Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Double Chocolate Yum
(and some gluten-free baking advice)
I have a new cookie recipe to share today. A cocoa infused cookie studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips. A cookie that tastes like a brownie- if a brownie was slightly crispy and crunchy on the outside, and chewy soft on the inside.
You could say, it's a brownie with a cookie texture.
Karina's Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies - A Vegan and Dairy-Free Recipe
Which is why I am here.
It was nearly
Our love affair had been a passionate, tumultuous ride. Thrilling and deliciously seductive. From twirling garlic laden Italian pasta to rustic bread baking, we had nurtured a decades long love affair. Four and a half decades, in fact. And I'm not embarrassed to admit, I was deep into it. Head over heels. And dizzy in denial. Until symptoms could no longer be ignored.
And it turned out I felt better without gluten. Not just better. Transformed.
So I bought a gluten-free cookbook and started baking (and no offense to the wonderful woman who was- literally- a gluten-free pioneer and wrote several best selling gluten-free cookbooks, but). I determined- quite quickly- that white rice flour and starches do not a gourmet treat make.
Truth is, ten years ago, baking gluten-free meant using rice flour and starches, or just plain cornstarch (this was Julia Child's advice). We didn't have the higher protein, whole grain gluten-free choices we have today. Oh, they were there, lurking. Buckwheat flour and almond meal have long, delicious traditions in the old country (I loved the cookbook Fabulous and Flourless). But packaged blends and gluten-free mixes favored cheaper rice flour and starches (and even today, most g-free mixes rely on this old school stand-by, with predictably gummy results). So the cardboard moniker stuck.
Until Bob's Red Mill brought us whole grain gluten-free grains. Grains with protein and fiber. Grains with nutrition. Grains with flavor. And yes- texture! Milled with artisan care in a gluten-free facility. And no, this is not a sponsored endorsement. This is personal.
By now you should know I'm not the kind of blogger who can be seduced by a coupon offer. Or a free t-shirt. I've been doing this awhile, Darling.
I have an opinion. An informed opinion. Based on thirteen-plus years of gluten-free baking (which ought to be worth more than a coupon or a five dollar sample).
So I tell it like it is.
- I use too many different flours- they want to use one (or a baking mix).
- I use buckwheat flour- they wouldn't touch buckwheat flour like they wouldn't wear Crocs.
- I use sorghum flour- they can't find sorghum flour (for that, I am truly, sympathetically sorry!).
- I use almond meal or coconut flour (fabulous protein and fiber)- and they are allergic (once again, profoundly sorry!).
So they sub. They use rice flour and starches in my recipes. And return to tell me the texture is gummy. Or as dense as cardboard.
Flour choices matter.
And so does execution.
So I thought I'd address this today, and offer some quick, short advice on gluten-free baking- and substitutions.
Truth? Gluten-free baking is more of an art than a science.
Without stretchy gluten, flours can be finicky, and far less forgiving.
There is weather, Bubela. You know, humidity. And winter heat dryness. And there is how you store your flours (in the cold fridge- or in the cupboard next to the stove?). Dampish flours need less liquid added. And some g-free flours are super thirsty (coconut flour grabs on to fat and liquid like a parched and greedy camel).
With gluten-free baking, the relationship of dry ingredients to wet is crucial. Even two tablespoons more/or less liquid can make the difference between a gummy center, and a fluffy crumb.
Here's what I do- I add my liquid to the whisked dry ingredients slowly, a little at a time, and beat until it comes to the right consistency. Don't dump all the liquid in at once. Sometimes you need a tablespoon less liquid. Sometimes, a few tablespoons more.
Then there is temperature. The temperature of the ingredients themselves (ice cold eggs?). The ambient temperature of your kitchen (is it drafty and damp, or hot and humid, or do you use air conditioning?). And then, perhaps the most influential of all, there is the temperature of your oven-- which, surprisingly, can actually vary. Not only for those of us using cheap stoves in rental apartments, but also in your shiny newly installed appliance-- it may not be calibrated correctly. This is a big issue for many a reader, by the way). Which is why I recommend using an oven thermometer, and checking your 'preheat' temperature. Temperature influences baking time, big time.