I’ll admit it: I have heretofore been a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie failure. I’ve had much trouble mastering gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. They often come out too thick, or too dry, or too oily, or too sweet or lacking all sweetness or just plain terrible. Until now.
One of my children nudged me towards this recipe in The New York Times. I’ve made it (with some alterations) many times since then, and wow. It works. I’m not a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie failure any more, thanks to the recipe’s creator, Erin Jeanne McDowell.
The problem with baking, for me, is that baking requires precision. I’m an intuitive cook, tossing ingredients together and standing back to see whether or not a new recipe succeeds. I have about a 39.25% failure rate (ask my kids), but that’s maybe par for the course?
I do fine making old standby recipes, but that’s too boring for me, so I’m always experimenting. But most baking, including this chocolate chip recipe, requires strict adherence to its precepts. Every time I make this recipe, the cookies taste delicious: not too sweet, not too dry, not too oily. They have the perfect crunch, the perfect salty-sweet flavor, the perfect chewy texture.
The recipe’s success is likely due to almond flour, which I haven’t been using for baking for years since one of my kids was diagnosed with a sensitivity to almonds. But that food sensitivity may be disappearing (my child ate a bunch of these cookies with no problems), so I make exceptions to my no-almonds rule now and then.
(Please note, however, that my child has food sensitivities, not “true” allergies that would require a hospital visit for ingesting the wrong food. My kid gets stomach aches and rashes from eating the wrong foods, not life-threatening reactions.)
One major alteration I made to Ms. McDowell’s recipe is substituting organic coconut sugar and stevia/xylitol/erythritol for refined sugar. I’m trying to reduce the amount of sugar my family eats because sugar is a non-nutritive food additive that simply isn’t healthy. I also use stevia-sweetened chocolate chips in this recipe to reduce the total amount of sugar.
If you use refined sugar, the cookies will taste sweeter and likely better (sugar does taste great, even though it’s terrible for you). Everyone in my family loves these cookies, which don’t ever last longer than a day. I consider that a victory because that means my family is getting used to eating desserts that contain very little refined sugar.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
These gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chip cookies are crisp, crunchy, and not too sweet.
- 2 3/4 cups almond flour (I use Trader Joe's)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 10 tablespoons dairy-free butter
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup xylitol/erythritol
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 12 ounces (I use Lilly's stevia-sweetened) chocolate chips
- Coarse or flaked salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Cover two baking sheets with parchment, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, salt and baking soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed, blend together the dairy-free butter, coconut sugar, xylitol/erythritol until fluffy.
Stir in the egg and vanilla until blended.
Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, and stir until just blended.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a spoon or your hands, make golf-ball sized balls of dough, and place them on the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Gently flatten the balls until about 1 1/2 inches high, and dust lightly with coarse or flaked salt.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 18-22 minutes, switching and turning the sheets on the oven racks halfway through.
The cookies should be lightly browned but still soft when they're done.
Allow to cool, and serve immediately. (They'll be gone in a flash.)
Sift the almond flour through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the lumps.
Stir in the other dry ingredients.
Blend dairy-free butter and sweeteners in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Stir in vanilla and an egg.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto a parchment-covered baking sheet.
Flatten the dough with the bottom of a glass or your fingers.
Sprinkle each cookie with salt flakes.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 18-25 minutes. Watch carefully, as they will brown quickly. Remove them from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool.