Monday, January 12, 2015

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

A soft snow is falling today and the temperature is hovering close to the 30-degree mark. Tomorrow’s high is expected to be 11 degrees… quite a change from this brief “warm-up”! I stacked another load of firewood in the cellar yesterday, and today I baked the batch of cookies I never got around to doing then.

My Gluten Free Flour Blend is pretty basic… equal measures of organic Brown Rice Flour, Sweet White Rice Flour, Potato Starch and Tapioca Flour. I buy 5 pounds of each from my buying club, sift it all together and store in a big lard tin under the cupboard. The cost averages around $2.00 per pound… pretty cheap for an organic gluten free flour mix. I use it for everything I bake… cakes, cupcakes, breads, pancakes, cookies, pie, and so on. (For every cup I use, I add a half-teaspoon or so of xanthan gum.)

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and cover your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine
1 cup Butter (or 1/2 cup Butter AND 1/2 cup vegetable shortening)
1 and ½ cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Blackstrap Molasses (note: I don’t buy brown sugar anymore, as it always gets rock-hard before I use it all. For me, it’s easier to make it as I need it. For example, if you need 1 cup of brown sugar, take 1 cup of white sugar and blend in about a Tablespoon of Blackstrap Molasses using a fork and mash the molasses into the sugar) For this recipe, I don’t bother mixing the molasses and sugar…
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
Beat together all ingredients thoroughly til light and creamy. Then add
2 and 1/3 cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
1 and ½ teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Again, combine all ingredients thoroughly til well-mixed. Then, using a sturdy wooden spoon, mix in
2 cups Chocolate Chips
1 cup broken Walnuts and/or Pecans
Let batter sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Then scoop out onto parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving a fair amount of space between cookies to allow for spreading room.

Bake for 4 minutes, turn pan half-way, and continue baking for another 4 minutes if you like softer cookies (I pull them out while the center is barely set) or 5-6 minutes for crunchier cookies. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer carefully to wire rack and allow to cool completely before storing in a cookie jar, (Note: if you put a slice of gluten free bread in the cookie jar on top of the cookies, it will keep them softer.)

I usually make a tray or two of baked cookies, then scoop the remaining batter into a parchment lined sheet or pan (close together but not touching) and put these in the freezer til frozen solid. Then I place 4 or 6 frozen cookie balls into plastic wrap or zip bags and freeze til needed. This way, I don’t have all those cookies needing to be eaten by me, and should a friend drop by for a cuppa tea or coffee, it’s a cinch to turn on the oven and bake up a few cookies to go along with it. (I’m not going to fib, the frozen doughballs are delightful, too!)

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