PERFECT ‘tried and tested’ Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies… Soft and chewy with a crisp edge and carefully balanced for texture, sweetness and flavour. They are easy to make and with no ‘grittiness’, so no-one will ever know they are gluten free. Optional dairy free recipe.
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A new Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
I’m so excited to share my delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. Now… Some of you may be thinking ‘do we really need another gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe?’ After all, there are loads on the internet already. And on one level, yes there are… But these particular cookies have a back-story. And that story suggests that yes! Apparently, we really do need another gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe.
The story behind the creation of these Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
The story is this… My Coeliac daughter loves to bake… And not so long ago, she decided that she really wanted to make cookies… Specifically chocolate chip ones. Normally, her first port of call would be Gluten Free Alchemist. She knows she can trust my recipes and that we have in the house what will be needed to make them. And yes… there are already some cookies with chocolate chips on the blog, which are many years old. They are good! But on the day in question, she wanted to make cookies without oats.
So, she took to the internet… She found a recipe which on the face of it looked good. It was from an exceptionally popular blogger… had ‘lots of stars’ and seemed simple. And she made them.
Now… Miss GF is a great baker. She is competent and weighs things properly and keeps an eye on the oven. And on first sight, her cookies looked good and just like the ones in the picture on the website… But eating them was not so good. They were way too sweet (even for a teenager), crumbly, gritty and stale within hours. Most of the batch was binned.
In response… Miss GF declared ‘you need to make a good, easy cookie recipe… Because people need it’. I needed no further persuasion.
What makes a good gluten free chocolate chip cookie?
Anyone who knows me, knows that recipe creation can be an arduous process. I am NEVER happy until I have achieved the best result I can. And it is NEVER a case of churning out something because I ‘have’ to.
When it comes to cookies therefore and the task in hand, the first question has to be ‘what makes a good gluten free chocolate chip cookie?’.
The answer is of course far from simple. I have no doubt that the creator of the recipe my daughter followed from another blog was considered by them to be a ‘good cookie’. And if gritty, dry, super-sugary biscuits are what you like, then that would be a ‘good cookie’.
Of course, cookies come in many different forms… There are those which are poofed up with a cakey texture. One’s which are crisp and have a ‘good snap’… Then there’s cookies which are fat and chewy all over… and cookies which are less fat and a combination of chewy with a crisper edge… Some chocolate chip cookies are seriously loaded with chocolate chips and others are more ‘balanced’. Some are sickly-sweet… others are more ‘caramel’ or toned down.
Ultimately what you choose or desire on any given day will depend on personal preference or mood. So, I enlisted the support of my best weapon for quality control. A group of very cookie-savvy teenagers who were seriously honest!
The BEST cookies – as tried and tested by teenagers
My cookie-tasting research group were amazing. I swear these kids each ate their body-weight in cookies over a period of a week and a half. There was a batch a day… Each one tweaked or reversed according to feedback. And I learned a LOT about cookie-baking along the way. By batch 6 or 7, we were fine-tuning and testing different add-ins to see how flexible the recipe was. And the results shared here were declared as ‘seriously good’…
I’d hesitate to say they are the best cookies for everyone… but with a diverse group of girls who each had an opinion and different expectations, these won hands-down. And that was regardless of whether they were gluten-eaters or not.
So how would we describe these cookies? Well… They fall into the group that is ‘flatter’ and not cakey or over-risen… And they have a softer chewy texture, but with a crisp edge. The sweetness level is balanced, with the recipe using a combination of brown and white sugars to achieve caramel notes, alongside a good level of cookie ‘chew’. Grittiness is avoided by using a combination of my Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A white flour with a little extra tapioca starch for softness. (They will however bake well using supermarket gluten free flour, although the texture is likely to be a little grittier).
And the chocolate?… Although you can choose to use dark, white, milk or ‘unicorn’ chocolate chips, we chose to stick with dark… and not to over-load the cookies on chocolate. It’s a personal thing. But if you want more chocolate, just throw in extra. The choice is yours.
Are these Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies easy to make?
Without a doubt yes. The base dough can be made ready to chill in 10 minutes. And after chilling, it’s a straight case of rolling into balls and throwing in the oven for a quick bake. But as with all recipes, a little knowledge always helps to achieve the best result… So, here’s my top tips to get my gluten free chocolate chip cookies perfect…
- Although you can beat all the ingredients by hand, I absolutely recommend creaming the butter with the sugars using an electric whisk. This will help break down the sugar into a smooth buttery paste and whip in enough air to support a lighter cookie structure.
- Although you need to use a block butter (or dairy free alternative), make sure it is super-soft before you start the creaming process.
- Once the butter and sugar are well beaten (and the vanilla (if using)) has been added), put the whisk away. This is as much air as you want to add. The eggs, flour and other ingredients are beaten by spoon… Using a whisk for the eggs in particular, will result in a texture more akin to cake.
- There is a tiny amount of xanthan gum added to the flour blend… Just enough for structure but not too much to be ‘gummy’. If using packet flour, check the ingredients and if it already contains xanthan gum, don’t add more. If you can’t tolerate xanthan gum, the cookies can still be made, but they may be slightly less ‘robust’.
- Equally, there is a tiny amount of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in the recipe (less than many other recipes I’ve seen). The amount is balanced to give a slight lift and lightness, without an ‘over-rise’ in the oven. I played around with varying amounts and the final recipe offered a happy balance to the end cookie result.
