Throughout my adult life, I’ve always exercised because I knew I had to, not necessarily because I wanted to. Before my Celiac diagnosis I had to push myself to workout and then push through the body aches and joint pain. I quite honestly thought I was a huge slacker and complainer compared to my friends who I worked out around all the time, and I’m pretty sure I was.
After my diagnosis, as I began to start feeling better and come out of the fog, I realized that I was actually starting to enjoy my workouts and as I did, I got stronger. Before I knew it, I was running 5K’s and 10K’s (thanks Fleet Feet) and was actually looking forward to getting out there. I even surprised myself. I got up and took 5:00a.m. classes at the gym (I’m looking at you Chapel Hill – Orange Theory). Those who know me, know this was really the biggest accomplishment…by far!
In a frustrating twist, I hurt my foot a few months ago. I tried to ignore it and train through it – and this was a very bad idea. Ultimately, I’ve been sidelined now for over a month and have had to work on training mentally to keep my spirits up an get past the disappointment. I had gotten used to the rush of a good sweat, loved the fun of having a race to train for, seeing all of my friends at the gym and of course the mental balance it brought me. I honestly believe that exercise had helped keep my Celiac in check because, now, I find that I flare up much more frequently with zero change to my diet or level of caution for cross contamination. (So, if you are Celiac and are able to exercise – get out there, you’ll feel way better, do for me – please!)
Okay, my pity party is over – what does this have to do with cookies? Well, since my teens, whenever I’ve been blue, I head in to the kitchen and bake the sad away. The act of leaving my own head and measuring and mixing always helps bring me back to center. It honestly isn’t even the eating of the baked goods that draws me in, although, it is a side-bar benefit and a good sugar rush doesn’t hurt either.
These cookies fit the bill! In the grand scheme of cookies, they aren’t terrible for you – yes they have a good deal of sugar, but no butter or added fat and no egg yolks, so I guess you could call them decreased guilt (although I am a huge supporter of well placed fat in my diet). They are chocolatey, crispy, chewy, a little spicy, and, did I mention chocolatey? Clearly, I’m still chomping at the bit to get back to my previously active life, but in the meantime, I’ll be chomping on some of these too.
These are so easy and come together beautifully. One hint: I found they worked better when I baked them on parchment paper as opposed to silpat. The bottoms firm up better (well, at least someone’s bottom will be firm – as the couch is doing nothing to help mine!). Enjoy – and then go for a run for me!
Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Cookies
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 15 min.
Makes: 24-36 cookies
- 3 cups powdered sugar measured and sifted
- ⅔ cup cocoa, measured and sifted
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- pinch salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp plain white vinegar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until frothy but not opaque.
- Place the first 7 ingredients in a sifter (or sieve) and sift over the egg whites.
- Mix until smooth and combined (start slowly so the powder doesn’t go everywhere).
- Add the vanilla and vinegar and mix again until combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet by the teaspoonful (they will spread out a lot). You can add a few chips to the top for a pretty presentation and some extra chocolate, but they are pretty without them too.
- bake for 15 minutes until shiny and crackled.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan and then move to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Store in a an airtight container.
Adapted from Rock Recipes