Alternative Title: I Have a Tummy Ache from Eating Too Many Cookies...
Any who, a friend asked me earlier this week if I could make some cookies or bars for a community event one of the organizations she is part of is having this weekend. I of course said yes. But then I got to thinking...I only have gluten free baking ingredients in our house. I didn't want to go get "normal" flour for just a batch of cookies. I don't do cookies from a mix. (I have, in an "emergency", used a dough roll from the fridge section of the grocery...but this was hardly a cookie emergency.) Talking to my friend Monica about it (who also agreed to bake something) she mentioned that having a gluten free option might be a nice surprise for those who normally can't partake of goodies at events because of special dietary needs. So even though our gluten free flour is kinda pricey, I decided ONE batch of gluten free cookies wouldn't break the bank.
Since the only cookie I have experimented with in a gluten free way is chocolate chip, that's what I chose to bake. Besides, who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies? The last time I made GF CCCs they turned out tasty but VERY thin. Since then I've started using oat flour in addition to a brown rice flour mix in our pancakes, waffles, and muffins. It provides a little heavier texture more like we were used to from years of using whole wheat flour in everything, plus it helps things like pancakes stay fatter. I also like the very subtle oaty taste it provides. I thought using some oat flour in our CCCs would be lovely and hopefully would help with the spread problem we had last time.
But then today I had a "What Would Martha Do?" moment. (Actually I don't really care what Martha would do...but I thought it was kinda a funny reference to make here.) Oats, while naturally gluten free, are often processed in mills where wheat products are processed. Therefore unless you get "certified gluten free" oats and oat flour (which cost a small FORTUNE and are hard to find) you risk having some cross contamination. If I was indeed going to bake cookies and label them GF should I use the "non-certified" oat flour I can easily get here in town? I decided no. So that batch was made simply with a rice flour mix. And while they were just as tasty as last time, there were just as flat too. (Even though I increased the amount of Xanthum Gum.)
BUT...I wasn't about to make cookies to give away without baking some for our house too. The fam has been requesting them since Christmas! I'm not overly concerned with cross-contamination since gluten in small amount doesn't seem to negatively affect me at all, in our batch I used 1/2 rice flour mix, 1/2 oat flour...and viola!
Cookies that look, taste, and have the texture almost identical to CCCs made with wheat flour. (Hence why I'm kinda experiencing the sugar shakes right now and thinking a big green salad sounds really good for supper tonight!) They stayed thicker and are not near as fragile. Both welcomed results.
Since my Mom asked after my last experiment how I adjusted our favorite family recipe, I thought I would share it with you all!
Jenn's Gluten Free CCCs
2 sticks softened butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1-1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract (adjust to your taste...we like vanilla...A LOT)
1.5 cups gluten free flour mix (I use a homemade mix of 2 c. brown rice flour, 2/3 c. potato starch, and1/3 c. tapioca starch)
1.5 cups oat flour
1 teaspoon xanthum gum (gluten replacement)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups chocolate chips (or a whole 12 oz bag...we buy them in larger quantities so I just dump until I'm happy with the amount)
1-1.5 cups nuts (optional-we like sliced almonds)
Allow dough (which is VERY thick) to chill while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. I use a 1.5 table spoon sized scooper to make dough balls on my air-bake cookie sheets, returning the dough to the fridge before it is needed to reload my sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Since GF cookies are a little more fragile than those made with wheat flour, I allow my cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes to firm up before transferring them to a cooking rack.