For this gluten-free version, I had the notion of using corn flour, in honour of the stateside staple crop. It works well. Let’s be clear – this is not the starchy silken cornflour (usually written as one word) that we use primarily to thicken sauces, but a glowingly golden, slightly rougher cousin – the Justin Bieber of flours perhaps? (Yes, I know he’s Canadian but… well, erm… corn’s grown there too.) It’s becoming more widely available in supermarkets and health food stores, sometimes called maize flour or extra-fine cornmeal.
These conscientiously chocolaty cookies are extremely easy to make, with a softly yielding centre that crisps up over time. If you’re a cocoa calculator who obsesses about whether things are ‘double chocolate’ or ‘triple chocolate’, then I’d count these as the latter – a little river of dark chocolate flowing into cocoa powder, then studded with nibs. You could even dribble molten white chocolate on the cooled cookies if you crave ‘quadruple chocolate’. The cocoa nibs aren’t strictly chips, but they are deliciously crunchy and high in nutrients. Replace with ‘proper’ chips or chunks of chopped chocolate if you prefer not to seek health benefits from a cookie.
Nuts are optional, as is the wearing of a gingham hostess apron, but I’m rather attached to both. These are traditionally served with a tall glass of milk and either a proud look of maternal optimism or one of domestic exhaustion – you choose.