Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies!

It is difficult to properly introduce through written word a perfect gluten-free cookie. So often they are too crumbly or a weird, moist texture that is runny and spreads to create one giant cookie sheet shaped cookie. These cookies are not of that persuasion. These chocolate chip cookies are soft with enough firmness to hold up against an ice cold glass of milk and the flavour of the flours melds beautifully with the chips so that there is no after taste or even initial taste of the flours. I think this is my least favourite aspect of gluten-free baking: The flavour of the flours. I have found that an extra egg here, double the vanilla (always use real!) there and you are on your way to having this whole gluten-free baking thing figured out.

Today was an extraordinarily chilly and rainy day, particularly in comparison to the rest of the week where we have been at the beach in a state of melting. Today's weather made it perfect for baking cookies and an afternoon trip to the library. My little people are impressive bakers, Bubs is in charge of whisking the flours and Miss N always cracks the eggs and creams the butter. As it turns out, my job mostly involves making sure we have enough chocolate chips left for the cookies. It was a close call today.

We tried a gluten-free brand of chocolate chips that were fantastic, no unexpected flavour (anything alternative has the potential to be unexpected, I'm adventurous but the familiar is reassuring), the texture was top-notch as the chips melted and retained their shape. Remember the Friends episode were Monica applies for a job at the "Mocklate" company? Yeah, these chips aren't like that. Also, the chips are still chocolate and I certainly appreciate that. I regret that I threw out the bag before writing down the name... I'll check on it the next time I'm at the store.

The Recipe

98 g glutinous white rice flour (despite the name, it's safe!)
102 g millet flour
81 g amaranth flour
1 tsp. guar gum*
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup golden shortening - feel free to use butter, I used what I had in the pantry
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups gluten-free chocolate chips

*I've been given to understand from other food bloggers that many people cannot tolerate guar gum and use xanthan gum. I'm the opposite, go figure.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Mix dry ingredients. Don't forget to whisk the flours so that it melds into one consistent flour.

2. Cream the shortening/butter and add the sugars and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix well.

3. Combine the two bowls. Once fully mixed, add whatever chocolate chips your kids haven't eaten.

4. Bake for 8-11 minutes. My children love to scoop out the cookies and I am not joking when I write that I've had to bake some cookies for close to 15 minutes, while the others were finished in a mere few minutes. Use your discretion, check the lovelies at about 7 minutes and judge from there, optimally the cookies should be a sweet golden brown.

5. Enjoy!


  1. I've been noticing a lot of guar and xantham in gluten free recipes. do you think it's always necessary regardless of what you're making? what about in crepes? do you think they'd hold together better?

  2. Barrister: (I hope this comment works, I've been having issues with blogger.) I generally always use it because either of them acts as the binding agent which is one of the many awesome things gluten does (in addition to all kinds of awful stuff). I'm trying to recall a time when I didn't use it but I think I have always erred on the side of caution and used it. That being said, my MIL doesn't use either xantham or guar gum and she achieves fantastic results with her baking but she makes up for it by using more eggs, which are another binding agent.

    I'm not sure about crepes because I've never made them. I have made pancakes and while I am well aware (I'm so going to get into trouble for this) they are not pancakes, crepes are kind of a runny version. So, perhaps just a pinch? Maybe none? I think it would honestly depend on the amount of eggs. I think xantham and guar gum both act as a stabilizing agent also so that you baked goods don't explode or just generally sneer at you and threaten to steal your car.