Double Chocolate Cookies

Healthy and super chocolatey. Can such a thing exist? You betcha! These cookies contain whipped egg whites and arrowroot powder for stability, are sweetened with Sucanat and richly flavored with 2 kinds of chocolate. The key , as always, is using top quality products. For the chocolate I used bittersweet Ghirardelli chips and Cocoa Barry - Extra Brute cocoa powder. If dairy is an issue for you then replace the Ghirardelli chips with baking chocolate from Enjoy Life. They have excellent dairy free products.

These cookies also have an incredible texture. Crispy on the outside yet chewy inside with the yummy flavor of a brownie. If you liked added crunch then feel free to add your favorite chopped nuts to the batter.

The Sucanat will make the batter appear as if it is full of little grains of sand. Don't worry, this is expected and does not affect the taste or consistency in the finished product. The batter will also get quite thick and again, this is expected. In fact, I let the batter sit for about 10 minutes before I start scooping out my first batch. The cookies hold their shape better once the arrowroot has a chance to stiffen up.

Of course the winning aspect of this recipe for me, in addition to all I have stated above, is the fact that these are gluten-free. I am always on the lookout for great gluten recipes and have found a super one with this recipe from Clean Eating.

So without further ado, let's get baking!

*adapted source recipe: Chocolate Cookies, Clean Eating Magazine


6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (good quality ONLY!)
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups Sucanat, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup of dark cocoa powder (unsweetened). Cocoa Barry - Extra Brute works best
4 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder


PREHEAT oven to 375F
LINE 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper

IN SMALL DOUBLE BOILER, melt chocolate chips and set aside to cool
IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until soft peaks form
ADD 1 cup of Sucanant whisking just until combined
ADD vanilla extract
FOLD in melted chocolate
IN SMALL BOWL, stir together remaining Sucanat, cocoa powder and arrowroot powder
ADD dry ingredients to wet ingredients and fold in gently until thoroughly combined
DROP batter by tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheets leaving 1/2 inch space between each cookie
BAKE 10 minutes
REMOVE FROM OVEN and let cookies cool on sheet for 10 minutes before removing (with spatula) to cooling rack


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One Artsy Mama

Tidy Mom

Attention Ottawa, Ontario Dessert Lovers !

I usually don’t write consumer reviews but today I have decided to make an exception. Why? Because I am one happy consumer.

Now let me start off from the beginning. You see, a few days ago my dear sweet puppy dog decided it was a good idea to trip me on the stairs. Oddly enough, I always suspected the cat would be the villain in such an incident but I was shockingly wrong. As I tumbled down 2 steps I heard a clear “snap” emanating from my left foot. Sure my toe hurt but it wasn’t until the next day when I woke up and realized how bad it really was. I had broken my baby toe.

As you can imagine, or know by experience, sporting a broken toe makes everything a challenge. I have been housebound for days and I think cabin fever is setting in. Overall, not fun! Being a home baker, my passion does require me to stand on two feet; quite the challenge when one is all gimped up. Besides, the day after my accident I didn’t feel like baking anyway and had no idea when I would in the near future. So with me out of commission, who will handle the sweet treats around here???

As luck would have it, I came across a local bakery here in Ottawa, Ontario totally by chance. In fact I cannot recall all the steps that led me to discover Totally Squared but I did find them on Facebook. Let’s chalk it up to divine intervention.

After viewing their website and seeing all their yummy assortment of squares I figured, why not, let’s order a dozen! So I did. Was I pleased with the results? YES!

Vanessa, the owner of Totally Squared, hand delivered my order directly to my front door. She also provide me with a discount (a one day special offered to her Facebook followers) and even tossed in over a dozen assorted cookies. How is that for top-notch service?

These baked delights arrived beautifully presented and impeccably made. You can bet I wasn’t long digging in. I first sampled the Shortbread Squares and all I can say is WOW!

Moist, super buttery and baked to perfection. These are absolutely fantastic treats to enjoy all year long but shortbread and the holiday season go hand in hand.

Then I moved on to the Double Chocolate Caramel Squares (see photo top right). The rich chocolate chip cookie base laid the ideal foundation. Then came the caramel; soft, sweet and gooey. These two layers were then topped off with a layer of ganache. I have to say, that chocolate ganache was out of this world. Smooth and rich – the way a fantastic ganache should be!

So would I recommend Totally Squared? I think you can figure out the answer to that! In fact I raved about them on my own Facebook wall and advised the owner that I was one happy client. She was so pleased that she followed up personally with an email and guess what, Ottawa readers? She provided me with my own discount code to share with all my family and friends.

This means YOU!

So if you want to enjoy some phenomenal squares then Totally Squared is the place to go. They do deliver to certain areas within the National Capital Region and all of this info is readily available on their site. Here are the details:

Totally Squared:

Use the following code at check out and receive 10% off your next purchase.

