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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yuk or Yum? Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yum! Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Having a child on the spectrum with autism throws a parent into a sea of research and information. One such area is the gluten-free diet. My son has a very discerning taste and texture sensitivity, so this diet hasn't made its way into our house. Nonetheless, I am still a part of this community that strives to help their children through the use of the gluten-free diet.

Two years ago, I cut out this cookie recipe from Relish Magazine. Even then, I was curious and questioned if they could taste as good as regular toll-house cookies (which is my primary comparison). I have one rule. I will never give my child anything I have not tasted first. With that in mind, I set out to bake and test taste.

Step 1: Make gluten-free baking mix
2 1/3 cups chickpea flour (I used white rice flour, next time, I'll try chickpea flour)
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. You will have a little left over after using in recipe.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe:
1 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/3 cups gluten-free baking mix (above recipe)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (I used tropical sun gluten and dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (easy cleanup). Combine oil and sugar in a large bowl, and beat on medium-high speed. Add eggs (one at a time) until creamy. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add baking mix, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. The mixture will have a play dough-y texture. It is a little more firm than regular cookie dough.
Drop a tablespoon of dough, 2 inches apart. A cookie scooper is great for uniformity. Press each drop to flatten slightly. This will shape the cookie nicely. Bake 10-12 minutes, cool on wire rack. Recipe states it makes 2 dozen, but my batch made about 3.

Information per cookie: 250 calories, 15g fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 3g protein, 29g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 250mg sodium

Review: Yum... I thought these cookies were pretty good. Comparatively, I like toll house better, but I didn't feel like I was comparing apples to apples. These cookies have a different taste. It is still good, but did taste a little different. I was impressed with the texture. Each cookie rose nicely and was soft and chewy with a crispness around the edges. It worked well. I did notice that I felt some of the cookie sticking in my teeth afterwards. I'm not sure if that was due to the oil or not. It didn't stay for long, but definitely had a little residue.

The REAL Review (two children-4 years of age): I had a play date over for my 4 year old and gave them each a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie for a snack. They gobbled it up. Since then, the whole jar has disappeared. I know I have dipped my hand in more than a couple of times.

Concern: Only 1 - I am not so sure about the xanthum gum stuff. With its use, it produced a good cookie, but I have read some concerns over it being manufactured in China. Everything is processed to some degree, but the xanthum gum makes me wonder what is in it.

Tip: Shopping for some of the ingredients may take a little searching the first time around. Make a bee-line for your grocers health food area before running around the entire store. Whole Foods Markets and Trader Joes are also good choices when shopping for specific diet requirements, organic, or healthy foods.


Peter said...

Have you seen the research on corn gluten? You might want to watch this video:

In good health,

Press Dough said...

Thanks for your comment, Dr. O. I did check out your video. I appreciate the 411 and will include it in any and all of my reviews for gluten free recipes. I will also link your video to any examiner articles I write about gluten. Thanks again! Pam

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