Start typing “gluten free chocolate chip” into Google and the first search suggestion is “gluten free chocolate chip cookies”. (Second is gluten free chocolate cake.) Maybe I’ve made it obvious in my various comments on different bloggers’ posts, but just in case I haven’t, I like chocolate chip cookies. It’s one of those cookies that seems to always hit the spot and that everyone likes. Some days, I’ll get a hankering for them. In the old days a.k.a. before blogging I would just crave that cookie – sometimes it would pass, other times it would be reciprocated. Nowadays I’m on the Internet, torturing myself with pictures of all kinds of chocolate chip cookies and reading recipes, then driving myself crazy trying to figure out which ones to make with what I already have on hand. Such was the case with these cookies.
First I was looking at Elana’s chocolate chip cookies – the ones that I’ve read rave reviews about everywhere, from people who have made them to people who have eaten them, made by Elana herself, at food blogging conferences. All of the ingredients I had on hand but not enough for all of them.
The deal was sealed when my brother came along and saw what I was looking at. “Chocolate chip cookies? Are you going to make them?” Meaning, today. (This was a couple of weeks ago.) Then I remembered a gluten-free, flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookie I’d seen on Martha Stewart’s website, but that I’d first caught sight of in one of the issues of Everyday Food way back in 2005. (Really, was it that long ago?)
And yes, I am categorizing this under legumes. Peanuts aren’t nuts, as much as they are mistaken to be.
Of course, I made a version with almond butter as well, after feeling a pang of guilt when my brother asked where his cookies were, ones not made with peanut butter. Although he’s improving day by day and being able to add things to his diet that he couldn’t eat before, such butter now and then, among the string of diet restrictions he has, for lack of a better word, is peanuts. They’re not tolerated that well and, frankly, it’s just as well since peanuts can be very hard to digest.
Thankfully, there was already a jar of almond butter in the fridge and he helped me make them, measuring ingredients and mixing the batter, spooning the batter on to the cookie sheet to form the cookies. And then we waited.
So here we have essentially two recipes, you can you use either peanut butter or almond butter – whichever you prefer. Some people, namely my Mum, think that the almond butter ones are the best, hands down.
One year ago: Lemon Madeleines (SCD & GFCF)
Flourless Peanut Butter or Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Everyday Food (March 2005)
The original recipe uses creamy peanut butter and 1/2 cup of roasted salted peanuts. Here, I use crunchy peanut butter as that’s what I have on hand, thus omitting the extra peanuts. (For the almond butter version, I used smooth.) Although I’ve cut the recipe in half, some of the measurements of the ingredients I haven’t altered, such as the 1 egg since I don’t think it would hurt. Otherwise, it’s because I was once baffled as to how to measure 1/2 egg but no longer, thanks to this Chowhound thread. I also tweaked the amount of sweetener, according to my taste. I wanted a distinct peanut flavour to come through, as it would also be sweetened slightly from the chocolate chips. Think Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
This cookie dough also freezes well, making it perfect for those times you want cookies fast and don’t want to wait any longer than it takes to bake them, aka don’t want to make cookie dough. (See the freezing tip below following the instructions.) Cookies made from frozen dough are slightly firmer and chewier than the ones made from dough that is just refrigerated or not refrigerated.
Makes 1 dozen
1/2 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup to almost 1/3 cup agave nectar or honey, or to taste (I went for the 1/4 cup)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
About 1/3 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Stir the peanut butter or almond butter and agave or honey in a bowl. Tweak sweetness if necessary, tasting. Add beaten egg, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Now, there are two ways to go about making these cookies. You can either cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it, placing it in the coldest part of your fridge, for 10 to 20 minutes to thicken the batter to a dough consistency* (you can also refrigerate it longer than that, if you only have time enough to make the dough and bake the cookies later) or use the batter as is, scooping a tablespoonful for each cookie and placing on the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
If you decided to refrigerate it, moisten your hands with some water – just enough that they’re damp – and roll about a tablespoon of dough at a time into balls. Be prepared that you may have to rinse your hands in between rolling as the dough will eventually stick, moistening your hands again. Place on the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until cookies are golden and puffed. Cookies made with almond butter spread a bit more than ones made with peanut butter. Remove from oven and cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container. Enjoy!
*Freezing: Alternately, plop a tablespoon of the batter for each cookie, spaced 2 inches apart, on the prepared cookie sheet. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until the cookies are firm enough to hold and peel away easily from the parchment paper. Transfer cookies into a Ziplock or freezer bag and store in the freezer until you want to bake them. Bake for the same amount of time and cool.
Unbaked and baked cookies will keep frozen for up to 2 weeks. They may keep longer, although that was as long as the cookies lasted before they were all eaten. If any readers make these and store them in the freezer for a longer period of time and they’re still good, please let others know in the comments section. Also, baked cookies can be either thawed or eaten straight out of the freezer. (If you’ve never eaten frozen chocolate chip cookies before, they’re kind of addicting.)