Hello, dear readers! I have very graciously been allowed to rant to you all about my baking adventures. If you haven’t tried it yet, allow me tell you something: gluten free baking is not easy. I have personally been gluten free for roughly 3 months now, but my fiancé has been for 3 years. He has no official diagnosis, but with his mother and one older sister having the diagnosis, it was a no brainer.
Four months ago we welcomed a wonderful little girl into the world. I was worried about the difficulties that come along with breastfeeding, including the celiac disease that runs in B’s family. After a month of struggling with her screaming while eating and always being hungry, I stopped eating gluten. I can’t express what a relief it is to be able to feed my baby without her being in stomach pain. The food I gave up is worth that to me.
As someone who cooks for the people I love, I had always been nervous to do that for B, my fiance, in fear of him getting sick. When I lived with my parents, I was even more so afraid because the kitchen wasn’t gluten free. It wasn’t until we moved out together nearly two years ago that I attempted gluten free baking. It was frustrating. All the baking I had done in the past was a piece of cake compared to baking without gluten. I’m still working on getting the basics right. On B’s birthday last month I made perfect flourless fudge brownies with a gooey chocolate ganache on top. For his birthday previous, I made him a chocolate raspberry cake. Those took practice but turned out well after a couple tries. Then came the cookies.
I have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, handed down from my grandma, that I’ve been making (and scarfing down) for 12 years. Thinking it would be easy to convert this very familiar recipe so my fiancé could experience them, I replaced the 2 cups of all purpose flour with 2 cups of Robin Hood GF flour. Alas, I didn’t get the beautifully risen cookies with a golden brown top that I was used to. Instead, I had created a sheet cookie. After that discouraging experience I did not attempt GF cookies again for a while.
Until now. B, being a huge raisin fan, asked if I could make him oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies. Because I love him so much, I gave it a shot. To my delight, they worked, and WONDERFULLY!
If you have been craving a chewy, soft cookie, look no further. This recipe is from glutenfreeonashoestring whose recipes I have had great success with so far. To make these vegan, substitute coconut oil or Earth’s Balance butter for the butter, and 2 chia eggs for the eggs. I have read that for gluten free baking, weighing your ingredients rather than measuring by volume (cups) yields better results. I don’t have a kitchen scale so I measure by volume. This recipe gives both measurements, so use whichever your baking heart desires.
- 1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Robin Hood all purpose)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already contains it)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips (can be substituted for raisins – I used equal amounts of both)
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (218 g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups (250 g) certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
- 10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses (Not in the original recipe, but lends a nice nutty flavour and a boost of iron)
Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt, and whisk well to combine. Put chocolate chips and/or raisins in a small bowl, add one tablespoon of whisked dry ingredients and toss to coat them evenly.
Add the sugars to the dry ingredients and whisk to break up any lumps. Add the oats, and combine again.
Toss in the butter and combine till the butter has moistened the other ingredients. Add the beaten eggs, vanilla, and molasses, and combine till a thick dough forms. It will be tough to stir so this is where your muscles come into play. I personally threw the spoon in the sink and used my hands.
Toss in the chocolate chips and/or raisins to the dough, and mix to distribute the chips evenly.
Roll the dough into balls about golf ball size. One key thing I would make sure to pay special attention to is refrigerating the dough for about 15 minutes before baking the cookies. This allows the butter to harden up a bit and gives the cookies more structure. Skipping this step may result in flatter cookies, so go take a shower or read a book.
Bake for 12 minutes, or till the cookies are light golden brown all over. When you remove them from the oven they will still be soft to the touch, so allow them to cool for ten minutes before removing them from the baking sheet. It’ll be tough to wait that long, but it’ll be worth it.
These cookies pair wonderfully with a glass of almond or cashew milk and give you a good punch of iron.
These coookies were gone in a day and we’re definitely worth the effort. Hope you give them a try!