I know, I know.. it’s January and everyone is trying to be healthy – except me! As far as I’m concerned it’s not summer yet, there’s no need to think about beachwear and shorts, and just remember no-one can tell what’s going on under those super-warm winter jumpers… it’s fine! Go bake some cookies…
When I think about cookies, the type to pop into my head are the gooey, still-warm, melt in your mouth, chocolate chip type – and there needs to be a generous ratio of chocolate chips in there too so there is no chance of having a bite without chocolate in it.
I have previously shared my favourite recipe which you can find here, but if you need a gluten-free alternative then this recipe is perfect for you. These cookies turn out amazing every time and there is no gritty texture nor no strange smell which you can sometime get with gluten-free alternatives, and one of the advantages of this recipe is that gluten eaters and gluten-free eaters will all enjoy – you wouldn’t know they were gluten free unless somebody told you. They are the perfect combination of crunchy, chewy, & gooey.
- 120g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 80g soft brown sugar
- 80g caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp. Xantham gum
- 160g plain gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1tsp. of vanilla extract
- 50g cream cheese
- 120g of good quality chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl combine all of your dry ingredients and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a small bowl – I do this in the microwave in ten second blasts.
- In a large bowl – or the bowl of your stand mixer if you are using one – add the melted butter, the cream cheese and both sugars and mix for around 1.5-2 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and your egg mixing on low-medium speed until well combined.
- Slowly add your flour mixture and when just combined add your chocolate chips.
- I tend to just cover the mixing bowl with cling-film and fridge for around 3 hours but if you want to make this even more in advance remove from the bowl, and cover in cling-film. I probably wouldn’t make this more than two days in advance though.
- When you are ready to bake, remove from the fridge and let sit for about 15 minutes to soften enough for moulding into balls.
- Pre-heat your oven to 175C.
- Line your baking trays with parchment paper – no greasing is needed.
- Using your hands scoop even balls of cookie dough and space them several inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or remove when the edges are set and just starting to turn brown. The centres will probably look under-baked but don’t worry as they’ll continue baking as they cool.
- Transfer to a wire-rack and leave to cool before eating.
Gluten free baking tips
I’ve learnt quite a few things now when it comes to gluten free baking, here are some tips to help you along.
- Extra wet ingredients are always needed – this helps with moisture but also helps disguise the gritty texture you sometimes get from using gluten fee flours. I use buttermilk a lot, or can add an extra egg, some cream cheese or I’ve even experimented with mayonnaise – (I’ll save that for another post though)
- Gluten free flours are excellent – there are lots around. But as you become more confident with gluten-free baking it’s much better to use a gluten-free flour blend. I use a combination of rice flour, almond flour, potato starch and tapioca flour.
- Add Xantham Gum – it helps bring back that ‘stick’ effect that can be lost in gluten-free baking.
- Bake at a lower temperature – I don’t really know why or how this happens but I can guarantee that my gluten-free bakes brown quicker than usual.
Good luck, and of course if you do use this recipe please let me know how you get on.