Half-Assed Gluten Free Cookies

I can never leave well enough alone in the kitchen. This is a constant, a truism with things like the standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, which like many cooks and bakers, I know by heart. I’ve messed with 50 ways to Sunday, but never like this before.

Last year, when I was participating in Warm Sugar’s Artisan Kitchen Project, I worked out a killer recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, using both rolled oats and oat flour in addition to all-purpose flour. Oat flour is typically gluten-free (I use Bob’s Red Mill but there are others) and it adds a subtle nuttiness to the final product; some people swore there was peanut butter in the cookies.

This time, I took it a step further by adding sorghum flour.

In my ongoing quest limit gluten, as ingesting too much of it makes me feel kinda crazy and foggy (among other things), I wanted to see what would happen with half GF and AP flours. The first time I made them, they spread too much, so I took out an egg; I’d forgotten how sorghum flour is much finer than regular AP flour—you need either more of that or less liquid. I didn’t want to make them too cakey and hard, so out went an egg. Then I added some rolled oats in this go around for texture and a bit more liquid absorption, and finally got my answer: A cookie that’s nutty and hearty but still sweet. These cookies are half-in and half-out; a half-gluten free option that’s wholly delicious.

Half-Assed Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups oat flour
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar (or dark, doesn’t matter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 ounce-bag of chocolate chips of your choice

Directions:

1. Whisk together the flours, rolled oats, salt and baking soda together in a medium bowl.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set to medium speed, cream together the butter and sugars until lightened in color and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, and add the egg, beating well. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

3. On low speed, carefully add the flours, mixing until just combined, and then add the chips and stir those by hand with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil or a kitchen towel and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. The dough should be firm when you remove it from the fridge and seem like it will be tricky to scoop out.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out by heaping tablespoons (I use the mid-sized Oxo cookie scoop, which is about 1 1/2 T.) onto a sheet covered with parchment or Silpat. Bake for a total of 8-9 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 4-5 dozen

14

10 2014

Apple Cider Beer Bread

I couldn’t figure out how to name this recipe to make it clear that we’re talking about alcoholic cider, not the sweet, unfermented stuff. So yeah, that’s what we’re talking about. A sweet, spicy bread made with hard cider. Ok. Now that that’s dispensed with, on with the recipe talk.

I was in the process of developing a recipe for a story for Casey Barber’s Good Food Stories that involves Imperial pumpkin ale, real pumpkin, spent grain from said pumpkin ale, and pumpkin-related spices. (The recipe is just part of it; there’s a whole riff on the pumpkin spice craze.) When I made that bread, I realized a day later we had an Oktoberfest to go to around the corner from us, so I then grabbed the unused bottle of cider from my basement fridge, along with an apple from Scholl’s, and got to work on that, too. The pumpkin bread is decidedly more savory; the cider bread naturally went in a sweeter direction, with the addition of freshly grated apples. Either way you go, you’ve got a fall-flecked in a loaf pan, people.

Apple Cider Beer Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 12 ounces hard cider (preferably one thats dry, as back-sweetened ones are going to make this bread sweeter)
  • 5 T. melted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded apple

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit and butter and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.

2. In a medium bowl, Sift together the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg), then whisk in the sugar.

3. In a small bowl, melt 4 T. butter and add the shredded apple. Add those ingredients plus 12 ounces of cider to the flour bowl. Stir gently to combine until all ingredients have been incorporated.

4. Pour into the pan and brush the remaining 1 T of butter across the top. I sprinkled the top of this with cinnamon sugar, but demarara or turbinado would work, too. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown on top and the bread has started to pull from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing the bread from the pan to cool completely.

07

10 2014