crisp and chewy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
It’s cold, and getting colder! Being temporarily house-bound, I don’t actually miss battling winter weather. I crave a walk, deep in the woods something fierce, but getting there is another story. The thought of having to wrap my ribs against sub-zero temps is unthinkable. So house-bound it is, for another few days anyway to help with the healing.
Sleeping at night is tricky. That sweet spot is difficult to find, and when I do, the comfort only lasts for an hour or so. I should be taking Denver’s lead and cat-napping during the day—this girl has perfected the art—but having been zonked on pain meds for a chunk of time, I’m anxious to be productive without bulldozing my pain threshold—it’s a tricky balance. Which brings me to today’s venture (and a far less dreary topic): cookie-making. Or the art of indulging a craving. While most folks are groaning from holiday over-indulgence, I’ve got a couple of pounds of Christmas cookie dough in the freezer that never made it to the baking stage. None of it is gluten-free, so I can’t tuck into it myself, but that just made me all the more determined to come up with a recipe.
When I hunt online for recipe inspiration, I tend to plug in the words “best ever” (predictable and subjective, I know) because I figure that will get me to the finish line faster. A lot of what turns up in the search result isn’t best, never mind ever, but there are usually a couple of strong contenders. Generally speaking, I pull up two or three recipes and from those, a mash-up takes place. Or an adaptation at the very least. So when the craving hit for a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, beyond what I usually make, these were my goal posts: a brown butter choco chip which had adaptation possibilities, and this gluten-free counterpart as a very worthy guide. And because I like my cookies just so—crisp outside and chewy inside—I tinkered with these two and came up with—wait for it—the Best Ever gluten-free chocolate chip cookie I’ve tasted. Bet you didn’t see that coming …
Okay, details: With gluten-free baking, I like the ease of using blended flours—those already balanced with potato and tapioca starches—like this garbanzo-fava bean or this rice flour blend. I also use sorghum and coconut flours extensively, and for bigger projects I’ll blend my own. With this recipe, I used half gar-fava flour and half rice flour. For my taste, most cookie recipes (gluten-free or not) are far too sweet. I can’t think of a single cookie recipe where I’d want to add 1 and 1/2 cups sugar. I find one cup is plenty, especially when there’s chocolate in the mix. And speaking of choco, as in any recipe requiring it, use the best you can—it really does make a difference. For these I used both semi-sweet chocolate chunks and dark (70 % cacao) which I roughly chopped. Lastly, baking times with gluten-free goodies can vary, so it’s best to watch things closely. Sometimes muffins take longer than their gluten-filled sisters, and cookies can turn very quickly once they’ve reached browning point. So baking time is a guide. Your eyes and a tester are the best measure!
Recipe to follow. Breakfast first … then some deliberating over Christmas decorations (in the end, the felted garland remained in place) … and cat-naps for one of us.
PS If gluten intolerance isn’t a concern, go ahead and substitute regular, all-purpose flour. Or swap out your own favourite gluten-free flour blend.
Crisp and Chewy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free flour (garbanzo/fava bean blend)
- 1 cup rice flour blend (I used Robin Hood Nutri Gluten-Free)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp xantham gum (or guar gum)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped 70% dark chocolate
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together gluten-free flours, sea salt, baking soda, xantham gum (or guar gum) and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar with a paddle attachment on medium speed. Scrape sides of bowl and mix until fluffy. Add vanilla and molasses, beating for one minute. Add egg and egg yolk and beat until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients and chocolate pieces to the butter mixture, mixing on medium speed until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. (Return dough to fridge if you’re baking one sheet at a time.)
Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball (or use a baking scoop). Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies—these are spreaders! Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until edges become golden and tops have just set. Do not over-bake, cookies will continue to harden as they cool. Remove cookies from oven and allow to rest on baking sheet for 10 minutes before lifting to cooling rack.