Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ooey-Gooey Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are one of those baked goods that are guaranteed to spark emotions. Like brewing the perfect cup of coffee, bakers like me are always in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. What makes a perfect cookie? Depends on who you talk to. NPR’s The Salt just ran a feature called “The Science Behind Baking Your Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie.” (September 4, 2014) Here are some of the features that the authors deconstructed: ooey-gooey, crispy with a soft center, chewy, thick (not crispy,) and cakey. What they didn’t address was how to attain these attributes without using gluten, or for that matter, no grains at all.

These cookies are gluten free, grain-free, and gum free. How to describe them? Well, they are the closest I have come to perfection in my nine years of gluten free baking. They are definitely crispy with a soft center, and thanks in part to Equal Exchange Semi-Sweet chocolate chips, the ooey-gooey part melts in your mouth.  The small amount of coconut flour adds to the soft center and the hint of cinnamon accentuates the intensity of the chocolate experience. I don’t want to over-sell these; I just want to send you into the kitchen to try them. For me, they are an excellent illustration of “be careful what you wish for!” Being a perfectionist, though, this certainly won’t be my final recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

Makes 3 dozen

4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
4 tablespoons (56g) coconut oil, room temperature
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 ½ cups (180g) light buckwheat flour
½ cup (70g) tapioca starch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup soy-free chocolate chips (such as Equal Exchange Semi-Sweet)

1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, use a hand mixer on high to cream the butter, coconut oil, and sugars until it is light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and egg until well blended, followed by the baking soda and salt.
3. Beat in the coconut flour, buckwheat flour, and tapioca starch. The dough will become very stiff. Fold in the chocolate chips and use your hands to bring it together into a ball.
4. Roll the dough into 11/2-inch balls and space them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
5. Bake the cookies for approximately 12 minutes until the bottoms and tops are lightly browned. The cookies will continue to set as they cool. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 to 7 minutes on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack. The cookies will be soft and fragile when first removed from the oven.

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