James has just returned from spending a week with the woman who taught him all he knows about baking — his Mom. (You remember her, the lady who smuggled margarine across the Wisconsin border because she felt it was better than butter for baking?) I’m hoping to be able to share some recipes of the yummy goodies they baked together.
In the meantime, though, here’s another palate cleansing gluten-free recipe amidst all the decadent cheesecake recipes.
Now, usually I take a recipe and adapt it — it’s as if I’m constitutionally incapable of following a recipe to a T. With gluten-free baking, however, I’m much more careful and follow the recipe closely (at least the first time I make it!) But there’s always something to improve or tweak.
Not so with this recipe. I found this one on my new favorite baking website, the Gluten-free Goddess. It’s a wonderful resource for recipes and advice. And the Goddess (I guess that’s what she’s called) is funny and wry and, best of all, creates fantastic recipes. Do give her a visit.
One of the things I’m already tired of in gluten-free baking is the incessant use of rice flour. First, I find that it imparts kind of a gritty consistency to baked goods. Then, there’s the arsenic factor. (You do know about the arsenic in rice? No? Well, read this Consumer Reports article on it. Yeah, it’s a real thing.) So, I’ve started looking for alternatives. It’s tricky, though, because you have to know the weights of your flours in order to successfully substitute one for the other. Just like you wouldn’t substitute whole wheat flour for white flour cup for cup, neither can you swap out rice flour for amaranth or tapioca or millet flours.
Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (the best quality you can afford)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
1. In large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, potato starch, almond flour, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking soda, and brown sugar.
2. Beat in the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat dough until it is sticky and smooth (or until the motor of your 50 year old mixer can’t mix anymore!)
3. Add in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Stir by hand to combine.
4. Using a small cookie scoop, place a dozen on each baking sheet. Press down flat with wet fingers. (If you don’t have a little scoop, roll the dough into balls, but be warned, this is VERY sticky!)
5. Bake for 14 minutes. The cookies will look golden- but still feel slightly soft to the touch. They crisp a bit as they cool.
6. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing. Then cool cookies on a wire rack.
NOTE: These cookies puff up in a way that is quite different from the gluten-full Toll House recipe I’m used to using off the back of the chocolate chip package. It’s okay, though. They still taste divine!