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A week before my friend Mary Jo’s Thanksgiving brunch I asked what I could bring.

“Anything gluten free, lactose free and vegan.”

Um, okay, so I guess I’ll be bringing salad? I was going to made dessert, it’s hard to find a recipe that does not use flour or butter. I don’t believe in using substitutions, I rather find recipes that naturally avoid the use of the offending ingredients. I ended up making chopped liver, which met the first two qualifications, but not the last. I was okay with that; I can begrudgingly accommodate dietary restrictions due to health issues, but not for lifestyle choices.

When I saw this recipe from the January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit, I put it aside for the next time I would need to bring something gluten and lactose free. These cookies are super easy to make (one bowl baking!), are very chocolaty and have a pleasing chewy texture. I did not bother with the cacao nibs. I also added a heaping teaspoon of instant espresso powder, as I do to all things chocolate. I think that the cookie may be too sweet for some, and the coffee helps temper that. They can be sticky, so I would recommend using parchment paper on your cookie sheet.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

INGREDIENTS
3 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons cacao nibs

INSTRUCTIONS
Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in egg whites and egg; fold in chocolate and cacao nibs. Spoon batter by the tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart.

Bake, rotating sheets once, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and set just around the edges, 14–16 minutes.

Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool on pan (they’ll firm up).

DO AHEAD:

Cookies can be baked 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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