How do you like your chocolate chip cookies? Here’s how I like mine:
- cooked, BUT not too brown on the bottom.
- with the right amount of chocolate chips
- with the right amount of salt
- not too sweet
- absolutely delicious
- gluten-free, dairy-free, and corn-free
If this is also your jam, then you’ll like what I’m bringing to you today!
But first, let’s back up.
When I realized that I couldn’t have gluten, dairy, and corn, I went a long time without eating a chocolate chip cookie. Pretty sad, huh? I’m not someone who buys dessert items in a supermarket, but even I tried some gluten-free cookies from the store. Gluten-free cookies often contain corn and dairy, so that limits the options. The ones that I was able to eat were high in sugar, tasteless, and certainly not how I wanted to use up my calories.
I still wanted an occasional cookie and wanted to show up at family events with delicious treats. What was I going to do? I needed to take matters into my own hands. So I did.
The chocolate chip cookie was one of the first dessert recipes that I tried to tackle several years ago when my gluten-free journey started. I made them and jotted down my recipe ideas on a yellow post-it note, which I stuck in my maroon recipe binder. My mom, sister, and I exchanged ideas about what we were each doing. I made them again with some more changes. I stuck another post-it note into my maroon binder. I made them again with some flour tweaks and that was it! I called my mom with my flour ratios and what I did. The perfect cookie! (chomp, chomp, chomp!)
I brought these to family celebrations and even those in our family who don’t have gluten allergies (like my brother-in-law and my Dad) ate them up! My brother-in-law commented on how he liked the amount of salt in the cookie and how it was a good balance with the chocolate. He worked in market research for many years at Pepperidge Farm (we’re talking oodles of cookie focus groups and a work trip to Paris to taste chocolate and come up with cookie ideas). Not a bad gig, huh? So, a good review from my brother-in-law is a big deal to me!
I’m sure there are lots of chocolate chip cookie recipes online and there are certainly ones you can buy in the store. I’m confident in telling you that these are THE best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten. I even brought some to the U.S. Embassy here in Copenhagen to have one of my taste testers give me her opinion. She tested them on the day they were made (about 1 hour after they came out of the oven) and on day #3. I was looking to see what she thought about taste and the “chew” factor. She’s an excellent critic and is full of detailed comments about taste and texture. After tastings on day #1 and day #3, she told me I was “the best cookie baker in Copenhagen”. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here. (toot toot) I’m just trying to tell you that you should consider making these and passing them along to your gluten-free friends who are probably very tired of eating bad cookies! Check out this chew factor. I bent the cookie and it stayed in the bent position. Then I finished eating it!
I actually have a lot to say about chocolate chip cookies. I learned a lot trying to create an amazing chocolate chip cookie that could meet all of my criteria. With the right ingredients and the right steps, you can make these in your own kitchen. And I hope you do!
Here are some of the things that I learned.
- Measuring ingredients by weight matters. It absolutely matters and here’s why.
- Some measuring cups/spoons aren’t completely accurate. Annoying, but true.
- Sometimes I’m not completely accurate! True story: I came up with this recipe when I was still living in Boston. Remember, I scribbled on my post-it notes? Well, I did the scribbles in volume (i.e. cups, tablespoons, etc). I did not record the ingredients in weight (grams). When I got to Denmark and finally had a scale, I was making the cookies and measuring the ingredients in weight (grams). So I looked at my brown sugar scribble of ¾ cup and 2 tablespoons and said, “Ok, that’s 79g.” However, they were not coming out chewy like they did in Boston. What the hay? What was I doing differently? Was it the oven? The air? I was using my same recipe. After 4 tries, I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. When I was in Boston, I used to SMOOSH the brown sugar into the measuring cup. I would really PACK IT IN. So, while it looked like “¼ cup and 2 tablespoons” I was actually packing in ¼ cup and 3 tablespoons. And THAT is 92 grams, not 79 grams. I was missing about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and that makes all the difference between a chewy cookie and a cookie that isn’t chewy. The sugar adds tenderness, and when you’re not sugaring the heck out of your cookies, that missing tablespoon is needed. This was the day I figured this out. See the yellow highlights on that sheet of paper? Those are my notes about changing the brown sugar amount.
