Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies And a Flour Recipe

Cookies are kinda the bomb.
I love baking, and before all this happened it was not unusual for me to show up to the ChemE computer lab with a big box of cookies for anyone who happened to be there. Since I've become allergic I haven't been baking much until now and I swear that the smell of baking cookies has become even harder to resist. That, and cake. I love king cake (the stuff you eat on mardi gras? if you don't know what I'm talking about you're missing out), and at my best friend's last party I made a seriously bad life choice and tried to eat some.... you know, cause nothing says party like getting hives! 

Anyways, without further ado here is a wheat free flour recipe and a recipe for chocolate chip cookies!

For the "flour": huge thank you to Gluten Free Mom for the flour recipe!
2 C. brown rice flour (the super finely ground stuff! check out bob's red mill brand, whole foods or try the asian market)
2/3 C. potato starch
1/3 C. tapioca flour (aka: tapioca starch)
Mix everything together in a canister, simple as that! You can alter the amounts, just keep the proportions the same. Don't try to use this flour recipe for bread, it just doesn't work! 
Also, this tastes and acts a lot like wheat flour, but it doesn't absorb greasy ingredients quite as well for some reason - so if your recipe has  "high altitude" instructions, use them!
Now for the secret ingredient: Xanthan Gum
This basically acts like the gluten in wheat flour, making your cookies chewy and cakes springy. Don't skip it because you think it might be hard to find... I actually found mine at Reasors, which was a total surprise.
You'll want to add it in the following amounts depending on what you're making:
For cakes add 1/2 tsp per cup of flour mix
For cookies add 1/4 tsp per cup of flour mix

Chocolate Chip Cookies, shamelessly modified from the recipe on the chocolate chip bag :)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or more if the dough seems too gooey)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (or the equivalent non dairy stuff)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make sure you check the label, some brands are not gluten free)
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips (you can find milk-free chocolate chips at whole foods)
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture, if the dough seems really runny or greasy add more flour 1/4 cup at a time. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown, these bake a lot faster than normal chocolate chip cookies and they dry out more... try to avoid making hockey puck cookies! Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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