GF Chocolate Chip Cookies, a blessing from “Good Eats”

So I was watching the Food Network the other day and they were running Good Eats re-runs.  Apparently, they did one about substitutions, which was odd, but clever (in the same way most of the Good Eats episodes are… if you’ve never seen this show, it is a Mr. Wizard eats Julia Child kind of thing). 

Anyway, I’m a huge fan, but I generally don’t use many of the recipies because there’s something I don’t like about this or that ingredient or I simply have been doing it a certain way and so did my grandmother. 🙂  But, I like the science involved and the way that Alton Brown goes about trying to explain how things work rather than just shooting recipies at his audience.  It helps me figure things out. 😉

I was on my way to opening a bakery before I was dx’ed with Celiac Disease.  My house always smelled like bread or cookies or cakes or pies or pastries or something freaking wonderful.  Since my dx in Nov 2007, I’ve adjusted rather well, if I do say so myself.  However, my dreams of owning a bakery have kind of deflated as my fears of baking with GF flour in a significant way have grown.  Though I am an educated person and no stranger to science and math (the scarier things in school), something about that change has been so big for me I was terrified to tackle it.

 Well, after seeing AB’s substitution episode, I decided it was time.  So, I cranked up the DVR and rewatched the part with the cookies… tenatively stepped in to the kitchen, squinted at the many jars and bags that have come to live in my home (foreigners only months ago) and jumped in.  GF cookies are not like non-GF cookies.  GF breads are nothing like non-GF breads… they are so different, in fact, that I think they need a different name… my cookie dough wasn’t doughy and floury like I was used to cookie dough being… it was, as my dear soon-to-be husband described it, like frosting.  But, AB had never steered me wrong before, so I baked the little buggers anyway.

And what do you know?  They worked out.  A little sweet, maybe… but that could be my fault since I didn’t have any semi-sweet chocolate chips, only raspberry M&Ms left over from the granola. 🙂  I am posting the recipe here to share with you, since it is so nice to have a real cookie… now if only I could figure out how to put together a really nice snickerdoodle. 😉  Practice makes perfect, right?

I want to tip my hat to Mr. Brown.  On the Food Network’s website, only ONE baking recipe comes up when you type in “gluten free” in the search box and it is this one. 

As a note to those of you who don’t own a KitchenAid mixer or a stand mixer at all… it will be ok.  My antique West Bend (which needs replaced, but that’s another story) needed some help, but with a little patience and by manually spinning the bowl when the mixer refused to cooperate, we got the job done.  GF baking is a much tricker proposal than non-GF baking… for me the biggest issue is the dough consistancy.  My bread doughs turn out stiff (though they come out ok upon baking) and cookies apparently mush-like (also turn out just fine when baked).  I’ve yet to make a cake, but AB’s coconut cake looks like a good candidate for a GF-conversion (possibly using some coconut flour).  Anyway, enough of me, on with the COOKIES! 🙂

The Chewy Gluten Free

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007
Show:  Good Eats
Episode:  Sub Standards

8 ounces unsalted butter
11 ounces brown rice flour, approximately 2 cups
1 1/4 ounces cornstarch, approximately 1/4 cup
1/2-ounce tapioca flour, approximately 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
10 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 1/4 cups
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Once melted, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.

In a medium bowl, sift together the rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xantham gum, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

Add both of the sugars to the bowl with the butter and using the paddle attachment, cream together on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm, approximately 1 hour. Shape the dough into 2-ounce balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the pans after 7 minutes for even baking. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the pans for 2 minutes. Move the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Store cooked cookies in an airtight container.

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