I’m not typically one to try and recreate the classics. Up until this point I have not found a classic gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe that goes beyond them being great the day they’re baked. The next-day leftovers just always seem to fall flat. Not these.
At the risk of sounding super dorky, I’m going to say this anyway. I wasn’t really on a quest to find this recipe, it found me.
I was meeting up with the pod girls for one of our Tuesday girls nights, and my girl Courtney walked through the door with these big, thick looking chocolate chip cookies. These looked so luscious and they totally were. Thick. Chunky. Crisp on the very edges and soft and chewy in the center. Completely chock full chocolate chips and toasted walnuts.
For people that can have gluten, they were absolutely perfect. For my gluten free people at home, I wanted, no, I NEEDED to recreate these. They needed to experience this same chocolate chip cookie eating joy.
Gluten free baking is tricky. Normal wheat based flours have the something something that makes soft baked bread spring back when you touch it, it makes things chewy, it holds things together and gives structure to baked goods. That something is gluten. So when I say gluten free baking is tricky, that is what I mean and trust me it gets more complicated from there.
I reached out to Courtney for the recipe. Bread flour. That was the secret ingredient. Bread flour contains more protein than all purpose flour (in short, even more gluten than the normal all purpose baking flour). That made my mission a little more difficult, but I got to work.
For the first recipe test, I used part almond flour and part gluten free flour and did not chill the dough since Courtney’s recipe makes that part optional. They turned out flatter than pancakes and super greasy. Too much fat and density from the almond flour and they probably needed to chill. They tasted delicious, but they looked like a mess. On the second test, I used even less almond flour and chilled the dough for an hour. Still flat but slightly better. On the third and final test, I decided to see what happened only using gluten free baking flour and chilling the dough all the way down (overnight). SUCCESS NEVER TASTED SO GOOD.
I can’t thank Courtney enough for sharing her recipe with me as the inspiration for this one!
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 4 Cups Gluten Free Baking Flour (Bob’s red mill 1 to 1 baking flour)
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 Cups browned butter at room temperature (1 1/2 Tablespoons water)* see directions below
- 2 Cups Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 Cup Chocolate Chips (Recommended: Ghirardelli bittersweet chips)
- 1 Cup Miniature Chocolate Chips
- 1 1/2 Cups Roasted Pecans (chopped or halved, however you like them best)
- Flaky Sea Salt (I recommend Fleur de Sel or Jacobson Sea Salt, but any flake finishing salt will do, just make sure it’s not fine salt or regular kosher salt. I find mine in the spice aisle or here >>>Fleur de Sel French Salt, 4 Oz)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for toasting the pecans. Note: if you are not toasting the pecans, you will preheat the oven to 375 degrees, but only after the dough has chilled.
- Start browning the butter while the oven is preheating. See steps for browning the butter and toasting pecans below.
Brown the butter:
- Place your butter in a small saucepan or skillet (it will bubble up a little, so make sure you account for this).
- Turn the burner to low-medium heat. NOTE: It is important that you constantly stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula scraping the bottom. The whole process will take 5-7 minutes. Alternately, you can also swirl the mixture in the pan by holding onto the handle and making a circling motion. You will start to see the butter get foamy, take on a slightly brown color and smell nutty. You will also start to see a brown sediment on the bottom of the pan. When you see this, turn off the heat immediately and carefully pour the browned butter into a heatproof measuring cup or bowl. This will ensure that the cooking process stops and the butter does not burn. It will also help to cool the butter more quickly so you can add it to your dough and get that cookie dough chilling quicker 🙂
- ONLY after the butter has cooled, add 1 1/2 Tablespoons of water to it. If you do not wait until it is cooled, the water will make the butter splatter (been there, done that). The butter loses quite a bit of water through steam during the browning process so we are adding it back here so the dough isn’t too dry.
Toast the Pecans:
- Place your pecans on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through to ensure they don’t burn.
3. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and both sugars in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl. Stir or Mix on low to combine.
4. With the mixer on low speed or manually with a spoon, add cooled butter, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
5. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure to turn up any dry bits that have accumulated. Pour in the chocolate chips and toasted pecans. Mix on low speed again or stir until just combined.
6. Scrape the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap the ball of dough very tightly and place in the fridge to rest for 3 hours or overnight. This is a key step that you cannot skip or your cookies will be flat and greasy.
Bake the cookies:
7. After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Scoop out two heaping tablespoons of cookie dough, placing one dough ball on top of the other and smooshing them together so they don’t fall off of one another. You’re forming a cookie dough tower of sorts 🙂 This ensures that the cookies bake up thick and chewy. I would recommend only baking 8-10 cookies per sheet and only one sheet at a time on the middle rack so that the heat can circulate around the cookies and they bake evenly.
Tip: I like to place a chocolate chip or five randomly into the top of each cookie before baking, that way when they come out of the oven, the flake salt has a melty chocolate chip to stick to.
8. Sprinkle with sea salt immediately after removing from the oven. This can be as much or as little as you want here. Cool for 10 minutes until they are set, then transfer to a a cooling rack and repeat alternating cookie sheets so that you are never placing cookie dough onto a hot cookie sheet.
- this cookie dough may be different to work with especially if you have never worked with gluten free baked goods. They can be a little more stubborn than their wheat counterparts. For this particular dough, it will be quite stiff after chilling especially if you chill it overnight, but it needs to be chilled when going into the oven to bake properly. If the dough gets thin and spreads in the oven, it has not chilled long enough. I find leaving the dough out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before working with it helps make it easier to scoop and form into balls. You can either use a spoon to cut off pieces of dough the same size and then form them into a balls (trying not to add too much heat from your hands to the situation) or you can take a ball of cookie dough and push it firmly into your cookie scoop. I find that scooping and scraping the dough against the side of the bowl as you pull it out is a technique that is helpful.
- This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, so feel free to cut it in half or freeze half of the dough (after scooping into balls) in a couple of freezer bags. Add 2 minutes onto the baking time if they are baking from frozen.
- I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour, but you are certainly welcome to try any gluten free flour blend. Just realize I haven’t tested the recipe with any other blends and make sure your blend contains xanthan gum. If your blend does not contain xanthan gum, a good rule of thumb for cookies would be 1/4 tsp xanthan gum per cup of flour.
- I use both regular and mini chocolate chips mixed because I love what it does to the texture of the cookies and you’re ensuring you get a bit of chocolatey goodness in each bite. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Got a question? Contact me anytime!
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