Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

For quite a while now I have been working on this recipe. I couldn't get the flour quite right, however. In one of my early experiments, I used a combination of white rice flour and garbanzo flour. The result was bean-tasting cookies with a hint of chocolate. Not quite so great.

I was relieved, however, when one of my more skeptical taste testers (one of my coworkers) shunned my other skeptical coworkers for not trying them. He said, "You guys are missing out. Seriously. It's a little strange, but it's gold." He said that the spices made the cookies taste so good.

After deliberating some more, I realized almond flour would be best. One trick in gluten free baking is deciding which flours to use and which to leave out. After experimenting a bit, I decided that my goal is to try to use flours that are nutritious or high in protein. Thus I chose almond flour, since it has a good taste and is high in protein, so you don't have to feel too bad when you eat these cookies.

I also had some trouble finding the right kind of chocolate chips, but fortunately Whole Foods has a helpful solution: Vegan Chocolate Chips. I have tried cutting up chunks of Scharffen Berger dark chocolate, but they didn't have quite the same effect as chocolate chips.

Gluten and Casein Free Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup (8 tbsp.) Earth Balance or Margarine, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 cups Almond Flour (I used Natural)
2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Allspice
1/2 tsp. Cloves
Dash Nutmeg
1 bag (12 oz.) Vegan Chocolate Chips

        Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance or Margarine, then add the two sugars and beat until fully combined. Then beat in the vanilla and the eggs.
        In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Beat into the wet ingredients until they are fully combined.
        Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into balls a little over an inch thick and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Let bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies look done. If you use Natural Almond Flour like I did, that combined with the spices will give the cookies a darker color, which makes it a little tricky to tell when they're done. But if they feel firm enough, take them out. You can always check and put them back in for another minute or two, or just eat them when they're gooey. If you like, let them cool, then enjoy!

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