EEveryone loves chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, though, if you can’t tolerate gluten, chocolate chip cookies usually don’t love you back – while squidgy brownies and many other deliciously squidgy cakes don’t really suffer from a lack of that glue. natural, it is more difficult to keep a biscuit. together without her. More difficult, yes, but not impossible. (By the way, today’s recipe is dedicated to my godson, who is currently awaiting the results of a celiac disease test and relieved to find that no matter what, there are still cookies in his future.)
Let’s not beat around the bush: this recipe doesn’t rely on the type of sugar used, or the number of chocolate chips that go in – all of those things are irrelevant to your choice of flour. The easiest thing to do is buy a gluten-free flour mix, which tends to be rice flour based. This is responsible for the grainy texture that is pleasant in moderation in shortbread, but too often spoils gluten-free baking. I’m trying a recipe from the Doves Farm website, using their regular flour mix, which has rice, potato (a good binder), corn (helps with the crispiness) and earthy buckwheat flours , and it works well if you like a cakey cookie, although all my testers agree that they have a bit of a powdery finish.
Elizabeth Barbone’s recipe for Serious Eats also emphasizes rice flour, using both plain white and glutinous rice flour (sometimes sold as “sweet”, although it is unsweetened and does not contain gluten), which, due to its sticky consistency, works well as a binding ingredient, plus corn flour for the aforementioned crunch. They are indeed both crispy around the edge and pleasantly soft in the middle, but also, undeniably, a little sandy.
Buckwheat flour alone, as in the Berkson Bakes of Brighton recipe, provides excellent texture – none of the grains of rice flour and minimal starch – but there’s no denying that the smoky, slightly bitter flavor of this herb is not for everyone. I love it, but it divides opinions, and this recipe should appeal to everyone.
More popular is Erin Jeanne McDowell’s almond flour version in The New York Times, which uses finely ground nuts to produce a rich, sweet, almost sticky cookie that’s delicious on its own, but unmistakably, well, nutty, rather than biscuity, with a texture somewhere between a cookie and a macaron.
Kate, who started writing the Gluten Free Alchemist blog when her daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease at age six, provides a wealth of information on the qualities of different flours and recommends a mix of white rice and brown, potato, corn and tapioca for this recipe – the latter, she says, adds a bit of sweetness. If you’re looking for a flatter, crispier style of cookie, these are for you; they are really great.
The winner for most of us, however, is the blend of sticky rice, oats and tapioca flour used by pastry chef and author Alanna Taylor-Tobin on her blog Bojon Gourmet – the subtle yet distinctive character of the oats make a nice change from the grit of standard rice flours, and the springy tapioca gives them a slightly chewy texture. Even better, they work brilliantly without the addition of xanthan gum, which is commonly used as a binder in gluten-free and vegan baking, but which some people react badly to.
So I’m dismayed to learn from a celiac friend that oats “are very divisive” and that some celiacs “won’t touch it” (but not all: more info here). Back to the drawing board, then – though, if you can tolerate them, the Taylor-Tobin version is worth checking out. I decide to replace them with almond flour, as that, like oats, helps distract from the powdery feel of the rice, and replace the tapioca with corn flour to give the cookies a crispier edge .
Since I prefer my cookies to be slightly thinner and crispier than Taylor-Tobin’s, I’ll also add a pinch of baking soda which, according to Serious Eats, “raises the pH of the dough, slows[ing] coagulation of proteins, which gives the dough more time to spread before the eggs set. This promotes an even thickness from edge to center, helping cookies bake more evenly.”
The type of sugar you use affects the texture, as well as the taste of the finished cookie. White sugar, as used by Doves Farm, will result in a crispy and downright sweet result, as it absorbs moisture and melts in the heat of the oven, helping to spread the dough. It’s a bit boring, which is why most recipes prefer to use it in combination with soft brown sugars, which have a higher water content and, thanks to the molasses they contain, a more pronounced flavor. . Some recipes only use brown sugar – dark in the case of Taylor-Tobin, light in the Berkson Bakes recipe, but I miss the crunch of the white stuff, so like the gluten-free Alchemist and McDowell, I’ll for a combination of standard granulated and sweet light brown sugar, which has a milder caramel flavor than the more intense, treacly, dark brown variety.
If you are without milk you can replace the butter with oil, as in the Doves Farm recipe, but otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it, as without butter the cookies are quite sweet. To get the most flavor, brown the butter first, as Taylor-Tobin and Barbone recommend – the caramel notes are wonderful with the brown sugar.
I’ll let you decide – milk, dark, white, whatever – and whether you prefer puddles of melted chocolate (in which case, chop some for the purpose) or the crisper pockets you get from bake-stable chocolate chips . I also like to add chopped nuts (Taylor-Tobin Pecans or Berkson Bakes Nuts) for texture, but you can substitute for more chocolate, if you prefer.
Rest the dough
Most of the recipes I try call for the baker to rest the dough, which “allows the flours to hydrate evenly and the dough to cool to a level that supports the shape more robustly,” as the saying goes. gluten-free alchemist. This will not only reduce the possibility of graininess as the flours absorb liquid, but it will also prevent them from spreading too thinly in the heat of the oven. (Note that balls of dough also freeze very well, so it’s worth preparing the whole batch as below, even if you’re not going to eat them all at once, and freezing the excess in one single layer before transferring them to a freezer bag. Cook straight from frozen, but add a few more minutes to the cooking time.)
Check that all ingredients are certified gluten-free before serving them to someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, as even naturally gluten-free grains can be subject to potential contamination during processing.
Perfect Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preperation 20 mins
to cook 12-18 minutes
115g of butter
70g glutinous or sweet rice flour
70g almond flour
15g corn flour
¼ teaspoon fine salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
50g nuts of your choice (optional)
50g soft light brown sugar
50g granulated white sugar
1 egg, beaten with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
75g chocolate of your choice, chopped, if necessary
Flaky salt, to finish (optional)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
When it starts to foam, watch it and as soon as the foam turns pale reddish brown, remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl and let cool.
Meanwhile, sift or whisk the flours, salt and baking soda, and toast the nuts, if any, in a dry pan, then let cool and coarsely chop.
Stir the sugars into the cooled butter, then stir in the egg until well blended.
Add the dry ingredients and beat for about 45 seconds, until the mixture stiffens.
Stir in chocolate and nuts, if using, then shape into large walnut-sized balls.
Place on a lined baking sheet (there is no need to spread them out at this point), crush lightly and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/Gas 4. Spread the balls out on two lined baking sheets, keeping them well apart, sprinkle with salt if using, then bake for 12-18 minutes , depending on how soft/crispy you like them. Remove and let cool on the leaves for as long as you can – they will firm up as they cool – then devour or store in an airtight container.
Gluten-free monster cookies – what are your top tips for being perfect? Are you a fan of nuts or rice flour, crispy or soft… or do you prefer raw dough straight from the fridge?!