Recently one of my good friends determined she was gluten intolerant. This condition is common and makes eating many foods difficult. Most difficult because it can be hard to determine when flour has been used in commercial products as a thickener or stabilizer. Fortunately, she’s been able to use Ultra Gel as a solution to many of these problems since it’s a corn based thickener that doesn’t trigger any of the gluten issues. However, it still leaves the realm of baking as a mystery, so I promised I’d do some experimenting and share some recipes as I learned.
My first gluten free baking experiment was a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I made a wheat flour substitute by combining one cup of milled white rice flour, one half cup of Ultra Gel and one half cup of brown rice flour. All in all I’m pleased with the result, though the brown rice flour is just a little grainy and leaves that graininess in the final product. As Bunneh observed the flavor is fantastic, but that little bit of left over grit in the teeth can be slightly off putting. However, the brown rice flour helps give the cookie structure so I didn’t want to leave it out entirely.
So I concluded that for the next batch I would likely swap out 1/4 cup of the brown rice flour in exchange for oatmeal, which would provide the structure and a more familiar structure. The only problem with this is that depending on the level of gluten intolerance one has oats can also be on the nono list. I think I could also find a more finely milled brown rice flour and I’m tempted to try buckwheat, but a little unsure about the flavor. I’ll report on these options once I give them a try.
As you can see these cookies bake up a little flat, but they had a nice crispy edge and smooth creamy center. I’d like a little more puff and think I can get that by adjusting the leavening slightly for Utah’s altitude, but that will be for another time.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies V1
¾ cup butter
½ cup raw sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla (check your vanilla as sometimes they can have malt in them. Gluten free varieties are usually so marked)
1 cup rice flour+1/2 cup Ultra Gel+3/4 cup brown rice flour=2 ¼ cup flour substitute
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 ounce chocolate chips – (I like mini semi sweet chips)
Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until creamy. Sift together all dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a teaspoon or dishes drop cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until light brown. Serve once cooled.