Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies. Sadly, nonetheless, in the event you can’t tolerate gluten, chocolate chip cookies don’t normally love you again – whereas squidgy brownies and lots of different deliciously squidgy truffles don’t actually undergo for a scarcity of this pure glue, it’s more durable to maintain a biscuit collectively with out it. Tougher, sure, however not unattainable. (By the way, right now’s recipe is devoted to my godson, who’s at the moment awaiting the outcomes of a check for coeliac illness and relieved to seek out that, no matter occurs, there are nonetheless cookies in his future.)

The flour

Big on the rice flour: Elizabeth Barbone’s gluten-gree chocolate chip cookies. All thumbnails by Felicity.
Elizabeth Barbone’s gluten-gree chocolate chip cookies go large on the rice flour. All thumbnails by Felicity.

Let’s not beat across the bush: this recipe doesn’t stand or fall on the kind of sugar used, or on what number of chocolate chips go in – all these items are irrelevant in contrast along with your selection of flour. The simplest factor to do is to purchase a gluten-free flour combine, which are usually based mostly on rice flour. It’s this that’s chargeable for the gritty texture that’s lovely in moderation in shortbread, however all too typically spoils gluten-free baking. I attempt a recipe from the Doves Farm website, utilizing their plain flour mix, which comprises rice, potato (an excellent binder), maize (which helps with crispness) and earthy buckwheat flours, and it really works effectively in the event you like a cakey cookie, although all my testers agree that they’ve a little bit of a powdery end.

Elizabeth Barbone’s recipe for Serious Eats additionally goes large on rice flour, utilizing each odd white and glutinous rice flour (generally offered as “candy”, although it isn’t candy and doesn’t include any gluten), which, due to its sticky consistency, works effectively as a binding ingredient, plus cornflour for the aforementioned crispness. They’re certainly each crunchy across the edge and pleasingly smooth within the center, but additionally, undeniably, a bit sandy.

Felicity Cloake’s perfect gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies3

Buckwheat flour alone, as within the recipe from Berkson Bakes of Brighton, offers a terrific texture – not one of the grittiness of rice flour, and minimal starchiness – nevertheless it can’t be denied that the smoky, faintly bitter flavour of this grass shouldn’t be for everybody. I adore it, nevertheless it divides opinion, and this recipe needs to be a crowd-pleaser.

Extra common is the almond flour version from Erin Jeanne McDowell in the New York Times, which utilises finely floor nuts to provide a wealthy, candy, virtually sticky cookie that’s scrumptious in its personal proper, however unmistakably, effectively, nutty, moderately than biscuity, with a texture someplace between a cookie and a macaroon.

Good texture, but a smoky, faintly bitter flavour... Berkson Bakes’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
Berkson Bakes’ gluten-free chocolate chip cookies have an excellent texture, however a smoky, faintly bitter style.

Kate, who started writing the Gluten Free Alchemist blog when her daughter was recognized with coeliac illness on the age of six, supplies a wealth of information about the qualities of different flours, and recommends a mix of white and brown rice, potato, corn and tapioca for this recipe – the final, she says, provides somewhat softness. Should you’re searching for a flatter, crunchier type of cookie, these are for you; they are surely nice.

The winner for many of us, nonetheless, is the mix of glutinous rice, oat and tapioca flour utilized by pastry chef and creator Alanna Taylor-Tobin on her Bojon Gourmet blog – the refined however distinctive nubbliness of the oats makes a nice change from the sandiness of ordinary rice flours, and the elastic tapioca offers them a barely chewy texture. Better of all, they work brilliantly with out the addition of xanthan gum, which is usually utilised as a binder in gluten-free and vegan baking, however which some individuals react badly to.

I’m dismayed, due to this fact, to find from a coeliac buddy that oats “are very divisive” and that some coeliacs “gained’t contact them” (although certainly not all: more info here). Again to the drafting board, then – although, in the event you can tolerate them, Taylor-Tobin’s model is price trying out. I resolve to interchange them with almond flour, as a result of this, just like the oats, helps distract from the powdery really feel of the rice, and to swap the tapioca for cornflour to present the cookies a crisper edge.

As I choose my cookies barely thinner and crunchier than Taylor-Tobin’s, I’m additionally going so as to add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, which, according to Serious Eats, “raises the dough’s pH, sluggish[ing] protein coagulation, which supplies the dough extra time to unfold earlier than the eggs set. This promotes a uniform thickness from edge to centre, serving to the cookies bake extra evenly”.


A winning combo of rice, oat and tapioca flour: Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s gluten-free choc chip cookies.
Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s gluten-free choc chip cookies are a successful combo of rice, oat and tapioca flour.

