It’s been major meeting/potluck/gathering season for me, and I always need some cookies to bring. When I think cookies, I usually think chocolate chip–they are my favorite cookie by far. I have a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ve adapted to be gluten-free from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa (LOVE. HER.). I’ve been making it for years. I bring this to every event that requires food. And it always gets rave reviews–from gluten-free and non-gluten-free people alike. Her recipes are wonderful and every single one tastes delicious. Seriously, if you haven’t tried any of her cookbooks, go out right now and get one–any one will do. Once you’ve tried one, I can almost guarantee that you will want her other ones. They are excellent.
Recently, I’ve become aware of another chocolate chip cookie recipe that called for my attention. I realize that I’m kind of late on this bandwagon. The inestimable David Leite adapted a chocolate chip recipe from chocolatier Jacques Torres and published the recipe in the New York Times in July 2008.
One of the main things about Leite’s recipe is that the dough requires a 24-36 hour stay in the refrigerator for a long “hydration” time. This allows “the dough and the other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid–in this case, the eggs–in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency.” (that’s a quote from Shirley O. Corriher, another of my favorite cookbook authors, from Leite’s article on his cookies).
OK, so I adapted Leite’s recipe, just to see. I was skeptical, because I’m loyal to Garten. And gluten-free stuff has a reputation for being dry and crumbly, so I was nervous about the “hydration” concept. Well, my fears were put to rest after making these cookies–they are delicious. I brought my version of this recipe to a meeting. At first everyone was disappointed that I had brought a different recipe. But, once they ate these, they were thrilled. And I was thrilled. They are more crunchy and more cake-y that Garten’s cookies–which are lighter and more crispy. But both are very good! So, now I have two chocolate chip recipes in my repertoire that I love. How lucky I feel! Below are my gluten-free adaptations of each recipe.
Recipe #1: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties, by Ina Garten
NOTE: These cookies are designed to bake up flat and crispy-chewy. If you want a more dense cookie, use the Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe.
Yield: 4 dozen (can be halved)
2 cups (280 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Flour mixture
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt (like kosher salt)
1 cup (2 sticks; 225 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup (215 g) dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
4 cups (24 oz; 680 g) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup (120 grams) chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.
-cream butter and two sugars in the mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy
-add vanilla, mixing to incorporate
-add eggs one at a time, mixing after each
-in a different bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt
-add flour mixture to butter mixture on low speed, mixing just enough to combine
-with a spoon, add chocolate
-line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat
-drop dough by tablespoons onto baking sheet
-bake for 16 minutes
-cool slightly in pan and then carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe #2: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from David Leite’s recipe, NYT July 9, 2008
Yield: 3 dozen
2 cups (280 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Flour mixture (or just regular flour for non-gf)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt (like kosher salt)
10 tablespoons (5 oz; 140 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup (110 g) dark brown sugar
1/2 (100 g) granulated sugar
1 extra-large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 oz (340 g) chocolate disks or feves (Valhrona makes these), at least 60% cacao content
Sea salt for sprinkling
-cream butter and two sugars together using a mixer with a paddle attachment until fluffy–at least 5 mins.
-add egg, mix to combine
-add vanilla, mix to combine
-in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
-add dry ingredients, mix just until combined
-add chocolate disks by hand, incorporate (try not to break the pieces)
-cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the dough, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Can be refrigerated up to 72 hours (although I went away for several days and came back, made the cookies, and they tasted fine).
-when ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.
-line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat
-scoop up dough into golf ball-sized amounts (this is hard because the dough will be hard and cold–I had to use a butter knife to carve out chunks of dough to work with. I then shaped these into balls with my hand).
-place on baking sheet
-press down each cookie a bit flatter with the bottom of a glass (not too flat, just so they’re not ball-shaped)
-sprinkle each cookie with sea salt (at first I used flake-type sea salt–I found these to be a bit too salty, though other people liked them. Then I used coarse sea salt–again, a bit to salty for me. Then I used regular-grained sea salt–this tasted best to me).
-Bake for 17 minutes (they will look underdone, but they’re not).
-cool slightly on sheet, then transfer to wire cooling rack.
-These are best eaten warm from the oven. When they are cooled and have been sitting around for a few hours, they get harder and harder–more like a store-bought cookie. Still yummy, but not as sublime as the just-out-of-the-oven cookies.
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