Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Best Evah Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know with a title of "Best Evah" something's got to be good. And better deliver. And these will. I promise.

(And a post title that's not a song lyric! SHOCKER! But when it's two months from now and you want to make some damn cookies 'cause someone pissed you off is when you'll realize my omnipotence awesomeness and be thankful.)

Now, let me vent that I have, in fact, been in a funk for quite awhile. Not a depression funk per se ('cause, trust me, I had one of those post-pregnancy before and stared at our kitchen knives, this is definitely not that kind of a funk), but a food funk.

A food funk as in my gluten-free flour mix had become a FAIL due to manufacturer's inconsistencies of grinding the flours the same texture from batch-to-batch (hell, within a bag once I had super-fine to crazy-course grind brown flour) and flours being gross (rotten? mildew-y? I have no idea, just gross) at the time of purchase. So for the past year, year-and-a-half I have hardly been baking.

So I've been experimenting, trying new things - and let me tell you, what we can try is quite narrow. Including gluten and soy issues (like me), Griffin and Darwin also have serious dairy, nut and legume allergies. Which means figuring out food is extra fun for me.

Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and tried King Arthur's gluten-free brownie mix (was kinda bitter, not very chocolate-y) and then their all-purpose flour mix. Finally, a consist gluten-free flour mix that we can all have (ingredients are white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch and brown rice flour) and I don't have do some voodoo hand mixing.

Now, let's be clear: I didn't receive anything for free, they don't know me from Sam Hill and this stuff is hella expensive. I'm talking locally paying $5.79 plus tax for just over four cups of flour.

Welcome to the Gluten-Free Lifestyle: we hope you have no other interests other than eating 'cause you're not gonna be able to afford them anyway.

And I admit: we sacrifice and pinch and save to keep up with my foodie ways. I like to cook, we all like to eat. And we're lucky that we kinda-sorta make it work.

Now, I'm not saying this mix is so magical that it resolved my funk: I resolved my funk. Or, I'm working to resolve my food funk. I'm a work in progress goddammit.

But I guarantee these are damn good cookies. And to answer your questions: yes, I'm sure you can substitute other gluten-free flours for the King Arthur I use. I was just telling you what I use in case you wanted ideas. And yes, you can make these cookies non-gluten-free too - use the same amount of your wheat-y flour and do not add the xantham gum. Yes, this recipe can be halved - or doubled. And yes, you could make this with less chocolate but just don't tell me 'cause then I don't think we could be friends.

Best Evah Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free too!)

1 cup shortening*
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xantham gum
3 cups gluten-free flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips**
1 cup dark chocolate chips**

Preheat over to 350.

In a large bowl cream shortening and brown sugar to fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add salt, soda and xantham gum, scrap the sides and mix a bit more. Slowly add flour and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolates and stir by hand.

Let dough set at room temperature ten minutes to two hours - this allow it to melt together and I got the idea from Jackques P├ępin so you know it's a good idea.

On a lined cookie spoon blobs of dough (whatever size you like) and then bake 7 to 12 minutes, until done. For a "standard" size cookie I prefer eight minutes, which is golden on the outside and still chewy all around.

Recipe makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies depending on size and how much cookie dough you eat.

Not that I know anything about eating cookie dough. Ahem.

*I use organic gluten-free certified palm shortening. Not a dairy-free household? Substitute half the shortening for an equal amount of room temperature butter. Yum.

**I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips and Whole Foods' 365 dark chocolate chunks - both are gluten & dairy free.


Anonymous said...

When I was gluten free I found it much cheaper to buy the individual flours and use them. Have you ever tried sorghum flour? It is really tasty! and amaranth flour. I know the pains of cooking with select foods. My son was sensitive to gluten and all citrusy/acidic foods while he was still nursing...that meant nothing for me! Thankfully he's grown out of the gluten (which ended up being wheat or turned into just wheat then nothing) and only has the other sensitivities.
Good luck with the funk and the new baby and everything.

Allison@KAF said...

Glad you liked the flour blend - consistency has always been our hallmark, and you should find that to be the case with our gluten-free products, as well. Thanks for sharing with your readers!

Floaterie said...

Um, Dude--I live about 10 mins from KAF Mecca up here in the VT hills--plus, my friends FIL is the owner. Mayhaps I can see what I can do....:)

Tom@KAF said...

Regarding the price of the gluten-free flour, we really wish certified gluten free ingredients were less expensive. Unfortunately the market for them, though growing, is still relatively small so each ingredient in the mix carries a price premium--especially since they go through the extra step of certification, segretation, etc. To make matters worse, sometimes it gets marked up more than we recommend as the manufacturer.

And mamakatrina, you cannot blend up your own version of our GF flour because a couple of the ingredients are unique to KAF (it may say only "brown rice flour, tapioca starch" etc. on the label but we don't use run-of-the-mill versions of these commodidities. They truly are game-changers in performance (and perhaps most importantly they help your baked goods stay fresher longer). When you're paying so much for your GF food, you want to be sure you can savor every last bite of your bread, cookies, brownies, etc.

Glad you are enjoying the flour and I hope you come up with many more great uses for it!

And Lita, we at KAF hope you stop by and see us often since you are so close. KAF is a 100% employee-owned company so your friend's father in law might be former owner Frank Sands or one of many current owners...

Natalie Myers said...

This recipe is missing baking powder.
I added 1 tsp of baking powder and they turned out ok. The first time i made them it was a runny mess.