matters, in my opinion.
They also freeze really well, which you might want to do if, like me, you can’t keep your hands off them otherwise. They’re just so fudgy…
Low Carb Fudgy Nut Cookies
almost exactly replicated from Smitten Kitchen
Servings: 30 medium cookies Time: 45 minutes (active time: 15 minutes)
80 calories; 15g carbs; 6g fat; 3g protein
- 2 3/4 cups walnut halves (or the same amount of any combo of nuts, such as whole almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts. I can vouch for the almonds; my next batch will be pecans.)
- 3 cups powdered sugar (can reduce to 2.5 cups if you like)
- 1/2 cup plus 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature*
- 1 T pure vanilla extract
*do not use egg whites from a carton; you need actual egg whites. Save the yolks and make a quiche, adding in some egg whites from a carton! (That’s what I do.)
Preheat oven to 350. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes; stirring mid-way. Please, for my sake and your own, set a timer – I have burned more nuts than I care to admit. Once toasted, let the nuts cool, and then chop them coarsely if you are using larger nuts like walnuts or pecans.
Meanwhile, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Once the nuts are somewhat cooled, combine them in a large bowl with the powdered sugar, cocao powder, and salt. Add in the egg whites and vanilla extract and stir until the batter is just moistened and no dry bits are visible. You really don’t need an electric mixer for this; a good old-fashioned wooden spoon will do.
Lower oven temp to 320.
Spoon the batter onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, making about 30 cookies. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the cookies have puffed and the tops are glossy. Depending on your oven, you may want to turn the sheets or swap their places in the oven mid-way.
Let cookies cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze (like I do) for a few months… or more likely a few weeks, which is the longest they’ve ever lasted in my freezer.