No Flour, No Butter, Mo' Problems: Ode to the Chunky Bar

Continuing to work my way through Mindy Segal's Cookie Love, I decided to try her "Ode to the Chunky Bar" recipe. It's a chocolate-peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie with Spanish peanuts and raisins. It also happens to be gluten free and dairy free.

To make the dough, you mix peanut butter with brown sugar, egg whites, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and then fold in raisins (I decided to use currants), peanuts, and chocolate chips. The dough was crumbly and yet very oily; the chocolate chips, currants, and peanuts were refusing to incorporate into the batter. The experience was very similar to what happened when I made some flourless and butter-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from King Arthur Flour.

As usual, I ignored the complicated directions for forming the cookies. You're supposed to spray a cake pan with cooking spray, line it with plastic wrap, pat the dough into the pan, and chill the dough for a few hours. After the dough is cold, the recipe instructs you to cut the dough into squares (with a 1-inch square cookie cutter!) and bake. Instead, I used a #30 scoop to form individual cookies, which I chilled on a pan. This was not easy, because the ratio of solid mix-ins (peanuts, currants, and chocolate chips) to dough was very high and the mix-ins kept falling out of the unmanageable dough. My struggle to form the cookies was particularly frustrating given the recipe comment that "This dough is remarkably easy to work with." (And I don't think this is all my fault, because I heard from someone who followed the directions to chill the dough in the pan first, and she also had a heck of time getting the dry dough to hold together.)
The dough did not spread at all during baking, so when my first pan of cookies came out as little mounds, I started flattening all of the cookies as much as possible before baking. My cookies looked nothing like the ones pictured in the cookbook, which also have cracked tops but notably have smooth rounded edges.

These cookies were good and their flavor mellowed out and improved on day two and three. The cookie does evoke a Nestlé Chunky Bar, but I wish there was more peanut butter flavor in the cookie itself. And I'm glad that I used currants, because I think the smaller size worked out well. I really liked the different textures in each bite; the crunch of the peanuts, the chewiness of the currants, and the little nuggets of chocolate made the cookies fun and interesting.

While the cookies tasted fine, I don't know that I would make them again -- and if I was specifically looking for a flourless and dairy-free cookie, I would probably go with the King Arthur Flour flourless peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie instead. I don't think this recipe is worth the hassle of the required advance planning and struggling with the dough.

Recipe: "Ode to the Chunky Bar" from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal.

Previous Post: "Who Needs Butter or Flour to Make Cookies?: Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies," April 25, 2015.


Unknown said…
Thank you, I just saw this recipe and while I didnt make it I was convinced there was something missing or it just wouldnt work. You saved me time and money.