Friday, October 24, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Part 2

So this happened:


But let's backtrack a bit, shall we?

Firs came the gluten free flour mixture, adapted from another recipe to be easier (no measuring, no muss, no fuss). When I told The Child what I was doing, she went on a brief rant about how dumb the American measuring system is (based on units of twelve) and that colonists developed it because they wanted to be nothing like the British but in the process they totally screwed generations of children who are clueless about the metric system, an infinitely more logical system.

Can't argue with that, really.

The other good part about my flour mixture is that it is based on the weight of the flours, not the physical measure, which as any baker worth their chocolate chips will tell you is the way to go with baking.

But I digress.

I used the basic Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe. Nobody said this was going to be a health food blog.

Cooking tip: most chocolate chip cookie recipes require packed brown sugar. This is a pain, very messy, and ultimately super bad for you because you always end up licking the delicious brown sugar off your fingers when you're done. Also bad for your sampling team if you happen to have ebola and don't wash properly after licking your fingers. Easier method is to dump the brown sugar in a plastic freezer bag, then use the side of the bag to pack the sugar into the measuring cup as needed (lightly or firmly, as required).


I did promise food photography ranging from the terrible to the merely okay, but that's part of the process, yes? You get the idea here. No sugary fingers. Which could be a blessing or a curse. I may or may not have eaten a big clump of sugar anyway.

So when the cookies came out, I made a huge mistake, and tragedy struck.


This is what happens when you don't wait a minute or two for the cookies to cool. Half of the hot, chocolately deliciousness falls into the sink where, try as you might, it is unsalvageable. No 5-second rule in a sink with soap in it.

The verdict?

I thought they were damn near perfect, but I needed an unbiased set of opinions. I sent a bag of cookies to school with The Child with instructions to share at lunch and not tell her friends they were gluten free until after after they were eaten. Apparently, I have several new fans and orders for more.

This is not quite enough, though, as teenagers are not known for their palates (generally). I also delivered some to my gluten free friend Peter and asked for an honest assessment. Did they taste like gluten free cookies? Did they feel like gluten free cookies, or could they pass as a regular cookie?

Let's be honest: many (most?) gluten free cookies have the mouthfeel of that wonder sand stuff that sticks together. The texture is generally dense, grainy, and heavy, with a slightly beany aftertaste (from the chickpea and other bean flours that gluten free folks seem to favor).

Peter reported thumbs up all around. Not only were they chewier and softer than other gluten free cookies, but there was also a pleasant salty aftertaste (I may or may not have added a little extra salt than was called for to achieve this).

Days later, the cookies remain chewy in the center and crispy around the edges. So I rate this gluten free flour experiment  success, and move on to the next two challenges: bread in the bread machine (no counter space to properly knead, plus, if I am being honest which I always try to be, I am just too lazy) and pizza dough. I am also making apple butter in the crock pot, which can save most any baking disaster. Stay tuned.

(Images all mine. You were warned.)

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