Cocoa-Almond Uglies Recipe

Bolstered with cinnamon and chocolate, these gluten-free cookies can be altered to suit your tastes. Try adding ground ginger or crystalized ginger instead.
December 7, 2016, 5:21pm
Cocoa-Almond Uglies Recipe
Photo by Davide Luciano

A word on baking: In order to not burn the bottoms before the insides are done, the cookies are baked on an insulated baking sheet or on two baking sheets, one stacked on the other.

Servings: 20
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


1 cup confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted and chopped (not too fine)
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F|175°C. Pull out an insulated baking sheet or stack two regular baking sheets. Line the (top) sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Press the confectioners' sugar, almond flour, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt though a fine strainer onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. (You'll use the paper as a funnel when you add these ingredients.)


3. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and, using a fork or a whisk, beat until frothy. No need for peaks, you just want to break up and lighten them. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the strained ingredients and chopped almonds and, with a flexible spatula, stir everything together until evenly moistened. If it takes a bit of mashing to get the dough to come together, mash away–there's no need to be gentle. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

4. Use a tablespoon to scoop the doughscrape the spoon against the side of the bowl to get level portions for each cookie, then push the dough out of the spoon onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches between the mounds.

5. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the sheet after 11 minutes, or until the cookies are dry, dull and cracked. They'll be set around the edges but have some give everywhere else. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookies to cool completely on the sheet. When you're ready for them, gently peel the paper or silicone mat away from the bottoms.

6. Storing: The cookies should be kept in a covered container at room temperature. If you store them in a plastic bag, they will get too chewy, and they'll get sticky if you refrigerate or freeze them. After 3 or 4 days, the cookies will live up to their French name, "rocks," at which point they're still delicious but best crushed and mixed into ice cream.

Author's Note: Excerpted from DORIE'S COOKIES © 2016 by Dorie Greenspan Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Rux Martin Books. All rights reserved.