Beat the Wheat: Chocolate Chip Cookies
AKA Cookies That Make Me Forget I Have Celiac Disease
For as long as I can remember, whenever there's a crisis, my mom makes chocolate chip cookies. Death in the family, sprained ankles, stressful high-school shenanigans, washing machine on the fritz — you name the event, and there will be sweet treats baked to work through it.
I must have inherited that coping mechanism, because I like to bake chocolate chip cookies when times get tough — a divorce and a few bad breakups, job troubles, friends in crisis, cars breaking down. Chocolate chip cookies have been in the oven through them all.
When I called to tell my parents I had celiac disease, my mom's instinct was to bake me something and send it to me. But she couldn't. She didn't know how to bake gluten-free anything, and neither did I. Over the past five years, I've tried every flour mix (homemade and store-bought) and every variation on the original Nestle Toll House recipe I could find or develop on my own. I knew, and very vividly remembered, what "normal" cookies tasted like, and I wanted to make gluten-free ones that made me forget I had celiac. I wanted chocolate chip cookies that my friends wouldn't avoid for being too grainy or gummy or cakey or weird.
Now I feel like I’ve finally cracked the code, not just in ingredients, but in the mechanics of how they all come together. Using hot, melted butter makes the cookies flat and more evenly cooked throughout. Adding dark chocolate to the semisweet chips makes the cookies less My Little Pony and more Gilmore Girls. Using flaky sea salt lifts the overall flavor and provides a bit of texture. Not overmixing really does matter, and slowly pulsing in the dry ingredients helps keep flour volcanoes under control.
The best part is, you don't even need to be in crisis mode to make them. You got promoted? Make the cookies. Josh Charles @replied to you on Twitter? Make the cookies. It's Tuesday? Make the cookies. Seriously, just make the cookies.
Crispy edges. Chewy centers. Sweet chocolate bites, but not cloyingly so. A hint of salt to wake up the palate. These are the things that together make the perfect chocolate chip cookie. If you want to experiment, try using goat butter for all or some of the butter listed below. It gives a little more oomph and depth to the cookies, but they're pretty darn awesome with regular butter, too. Frozen, the dough balls will keep for 3 months in a sealed freezer-safe bag or container.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour blend, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed. Then add both brown sugars and mix on low speed until well-combined.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla extract and eggs. Mix until eggs are fully incorporated. Turn mixer off.
- Add the dry flour mix into the mixer bowl a cup at a time, and lightly pulse the mixer on and off at low speed until the flour mix is fully incorporated.
- Add the chocolate chips and chopped chocolate, and mix on low speed for 10 seconds.
- Scoop tablespoon-size balls of dough onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Baking only 12 at a time will ensure they're evenly cooked.
- Place baking sheet on the center rack in the oven and bake for 6 minutes.
- Rotate baking sheet 180 degrees and continue to bake for another 3 minutes.
- Move cookies from baking sheet to a rack to cool. Will keep in a sealed container for 5-7 days.