The Egg Swap That Makes Flourless Cookies Even Simpler

In a world of desserts that's wide to begin with, there seems to be no end to variations on classic recipes. In a process that has been accelerated, of course, by the internet and by social media, items such as cakes, cookies, pies, and brownies now seem to come not just in a handful of flavors or styles, but, rather, dozens. Tired of plain ol' doughnuts? Why not try an apple cider version, instead? Looking to jazz up your chocolate chip cookies? You could add shredded coconut or brown butter.

And then there's the gluten-free trend, which has been picking up steam since the early 2000s, according to CNN. Happily for eaters who avoid the common allergen out of either necessity or preference, every dessert recipe out there seems to have a flourless swap. And even if you eat plenty of wheat, you might enjoy the flourless versions, with items such as chocolate cakes and brownies often tasting fudgier, denser, and more rich than their flour-filled versions. Therefore, if you've never baked flourless cookies, you're probably going to want to give it a shot — just be sure to take a look at what size eggs you have stocked in the fridge before you get baking.

Extra-large egg whites make these flourless chocolate cookies more uniform in shape

If you're an experienced baker, you know that with baking, attention to detail is important. Unlike cooking, which tends to be more freewheeling — and accommodating of mistakes — baking is an exact science, with recipes carefully tested to ensure the proper height, texture, and sweetness. And yet, you've surely been in the position of slipping up when baking, unintentionally adding too much of this, too little of that, or forgetting to preheat the oven.

Sometimes, as noted by Southern Living editor Mary Shannon Wells, these mistakes can actually turn out more like happy accidents, per Southern Living. In the case of the publication's recipe for Fudgy Flourless Chocolate-Pecan Cookies, Wells mistakenly worked in the whites from extra-large eggs — in place of those from large eggs (which vary in size by about a quarter ounce, via Good Food Stories) — the second time she made the recipe. But when the cookies came out of the oven, not only did they retain the gooey-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside texture of the tested recipe, they actually held their shape a little better and came out more uniform. Distractedness FTW?

While Wells notes that swapping in a larger egg size in most baking recipes probably won't turn out well, it's worth trying whipping in extra-large egg whites, as opposed to large, the next time you bake your favorite version of flourless cookies. They just might turn out a little prettier and a bit more even in size and shape.