3. ChampionLast week's successful batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies contained flax, xanthan gum, and peanut butter. Convinced at least one of these binders was unnecessary, I spent the weekend experimenting.
Without flax, the cookies were flat and crispy. Without xanthan gum, the dough melted into a sheet. Without peanut butter, the dough spread too much and cooked unevenly.
Left and top: Gnarly cookies with flax and xanthan gum
Right: Plump and chewy cookie with flax, xanthan gum, and peanut butter
So in the final recipe, I kept all three binding ingredients. If I were more analytical and better at math, I could build recipes based on chemistry rather than trial and error and dumb luck. I'd probably waste less food that way.
I posted my recipe at Maine Food & Lifestyle, but I'll include it here, too. In a few months, when I've recovered my appetite for cookies, I'd like to work out a recipe that doesn't rely on peanut butter (so many people are allergic). But for now, this recipe is reliable and delicious. Give it a try—I'd love to hear how it works for you!
Gluten-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup almond flour (or finely ground almond meal)
1 tablespoon ground flax
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup (1 stick) nonhydrogenated margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup rice or other nondairy milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter (natural and unsalted)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flours, flax, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum in medium bowl. Beat margarine, sugars, vanilla extract, rice milk, and peanut butter in large bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.
Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.