- Watch your cookies in the oven. If you bake your cookies even 1-2 minutes too long, you can overcook them. Everybody’s oven is different. So just bake a small test batch and see how long they take.
- You don’t need as much sugar as you might think. I find this to be interesting. If you look at the recipe on the back of a Toll House bag of chocolate chips, they use
307.5g of sugar (¾ cup brown sugar =157.5g and ¾ cup white sugar is 150g)
292g of flour (1 cup all-purpose gluten flour is 130g. So 2.25 cups x 130g = 292 grams)
I’m a numbers person and this is what that means….
I use 187g of flour and 167g of sugar in my recipe. If I were to use the same flour to sugar ratio as the Toll House recipe, I’d need 196 grams of sugar in my recipe. That’s 15% more sugar which is precisely 2 tablespoons and another teaspoon of sugar more to meet their flour: sugar ratio. That’s a lot more sugar for just 22 cookies which is about another 1/3 teaspoon of sugar per cookie. So, this recipe is lower in sugar than your average recipe.
I didn’t use or adapt the Toll House recipe. I’m just making the point that you can sometimes cut back on the sugar in recipes. Having said that, you do want to use the full amount of sugar in my recipe. It’s exactly the right amount to make it chewy. Also, you will want to use white and light brown sugar. The light brown sugar helps with the “chew” factor.
This is the reason why I started this blog. I wished that I had great recipes back when I realized I was gluten-free. Now that I do, I want to share them with people who are not just looking for something that’s gluten-free, but something that is worth the time and the ingredients to make. You can take this recipe and make it with complete confidence that it will knock your socks off.
Special thanks to my Skat for eating 4 batches of chocolate chip cookies with me. One cookie at a time. You are a patient man.
p.s. Remember those low-fat brownies I mentioned in my “Travel Snacks” post? That is coming soon. Although I had my final recipe, my curiousity let me to further experiment regarding a particular ingredient. 3 batches later…I learned some interesting things about low-fat brownies and will report on that in the next week along with the recipe. And if you aren’t following me on Instagram yet, please do! I send a notice when I post a new recipe and will occasionally post pictures from life here in Copenhagen, photos of me and my Skat, photos from our kitchen, and things I’m making at home that aren’t on the blog yet.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 22 cookies that are 2½” in diameter
(Total Flour = 1.25 cups, plus 1 tablespoon, 187g )
½ cup (80g) white rice flour
¼ cup (40g) brown rice flour
2 tablespoons (15g) tapioca starch
2 tablespoons (16g) arrowroot starch
¼ cup (30g) sweet rice flour
1 tablespoon (6g) almond flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthum gum
⅓ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup palm shortening (64g)
1 tablespoon, plus ¾ teaspoon canola oil (18g)
1 tablespoon, plus ¾ teaspoon light olive oil (18g)
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar (75g)
¼ cup, plus 3 tablespoons light brown sugar (92g)
1 jumbo egg OR 2 small eggs (total weighing between 65-70g) I used 68g
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup chocolate chips (about 5oz) (I use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Measure the flours, baking soda, xanthum gum, and salt. Then sift these dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Beat palm shortening for 3 minutes on medium/high speed.
- Add the canola oil, light olive oil, white sugar, and light brown sugar. Cream the mixture on medium/high speed for 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes.
- Add the flour and mix until combined – about 1 minute.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto your parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking.
- Let cookies cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire cooling rack. Continue the process until you have used up all of your cookie dough.
- When I make cookies, I don’t need 50 cookies. So I prefer to write recipes that don’t result in feeding an army of people. If I need a larger amount, I can always double the recipe. This recipe makes 22 cookies. Feel free to make them larger or smaller to suit your needs. Just be sure to bake them for less time if you are making smaller cookies.
- While the measurements may seem a bit odd (for example, the olive oil and canola oil measurements), stick with it. These are the amounts that work. I write recipes that work and taste good. And sometimes you need less or more of something. Don’t let that stop you. It’s worth the extra few seconds to measure these things out.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (One cookie): 141 Calories, 7g Fat, 82mg Sodium, 18g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 10g Sugar, 1g Protein