Monday, January 18, 2010

chocolate chip cookies

Pre-celiac, I loved to bake. The Joy of Cooking chocolate chip recipe was my favourite. There is something comforting about the smell of freshly baked cookies filling the house.

For the first six months of gluten-free eating, I focused on meals and cooking - not baking. There were a few recipes I would try (like the lemon squares) but I wasn't ready to attempt recreating my favourite cookie. In December, I attended a Living Gluten-Free Community event about adapting recipes. I was inspired and finally felt ready to tackle my favourite cookie.

(Check out the links section to connect to the Living Gluten-Free Community)

I jumped right in and decided to adapt the Joy of Cookie recipe. The cookies were too liquid, they spread and then cooled to a crispy, flat strange thing. And 'thing' is the best explanation. I cannot say they tasted bad exactly, but they weren't what I remembered either. It felt like a failure and I wondered if I was ready. I wish I took pictures of the depressing little things. Plus I would never want readers to think that everything turns out the first time around!

I've been testing out new baking treats on my dad's office. Today I stopped by and a few people asked if more cookies were coming soon. I came home and was about to remake a recipe but decided to search through some borrowed cookbooks to see if I could find a new recipe.

And I found something perfect in Gluten-Free Cooking by Anne Sheasby. The recipe is simple and quick (and I adapted it slightly to use butter instead of margarine). Plus don't they look great? I've already had four by the time I sat down to write this up.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

6 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup light soft brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup rice flour
3/4 cup gluten-free cornmeal
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

Place the butter and sugars in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy

Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space for spreading between each one. Bake 10 - 15 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool before transferring to a wire rack.

For the dairy free, try with gluten-free/dairy-free margarine and dark chocolate chips or substitute.

They may not be exactly how I remember chocolate cookies but this recipe finally converted me to a new favourite. Bake and enjoy...and at this rate, I will be making another batch for the office as the first batch is going to disappear quickly.

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