Baking for loved ones isn’t as easy as it used to be. Growing up, I would toss in good old all-purpose flour, sugar, margarine, eggs, oatmeal, and a few other ingredients, and viola!, my dad’s favorite cookies. Now we are seeing a growing prevalence (or awareness) of food allergies, sensitivities, Celiac, and other autoimmune disorders that are affected by diet. It seems like everywhere I turn, there is another diet restriction … something we are actually dealing with at home right now. My husband is currently testing a gluten-free diet, and it doesn’t help matters that he is also egg-free … and that we are dairy-free.
But he still loves a sweet treat now and then, and these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies put a smile on both of our faces. I found this recipe in the new cookbook, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, and adapted it a bit to suit our tastes.
I chose this recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies not only because it sounded like a good baseline recipe, but also because I happened to have the Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend on hand that they recommended for this recipe (though you can use the flour blend of your choice), and because I wanted to give the new Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread a whirl in baking. The end result was a thin and chewy cookie that hits the sweet tooth just right.
In the original gluten-free chocolate chip cookies recipe, the authors instruct you to chill the dough for an hour. I overlooked this, and in my rush to have some cookies, baked some without chilling. I actually liked the ones made with the unchilled dough better, but you can’t go wrong either way. Below shows the difference between the two batches, the unchilled dough at left (somewhat deep craters, thinner cookies) and the chilled dough at right (just a wee bit thicker, but still thin cookies). Oddly enough, the unchilled dough seemed to require a longer baking time.
I stuck with plain old sugars in this recipe, since I know that my husband seriously prefers them in cookies, but if you want a less refined option, feel free to use coconut sugar in place of the sugars. It will change the flavor slightly, and the cookies will be a little less sweet, but if you are used to baking with coconut / palm sugar then I’m sure you will like it. I do recommend giving the coconut sugar a quick whiz in your spice grinder before adding it to the recipe though. The large granules of coconut sugar don’t tend to dissolve very well in cookies.
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons Water (see my notes below)
- 2 Teaspoons Flaxseeds, ground in your spice grinder (about 1 tablespoon flaxmeal)
- 1-1/2 Cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill, as suggested by the authors for this recipe)
- ½ Cup Millet Flour or Quinoa Flour (I used millet)
- 1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum (can sub guar gum for corn-free)
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ⅔ Cup Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread)
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1-1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1-1/4 Cups Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips (use a brand like Enjoy Life for soy-free)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line your cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Combine the water and ground flaxseeds in a mixing bowl, and set aside while you combine the dry ingredients.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, xanthan or guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Back in your flax bowl, add the margarine, sugars, and vanilla, beating until nice and creamy.
- Stir or beat in the flour mixture until well combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Drop the dough by the large tablespoon-ful onto your baking sheet, or if you prefer a firmer dough, refrigerate it for at least an hour to firm up (see my example above for what the cookies turn out like when the dough is chilled or not).
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they just barely begin to brown around the edges – they don’t really brown much at all, so do not be tempted to bake them for too long! Cook them for less time (12 min) if you prefer chewy, more for crispy.
- Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before removing them to indulge.
- They will be soft and chewy while warm, but do firm up after a day on the counter (though still a bit chewy). They can be stored in the fridge or freezer if desired.
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, optionally Soy free, Wheat free