Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Testing the Best Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Is it really the best?
Spoiler alert: Yes! This recipe is a winner.

I heard about the Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from a gluten-free friend. She said her whole family loved them and thought they tasted like real cookies. I was eager to test the recipe my friend found from Michelle of
Michelle tested lots of different recipes before she settled on this one.

I followed it as written, with a few notable exceptions.

I did not have either of the all-purpose gluten-free flour blends Michelle recommends (Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend, or Cup4Cup gluten-free flour.) I scanned through the comments to see if other people had tried the recipe with other flour. Lots of people successfully used Bob’s Red Mill One-for-One flour. Others raved about the results using Pamela’s Artisan flour, Krusteaz gf flour blend, Compliments gluten free flour; available at Safeway and Sobeys in Canada, etc.  The point is the recipe works with a variety of flours. Except for two commenters who did not like the results from Pillsbury GF flour blend, or plain coconut flour. 
I used Namaste Food’s Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend (5lb bag at Costco is cheaper than Bob’s Red Mill One-for-One Flour) It’s a blend of flours and starches and xanthan gum.
I followed Michelle’s suggestion to omit the xanthan gum if using a flour blend that already has xanthan gum in it.

The recipe calls for brown sugar and white sugar. I used brown sugar like the recipe called for, but instead of white sugar I think I used coconut sugar, since that’s what I had on hand.
I used salted butter rather than unsalted since that’s all I had in the house.
I didn’t have a #20 cookie scoop. (Later I learned that a #20 cookie scoop is 3 Tablespoons, and makes cookies that are about 3 ½ inches in diameter.) My brother made the first tray of cookies rather large, and closer to the #20 scoop size. I made the second tray of cookies much smaller, the size of a silver dollar. These cookies don’t spread, so whatever shape you make them is what you’ll get.

Depending on what kind of flour and oven you’re using, you might have to bake the cookies a little longer or shorter. Michelle recommends doing a test bake with a few cookies to fine-tune the timing and the level of chewiness or crunch you want.
My brother was helping me mound the cookies onto the cookie sheet, so we had a full dozen on the sheet before I remembered the test bake. I decided to bake the cookies anyway, and see how they turned out. In retrospect, I should have taken Michelle’s advice. It is difficult to tell if the cookies are done, since they crisp up around the edges but look soft and raw in the middle. Then as they cool, the middle hardens. I gave the big cookies about 15 minutes, and the little cookies less. They did not burn, but they were crunchy. When I make this recipe again, I will bake the cookies for less time because I want them to be chewy.

They were delicious! Nothing about the taste or texture gives away the fact that the cookies are gluten free. When you pick them up, they are stiff and hold their shape, which is amazing if you are used to soft gf cookies that flop or crumble!
Yield: for us, 2 dozen cookies (One super-size dozen and one smaller-size dozen.)
Time: Chilling the dough takes at least 4 hours, and then you need to let the dough sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before scooping. I made the dough in the morning, and didn’t bake the cookies till that night so they chilled for 7 or 8 hours.

Dairy free tips
I have not tried to make this recipe dairy-free, but some commenters on Melissa’s post described their substitutions. I read through all the comments and copied the highlights here for you:
Some used peanut butter instead of cream cheese, and coconut oil instead of butter. 
Another commenter, Christy raved “We all LOVED this recipe!! Gluten free person and gluten eaters alike! My review is to help the dairy free crowd!! I just made these amazing cookies dairy free!! They came out great!! Fantastic texture, super yummy and addictive!” Christy used Daiya dairy-free cream cheese, Enjoy Life Chocolate chips, and “Nucoa buttery stick, which is just a dairy free margarine, it is hard to find, …but isn’t certified dairy free. If you want something certified there is always Earth Balance.” She used Mama’s Almond Blend Flour.

Chris commented “…Thank you for this. I used Krusteaz gf flour blend. I can’t have dairy, so I used smart balance spread (i also have used earth balance vegan sticks in many of my recipes) and Tofutti nondairy cream cheese (the non hydrogenated kind) and it looked just like yours.”

Abbey chimed in “First of all, I have to say this is one if my favorite cookie recipes ever, gf or not. I wanted to let you know I did successfully make these dairy free. I subbed 3/4 cup of coconut oil for the butter and 2oz. almond butter for the cream cheese. I also subbed in 1/4 applesauce and reduced the brown sugar to 3/4 cup and the white sugar to 1/2 co +2Tbsp – but I do that with the original recipe as well. I will admit the texture is not quite as good, but it was pretty close. We are embarking on a month long gluten AND dairy free trial & my kids were thrilled that they wouldn’t have to give up all of their treats!”

Nut free tips
The original recipe is nut-free depending on what flour you use. The recommended Cup4cup flour is nut free but the Momma’s Almond Flour Blend is not. The Namaste flour I used does not have nuts. If you use a nut butter instead of cream cheese, then the dough is no longer nut-free. Duh!

What are you waiting for? Go make a batch of the Best Chewy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. And let me know how they turned out! Likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.
UPDATE: click the print friendly button at the bottom of the post to edit a printable version of this page.

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