Coupon Code: 10-OFF

Expires January 15, 2012


Giveaway Winner and GF Baking Tips !

So excited to share the winner's name with all of you today. This was a fun giveaway and a prize close to my heart - well, anything to do with cupcakes is close to my heart (which oddly enough is an organ quite close to the tummy).

The winner of the Christmas themed cupcake kit giveaway is:

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany)

Congrats, Brittany ! You will definitely enjoy putting your prize to good use. Please email me your shipping address so I can send it off to you first thing on Monday, December 12th. Email:

As you can all probably guess, the next giveaway will be coming in January and will be a Valentine's Day themed prize ! So I hope you will all enter into the draw to win.

Now on to some valuable gluten-free baking tips.

Many people are rather confused about how removing gluten from a recipe doesn't result in absolute baking disaster. I mean gluten is the glue that binds, correct? And that it is. But there are options out there that yield the same results without the nasty gluten side-effects many people try to cope with day in and day out.

What are they? Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum. I know weird names but trust me, they work and you cannot be without them when you venture into the world of gluten-free baking.

These 2 ingredients, Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum, can be used interchangeably in your gluten-free baking recipes. They nicely take the place of gluten as the key missing link. Personally, I opt for Xanthan Gum - easier on the tummy , especially if you have any digestive concerns.
Below I have 3 bullets that are a good rule of thumb BUT keep in mind, nothing is exact with GF baking. Trial and error is truly the only way to go. Start off with the minimum amounts as per below and see how it works out for you !
When converting a flour based recipe over to gluten-free, in addition to adding a *GF flour blend you would also need to add the following amount of either Xanthan or Guar Gum to achieve favorable results.
  • Cakes: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp to each cup of gluten/wheat free flour
  • Breads: 1/2 to 1 tsp to each cup of gluten/wheat free flour
  • Cookies: 0 to 1/4 tsp to each cup of gluten/wheat free flour
* NOTE: Some GF pre-made mixes already have these thickeners added so pay special attention to the ingredients !
In closing, a little tidbit of info to share with you all. I am presently working on my first e-book which will be jam-packed with absolutely delicious gluten-free recipes that will result in you, yes YOU, baking up childhood favorites your entire family can enjoy ! The launch date has yet to be determined (still in the recipe creation phase) but you will all be the first to know!

Linda @ Lemon Drop

Edward's Warm Apple and Plum Pudding

Nothing says the holiday season like a warm pudding. Toss in apples and plums and you can pretty much hear Santa's bells ! The kicker though is to top it off with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream and then a generous drizzle of warm caramel sauce.
My oh my !

This altered recipe comes from one of my British baking cookbooks The Great British Book of Baking and I absolutely love it. After tasting it I actually equated it to " having a bite of Christmas itself". All the flavors are there: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove . The apples and plums add a lovely consistency and sweet flavor. The pudding part itself is a thick batter that is golden, rich and sheer perfection.

I wish I had more pics to share with you but I don't. It was overcast that day and though I intended to set up some artificial lighting the pudding was gone before I had a chance to do so. So just go with this one and only pic plus my written guarantee that you will ADORE this !

Ready? Let's get started


* altered source recipe Edward's Warm Apple and Plum Pudding, The Great British Book of Baking



115g unsalted butter at room temperature
175g golden brown sugar
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
150g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch of cloves
100g pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1 cm pieces
3 plums, halved, stoned and cut into 1 cm pieces
2 tablespoons chopped glacé ginger or 1 tablespoon of ginger syrup


200g granulated sugar
225ml whipping cream, at room temperature
20g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



PREHEAT oven to 350F
GREASE Grease an 8" springform pan with cooking spray and line base with parchment paper.

IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, fitted with paddle attachment, add butter and beat on MED speed for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy
ADD sugar and continue to beat MED speed for another 2-3 minutes
ADD egg and mix to combine
IN MEDIUM BOWL, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and spices
FOLD dry ingredients into butter mixture and blend until combined
GENTLY fold in apples, plums, nuts and ginger
DOLLOP batter into prepared pan (yes it will be super thick!) and smooth top.
BAKE for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and sponge springs back when lightly pressed. While baking, proceed to making the caramel sauce below
WHEN PUDDING IS DONE, REMOVE pan from oven, run a round-bladed knife around inside to loosen sponge, and unmould. Serve on a warmed serving plate


IN SMALL DOUBLE BOILER, add sugar and continue to stir of low-med heat until it starts to melt and turn golden brown. Be careful not to burn it.
WHEN SUGAR IS A RICH GOLDEN BROWN, remove from heat and stir in cream. Be careful as the cream will splatter
RETURN to heat and gently stir until any large chunks are dissolved. The mixture will continue to darken slightly and thicken
WHEN the sauce is smooth remove from heat and stir in butter and extract
SPOON over warm pudding