Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was my first intentional foray into the world of gluten-free baking. Sure, I've made a few flourless chocolate cakes and crustless cheesecakes that just happened to be gluten-free, but that was more coincidence than anything else. I've never been one to back down from a challenge in the kitchen, so when a friend asked if I could make a batch of gluten-free cookies for his sister, I of course said yes.

Having read quite a bit about gluten-free baking, I knew one of the common pitfalls was that cookies often have a grainy texture. After a bit of research and reading reviews of gluten-free flours, I decided to give King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour a whirl. This super-fine blend of white rice and whole-grain (brown) rice flours, tapioca starch, and potato starch is recommended for use in all types of gluten-free baking.

I was hoping that these cookies would at least be edible, and at best would be as good as my regular chocolate chip cookies. To my delight, these turned out just right: soft and chewy, like any good cookie should be. Although there is a very slight difference in texture between this version and my standard gluten-filled cookies, they are far from grainy. So, if you or a loved one must avoid gluten for health reasons, and you have a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, bake up a batch of these bad boys. You won't be disappointed.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Alton Brown and King Arthur Flour

8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces granulated sugar
10 ounces brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk, half and half, or cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 1/2 ounces gluten-free baking mix (I highly recommend this one)
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
16 ounces chocolate chips (any combination, I used a mix of white chunks and semi-sweet chips).

1. Cream butter and sugars together on medium-high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Depending on the speed and power of your mixer, this should take 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beater blade as needed.
2. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Continue to mix at medium-high speed for two additional minutes.
3. Whisk together gluten-free baking mix, xantham gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients until thoroughly combined, scraping sides of bowl and blade as needed.
4. Fold in chocolate chips either by hand or with the "fold" function on your stand mixer.
5. Place dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. I tend to think longer is better. I usually try to chill for at least four hours, and ideally overnight.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop dough into approximately 1.5 ounce portions (I like to use a #20 scoop for this task) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet spaced at least two inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pan once during baking, until cookies are golden brown. (Note: I found that my cookies turned out best (ok, prettiest) if I flattened them slightly with the bottom of a glass half-way through baking.) Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for at least five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Linked to: Sweets for a SaturdayFusion Fridays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

1 comment:

  1. Found your treats via Lisa's linky party. I'm always looking for a new GF dessert recipe to make when some gluten-sensitive family members come to visit, so I will definitely try these!