Gluten free foods confound me. I’m a baker. I love flour. Love, love, love it. I am comfortable with it. Flour and I, we’ve bonded.
So when I can’t use flour, or when I need to use non-wheat flour, I’m at a loss. I don’t know what works. I don’t know what doesn’t work. I have no clue if rice flour or soy flour or whatever kind of flour acts anything at all like wheat flour.
I would have just stayed in my flour-dusted little world, had it not been for some close friends who can’t have wheat or gluten. So, I set out on a quest to find the perfect baked good when entertaining those wheat/gluten-intolerant friends. My goal was to find a baked good that was naturally gluten-free–a recipe that didn’t have to be modified. One where taste wouldn’t suffer because of my wheat-free ignorance.
And y’all. I found it. I found a rich, delicious, absolutely wonderful cookie that EVERYBODY has liked (well, unless you don’t like chocolate. But if you can’t have wheat AND you don’t like chocolate, I’m not sure if we can be friends 🙂 ) Nobody has even guessed that these cookies were gluten-free. It’s like, a miracle cookie. And my friends who can’t have wheat have approved the recipe, so no sneaky gluten has snuck into any of the ingredients.
It’s an easy recipe. Basically, the cookies use cocoa instead of flour. I highly recommend using bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli makes a yummy bittersweet chocolate chip). You can use semi-sweet if you’re in a pinch, but I would even substitute a little unsweetened for a small portion of the semi-sweet. They’re super sweet, and I wouldn’t want them to become cloyingly sweet, especially since you roll the dough in powdered sugar before baking.
One thing I will warn you about. These are kind of a “molten” cookie. I had one friend describe them as a cookie on the outside and pudding on the inside. With the first batch, it’s always a little hard for me to figure out when they’re done. When they become firm on the outside, go ahead and pull them out–but handle them carefully, as they will be gooey on the inside. Usually, I pull one cookie off of the cookie sheet, pop it in the fridge for a few minutes, and then taste it. It’s a fine line between underdone and just-right-gooey, so just go with your gut 🙂
You really should try these, whether you can have wheat or not. They’re simple, and really delicious.
Dark Chocolate Cookies – from Epicurious
- 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided (next time I might use 1/4 or 1/2 cup less)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 2 large baking sheets or line with parchment.
Gently melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).
Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool.