I’ve succumbed once again to that which is a cookie and that which is chipped in chocolate. Ah, chocolate chip cookies – what can I say? I’m only one of the millions who are in search of that perfect chocolate chip cookie. The funny thing is about this kind of quest is that that perfect cookie may be perfect to one person, but not so for another: and the quest continues, to infinity and beyond as someone once said.
With the exception of my Dad’s favourite chocolate chip cookies – a recipe I’ve yet to share here, in case anyone starts looking for it – lately I’ve been using a different recipe just about every time I roll up my sleeves to make chocolate chip cookies.
Thinking about it, my idea of a perfect chocolate chip cookie is variable, often shifting depending on my mood. Generally though I like firm and chewy chocolate chip cookies that have that pleasing and comforting density with chocolate chips that are spread throughout the cookie: an even ratio, more or less, of cookie and chocolate chips. I also appreciate crispy edges, when I can get them. All of this I found answered in Carrie’s (a.k.a. Ginger Lemon Girl) chocolate chip cookies, when I decided to adopt her for this month’s Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger hosted by Sea of Book of Yum, who created this event. You might even call these chocolate chip cookies famous.
I followed Carrie’s recipe, the second version, almost to the T. The few changes I made were replacing the sugars with honey – and even this I entered with some trepidation, as I read all of Carrie’s cookie notes – and using Earth Balance (what I had on hand) in place of the palm shortening. The only other thing was that my eyes somehow completely missed the baking powder and, heads up, people, if you don’t have or use baking powder, increase the baking soda to 1 teaspoon. The cookies won’t spread as much as those made with both baking powder and soda, but they will puff a little as you can see.*
- I used about 3 to 6 tablespoons honey (eyeballed), which was enough to sweeten the cookie dough.
- I used the soy-free Earth Balance spread in place of the palm shortening.
- I used cornstarch (what I hand on hand) instead of tapioca flour/starch or arrowroot starch.
- I used about 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt instead of kosher salt, which seemed to work out okay. (I used less salt because of the Earth Balance.)
- I don’t have baking powder (haven’t used it since switching to SCD, even though we’re not anymore completely) and I used 1 teaspoon baking soda.
- I ran out of vanilla once, using only 1/2 teaspoon. The cookies still worked out and tasted great.
- I used Enjoy Life’s semisweet chocolate chips.
*I used 1 teaspoon baking soda and omitted the xanthum gum, which made a dough that was not a stiff and slightly softer than that made with the gum.
It is important to let the cookies rest on the pan for those 10 to 15 minutes or 20 minutes, as Carrie notes and advises. The residual heat finishes setting the cookies (things are still cooking even once removed from the heat source).
I doubled the recipe once and my measurements must have been a little off, as I ended up with a dough that was pliable and suitable for rolling for cut-out cookies. (It must be said, though, that I often eyeball some ingredients such as honey and sometimes my sense of a particular measurement can be a little more or less than the actual measurement.) I rolled the dough into logs and chilled them in the freezer for about 15 minutes, before slicing and baking in the oven for the same amount of time. What resulted was a cookie with a delicate and soft, sandy shortbread-like crumb. They puffed a bit, but did not spread since there was no baking powder used, I imagine. The cookie itself was mildly sweet; most of the sweetness came from the chocolate chips. No xanthum gum was used. I replicated it again, that time writing down the measurements (in weights) and they’re beautiful.
All in all, including substitutions and that happy accident, these are some outstanding chocolate chip cookies – and cookie dough on par with glutenicious cookie dough. Normally, I am not the kind of girl to eat cookie dough – it is not a habit I have – but I found myself nibbling here and there. Putting some in coconut milk vanilla ice cream? Oh, yes. I can only thank Carrie for developing this recipe and working so hard at it for two years, because we clearly have a winner. For me, these cookies trumped Alton Brown’s gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Carrie’s are virtually indistinguishable from wheat chocolate chip cookies and I’m sure that the base would be a perfect springboard for other kinds of cookies.
My aunt – who whooped for joy when I told her over the telephone that I was making chocolate chip cookies – has aptly renamed these mounds of happiness when I was showing her the photos, particularly this one below, still on camera. And frankly, I can’t get that phrase out of my head.
For Carrie’s recipe, click here.