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Feed Me Friday: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Even Santa Will Love

by Alison Landolt

On Christmas morning, Santa Claus sneaks into homes to deliver toys to all the good girls and boys in the world. And as a thank you, families treat St. Nick to cookies and milk. Today's #FeedMeFriday is the perfect gluten-free chocolate chip cookie that is sure to make Santa jolly!

Chocolate chip cookies are my comfort food staple. I’ve probably made more chocolate chip cookies in my life than anything else. I want soft, chewy, buttery, slightly salty, chocolatey cookies. Let’s be honest: gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are rarely that. Immaculate Baking has a decent GF refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough for baking at home. It’s not bad. It’s probably one of the better ones out there, but it’s not great. 

The recipe from Bon Appetit is better, but it still misses the mark on flavor. When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, it’s more about the cookie than the chocolate for me. That means I need a dough that tastes good all on its own. How do you up the flavor without completely reinventing the wheel? Browned butter. 

Dairy is definitely a trigger food for some people. Fortunately, butter doesn’t bother me, and I NEED butter in a cookie. Butterless cookies make me sad. If you don’t do dairy, see the note below. 

Typically, chocolate chip cookie recipes call for room temperature butter, which is then creamed with sugar. Because we are working with gluten-free flour which hydrates differently than wheat flour, we get to play with melted butter. If we are melting butter, we might as well take it one step further and brown it to impart a rich, deep, nutty flavor. No more boring, bland cookie dough! 

2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, browned, cooled but not congealed

¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar

½ cup white granulated sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt (decrease to ½ tsp if using table salt)

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 large egg yolk at room temperature

2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Brown the butter. Be careful not to burn it! Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until butter foams, and then browns, 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool. 

Whisk flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl until combined. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat cooled butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and kosher salt in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time. Beat to incorporate after each addition before adding the next egg. Increase speed to medium-high and whip for 6 to 8 minutes. The mixture should be thick and resemble buttercream frosting.

Reduce speed to low (if using a stand mixer, switch to paddle attachment) and beat in dry ingredients, occasionally scraping bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, until incorporated. Add chocolate and beat until incorporated. Cover and chill 8 to 12* hours or overnight.

Remove dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. 

Using a cookie scoop, portion out the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2" apart. Flatten cookies slightly and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. (Every batch I made took exactly 10 minutes.) Cookies will feel soft and slightly underdone, but they will firm up as they cool. 

Recipe notes:

Measuring Note: When measuring gluten-free flour, you do not want to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. This packs the flour in, resulting in over-measuring. Instead, use a spoon to lightly toss the flour in the container to “fluff” it. Then gently spoon flour into the measuring cup. Use a knife to level off the excess. 

Dairy-Free Note: Although I have not tested it, I’m sure you can get away with using vegan butter in the original recipe. If you want to experiment with making vegan brown butter, you can find directions here: Proceed with caution; I haven’t tested it. 

Do I really have to chill my cookie dough? That’s such a long time to wait! Well, it depends. If you are making cookies and plan to eat them immediately with no leftovers, I suggest resting the dough for an hour before baking to allow it to hydrate. Day-old cookies will be hard, although you can refresh them in the microwave for 10 seconds. In testing, cookies that rested overnight (8 to 12 hours) and were allowed to come up to room temperature before baking had the best initial taste and texture and stayed softer the next day. 

Freezing: This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, so plenty to share with Santa. To freeze, prepare cookies as if for baking. Allow cookies to chill on cookie sheets. Then place cookies in airtight containers in single layers separated by parchment paper. Store in the freezer. Thaw before baking for the best results. 

Alison Landolt is an EFHou cofounder.

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