Chocolate Espresso Chewies

Recipe: Chocolate Espresso Chewies

Makes : about 36 cookies | Desserts Dairy Free , Vegetarian
If you can, make the cookies a day before you need them. The chocolate and coffee flavors meld together, tasting even better the day after baking.


  • 10 ounces pecans (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar*
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract*


  • Put the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. (Do not over process or you'll end up with a paste.) Add the cocoa, espresso powder, salt and powdered sugar and pulse just to combine. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the egg whites and vanilla to the bowl and stir until the ingredients are just combined. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 15 minutes and up to several hours. Preheat the oven to 350° while the dough chills.
  • Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop level tablespoons of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake until the cookies are just firm in the center, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking, about 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on a rack. Store in an airtight container for about a week.
  • * Note: Check labels to be sure the brands of powdered sugar and vanilla extract are gluten free, just to be safe.


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  1. Victoria says:

    I don’t suppose there is a way to sub something else for the nuts? In addition to my wheat allergies, we’ve got tree nut allergy folks in the family.

    I’m a total convert to Cup4Cup flour right now… looking forward to trying my Italian step-grandmother’s lemon cookies this year. And buckeyes are always a favorite for those who can do tree nuts (using a gluten-free powdered sugar, or course).

    • laura says: (Author)

      Sorry, thought I replied to this earlier. I was using this recipe as an example of a cookie that you could base entirely on nuts (as opposed to flour), so unfortunately I would just skip this one if you’re dealing with a nut allergy.

    • Lisa says:

      I’m going to first make this using the pecans, then will try using unsweetened coconut processed the same way as the pecans. It might be a good option for those whose nut sensitivities don’t include coconut. I can’t wait – I’ve made a few recipes from this site and everything has been incredibly good!

  2. Amanda says:

    I desperately want a chewie ginger molasses GF cookie! It’s the one I miss the most from pre-gluten-free days.

  3. Kim says:

    I would like a cookie similar to the light and buttery roll-out sugar cookies I used to make. Each Christmas my kids and I used to decorate the cut-out cookies. Now the tradition has gone.

  4. Laura says:

    My favorite is gingerbread, but I’m also sad thinking about the possibility of not having this one my Grandma makes every year… don’t know what it’s called, but it’s kind of like a sugar cookie with pecans in it, but shaped more like a ball than a cookie and then rolled in powdered sugar. And now I just read the other comments and also agree with Amanda. This is my first wheat-free Christmas, so I’m extra pouty.

    • Lisa says:

      I think you’re talking about Russian Tea Cakes, or the slightly different Mexican Wedding Cookies. They can be made gluten-free!

  5. Stacy Rager says:

    Sigh, I tried to arrange a GFDF cookie exchange but I’m the only friend in my circle who is GFDF. No festivities for me, so I’ll just have to make these for myself.

    • laura says: (Author)

      I wish we could all have a cookie swap together! For those of you who are looking for specific gf cookies, check out the “cookie” section at Silvana’s Kitchen for a fabulous assortment of gf cookies. Also, check out the Facebook page “Gluten-Free Cookie Swap”. There are TONS of great options.

      • Kim says:

        My circle of friends just got together and had their cookie exchange. I had to bow out this year. I miss it. I wish we could get together for a “Gluten Free Cookie Swap” too.

  6. Jacqui says:

    A nice soft sugar cookie is what I would love. For us though, it needs to be gluten free, egg free, and nut/peanut free. My dad always made the best sugar cookies! Maybe I’ll have to give it a go one of these days.

  7. Kaarin Puhala says:

    I’m making these ASAP.

  8. Rachel Blom says:

    Being new to gluten free any cookies sound good 🙂

  9. Janet says:

    Before going gluten free, I use to make shortbread cookies for the holidays using my “fancy pans” (terracotta pans with intricate decorations embossed in them). The shortbread cookies were awesome. Last year I tried to make some using a gluten free flour mix but apparently it wasn’t the right one because the cookies disintegrated when I tried to get them out of the pan. 🙁

    I’m still looking for a good GF shortbread cookie recipe….

  10. laura says: (Author)

    Congratulations to Jacqui for winning the copy of Rob Landolphi’s “Quick-Fix Gluten Free”. The winner was selected using a number generator on Thanks for your cookie comments! ~L

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