As promised, I’m sharing my greatly-improved recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies! I’ve been working on this one for a while now, especially since I’ve been hunkered down with Mum at her south-Seattle apartment since our stay-home order came down on March 23. Mum has several food allergies, and I’ve been using some of my time while here to learn a few things about cooking and baking in a different way.
At home I actually don’t make cookies very often, and when I do, it’s shortbread more often than not. But since Mum has been in chemotherapy since early December, her appetite (among many other things) has been affected. So I’ve adopted the policy that whenever she says something particular sounds good to her, I go ahead and make that thing. Naturally, this has been a mutually agreeable situation!
Not having access to my own kitchen and wide assortment of flours, including GF flours, I decided to have at it with what Mum had on hand, which is Bob’s Red Mill GF Baking Flour. My first couple of attempts at chocolate chip cookies were frankly awful: dry, almost chalky, with a somewhat unpleasant aftertaste. I decided to go back to the drawing board, which involved some creative troubleshooting.
First, the recipe I was using had a baking temperature of 350F. This seemed a bit low to me (going by my hazy memory of long-ago baking), and I speculated that I might get better results at 375F.
Second, what about the flour? Belatedly, I remembered that different grains absorb different amounts of liquid, so could this partially explain why the things were so darn dry? I adjusted the amount of flour (to 2 cups, down from 2 1/4), and added a little liquid in the form of soy milk. I let the dough sit for a little while, allowing the flour to fully hydrate. At that point, it still seemed quite moist and soft to me, so I didn’t add any more soy milk. Lastly, I mixed in the chocolate chips.
I really like baking on parchment paper. I use it for most kinds of bread, and figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it for baking these cookies. It made it so much easier to get the cookies off the sheet and onto the cooling rack! The cookies were definitely on the soft side, so after taking them from the oven, I left them on the baking sheet for just a couple of minutes before moving them to the cooling rack. Good move! That slight initial cooling helped a lot.
Right away, I could see this batch was very different from previous batches. The cookies had spread out and flattened, where the earlier ones had stayed thick and didn’t brown as well. I didn’t bother waiting for them to cool; I had to try one. Oh my. Honestly, it tasted, you know, like a chocolate chip cookie! Tender, buttery, slightly chewy, chocolatey.
Of course, the acid test was having Mum try one; she loved it. I baked about half the batch, saving the rest of the dough in the fridge to be baked later this weekend.
I’m so excited to have made this kind of progress with a truly wonderful cookie recipe. I’ve typed up the recipe, with a few tips, in a PDF document (link below). I hope you’ll try it for yourself and enjoy the results as much as Mum and I have!
UPDATE: I’ve added a link below to my ghee recipe. Enjoy!