The kind of sugar you employ has an impact on the feel, in addition to on the style of the completed cookie. White sugar, as utilized by Doves Farm, will give a crisp, straightforwardly candy end result, as a result of it absorbs moisture and melts within the warmth of the oven, so encouraging the dough to unfold. It’s a bit boring, although, which is why most recipes choose to make use of it together with smooth brown sugars, which have a better water content material and, due to the molasses they include, a extra pronounced flavour. Some recipes use simply brown sugar – darkish in Taylor-Tobin’s case, mild in Berkson Bakes’ recipe, however I miss the crispness of the white stuff, so, just like the Gluten Free Alchemist and McDowell, I’m going for a mix of ordinary granulated and smooth mild brown sugar, which has a milder, caramel flavour than the extra intense, treacly, darkish brown selection.

The fats

Doves Farm’s version is OK if you like a ‘cakey cookie’, but they are a bit ‘powdery’.
Doves Farm’s model is OK in the event you like a ‘cakey cookie’, nevertheless it’s a bit ‘powdery’.

Should you’re dairy-free, you could possibly exchange the butter with oil, as within the Doves Farm recipe, however in any other case I wouldn’t advise it, as a result of, with out butter, the cookies are moderately blandly candy. To profit from the flavour, brown the butter first, as Taylor-Tobin and Barbone suggest – the caramel notes are attractive with the brown sugar.

The chocolate

I’ll go away this as much as you – milk, darkish, white, no matter – and whether or not you favor puddles of molten chocolate (by which case, chop some up for the aim) or the neater pockets you get from bake-stable chocolate chips. I additionally like so as to add some chopped nuts (Taylor-Tobin’s pecans or Berkson Bakes’ walnuts) for texture, however you’ll be able to exchange these with extra chocolate, in the event you choose.

Resting the dough

‘A texture somewhere between a cookie and a macaroon’: Erin Jeanne McDowell’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
Erin Jeanne McDowell’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookies have a texture ‘someplace between a cookie and a macaroon’.

Most of the recipes I attempt instruct the baker to relaxation the dough, which “permits the flours to hydrate evenly and the dough to relax to a stage which helps form extra robustly”, because the Gluten Free Alchemist places it. This won’t solely scale back the potential for grittiness, as a result of the flours soak up the liquid, however it can additionally cease them from spreading too thinly within the warmth of the oven. (Notice that the balls of dough additionally freeze brilliantly, so it’s price making the entire batch as under, even in the event you’re not going to eat all of them instantly, and freezing the surplus in a single layer earlier than decanting them right into a freezer bag. Bake straight from frozen, however add one other couple of minutes to the cooking time.)

Test that each one elements are licensed as gluten-free earlier than serving them to somebody with coeliac illness or with gluten intolerance, as a result of even naturally gluten-free grains could also be topic to potential contamination throughout processing.

Excellent gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Prep 20 min
Chill 2 hr+
Prepare dinner 12-18 min
Makes 9

115g butter
70g glutinous or candy rice flour
70g almond flour
15g corn flour
¼ tsp superb salt
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g nuts of your selection
50g smooth mild brown sugar
50g granulated white sugar

1 egg, overwhelmed with ½ tsp vanilla extract
75g chocolate of your selection, chopped, if essential
Flaky salt, to complete (non-obligatory)

Felicity Cloake’s perfect gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies.

Soften the butter in a small pan over a medium warmth.

When it begins to foam, control it, and the second the froth turns a pale reddish brown, take it off the warmth, tip into a big bowl and go away to chill.

In the meantime, sift or whisk the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda, and toast the nuts, if utilizing, in a dry pan, then cool and roughly chop.

Felicity Cloake’s perfect gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies1

Stir the sugars into the cooled butter, then beat within the egg till effectively mixed.

Felicity Cloake’s perfect gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies4

Stir within the dry elements and beat for about 45 seconds, till the combination stiffens up.

Stir within the chocolate and nuts, if utilizing, then form into massive, walnut-sized balls.

Felicity Cloake’s perfect gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies

Placed on a lined baking sheet (there’s no have to unfold them out at this level), squash barely and chill for between two and 24 hours.

Felicity Cloake’s perfect gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies6

Warmth the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/fuel 4. Unfold the balls out over two lined baking sheets, holding them effectively aside, sprinkle with salt, if utilizing, then bake for 12-18 minutes, relying on how smooth/crunchy you want them. Take away and go away to chill on the sheets for so long as you’ll be able to bear – they’ll agency up as they cool – then devour or retailer in an hermetic container.

Gluten-free cookie monsters – what are your high suggestions for perfection? Are you a nut or a rice flour fan, crisp or chewy … or do you favor the dough uncooked from the fridge?!

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