- If possible, make the dough the day before you need it and chill overnight. This allows the flours to hydrate evenly and the dough to chill to a level which supports shape more robustly. At absolute minimum, chill for 3 to 4 hours.
The best chocolate chips
- Use ‘bake-stable’ chocolate chips… (the ‘cheaper’ variety sold in baking aisles for use in cakes, etc). I did test the recipe using ‘Belgian chocolate chips’ that I found in Sainsburys which while delicious, melted to the bottom of the cookies and physically shifted the structure of the bake. They were still amazing, but not what was intended.
- Bake on good quality baking paper to enable easy removal once the cookies are cooked.
- Leave plenty of room between the dough balls on the tray to allow for spreading. (At least 5 cm or a couple of inches).
- After baking for 10 minutes, watch the cookies in the oven like a hawk… I literally check mine minute by minute until the edges are just crisping, but the centres remain very slightly paler.
- Be sure to leave on the baking trays to cool for a good 10 minutes so that they start to firm after baking and before transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Although it is more than recommended to snaffle a couple while still warm).
Can I make Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies dairy free?
Yes. To make my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies dairy free requires two key substitutions… Firstly, use a dairy free alternative to butter. To keep the texture as consistent as possible, I recommend using a ‘block’ alternative such as Stork or Flora baking blocks. And secondly, be sure to use chocolate chips that are dairy free too.
Want a different texture or the batch to be ‘mixed’ between different chocolate chips?
Although this recipe has been tested to perfection for my teen quality control group, there is still plenty of room for variation. So, for a…
- Flatter cookie – chill for less time.
- Fatter cookie – Be certain to chill overnight.
- ‘Cakey’ cookie – beat the egg into the creamed butter-sugar using a whisk until very well blended and light. It may also help to add an extra sprinkle of tapioca starch into the flour blend, depending on how ‘poofy’ you want them.
- Crunchier cookie – bake for a minute or two longer.
- Softer cookie – bake a minute or two less.
- Sweeter cookie – use all white sugar and/or milk or white chocolate.
- More chocolate chips – Just add extra
- A combined batch of cookies (half one and half another flavour) – split the batch before add-ins and chilling. Simply weigh out half the base dough into a separate bowl (= about 270g) and them add chocolate chips, etc.
Ready to make Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies?
So, with no further babble, I share my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I hope you enjoy it and that my cookie test group meet the high expectations we deserve.
Don’t forget to leave a comment, rate the recipe (so that other people get to find it too) and tag me on social media with how your cookies turned out. You’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Thanks for visiting Gluten Free Alchemist.
Other easy cookie inspiration on the blog
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- airtight container (to mix dry ingredients)
- 180 g plain gluten free flour blend For best results use GFA Blend A – See NOTES
- 20 g tapioca starch
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum If the flour blend used already contains xanthan gum, omit from the recipe
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda baking soda
- pinch fine sea salt
- 115 g unsalted butter softened (or good 'block' dairy free alternative)
- 110 g soft light brown sugar
- 65 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
- 1 large egg UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 150 g bake-stable chocolate chips dark, milk or light (DF if required) – See NOTES
- Weigh and mix the dry ingredients (flours, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda and salt) into an airtight container and shake vigorously to mix. Set aside.
Making the base cookie dough
- Make sure the butter is softened before starting.
- Weigh the butter and sugars into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth, light and pale in colour.
- Add the vanilla extract (if using) and beat again.
- Set the whisk aside.
- Add the egg to the mixture and beat thoroughly BY HAND using a wooden/firm silicone spoon until smooth and even. Do NOT beat the egg with an electric whisk.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix again with the spoon until the batter is well-blended and smooth.
- If making a half-and-half batch of cookies (see NOTES below), split the batter in half at this stage. (Transfer 270g base batter to another bowl).
- Add the chocolate chips to the batter and stir through until even.
- Either leave the dough in the bowl or transfer onto a sheet of baking paper and wrap. Chill the dough thoroughly in the fridge. For best results, chill the dough over night and for at least a minimum of 3 hours.
Rolling and baking the cookies
- Prepare about 4 large baking sheets (or batch bake as necessary) by lining with non-stick baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- When the dough has been thoroughly chilled, take it from the fridge and roll into balls (or use a small cookie/cake-pop scoop). The dough makes 20 cookies (10 for a half/split batch) and each dough ball should be a little smaller than a golf ball (but larger than a walnut).
- Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets with plenty of room between them for spreading as they bake (at least 5 cm or a couple of inches). I usually prepare the first half batch and while is bakes, roll the second batch ready. Do NOT flatten the balls.
- Put the dough balls into the oven straight away to bake (if there is likely to be a delay, they need to be returned to the fridge. The warmer the dough, the flatter the cookies will be).
- Bake for between about 10 and 15 minutes. The timings will depend on the oven used and on how soft/crunchy you want the cookies to be… For softer cookies, they are likely to take closer to 11 minutes. For crisper cookies, nearer 14/15 minutes. But either way, the cookies need to be flattened and starting to brown at the edges before they are done. After 10 minutes, watch them closely and judge by sight.
- When done, remove the cookies from the oven and leave them on the baking paper for 10 minutes or so, before transferring to a wire rack (using a spatula) to cool completely. The cookies will firm up as they cool, but are delicious eaten while still warm.
- Store in an airtight container once cold.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist