Saturday, April 05, 2008

Gluten-free Dutch Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a story

My mom, my aunt and my grandma used to pass recipes around to each other a lot. The interesting thing was that, like that old game show where moms had to guess which ketchup-chocolate-peanut creation was baked by their own offspring, each person's baking seemed to turn out differently--even using the same recipe. One recipe that they all had a try at, about thirty years ago, was what we called Dutch Chocolate Chip Cookies--because they came out of the Dutch Cookbook--which I can't remember the proper name of or even whether it really was a Dutch cookbook or Pennsylvania Dutch.

These cookies were like nothing I've had in years. They had approximately twice the fat and twice the sugar of any normal chocolate chip cookie (I seem to remember a cup of butter AND a cup of shortening); one cookie on a paper napkin would leave a grease splotch as big as if you'd put a piece of just-fried bacon there instead. The other notable thing about them was their fragility--you needed the paper napkin, because these cookies would break in half without warning and leave a trail of crumbs everywhere--greasy crumbs, of course. We kids thought they were wonderful.

I remember that recipe kind of running rampant for a year or so after my mom and her fellow bakers discovered it; they kept making batches and trying to figure out why one person's were flatter or puffier than another's. Then I think it died a natural death (probably of clogged arteries).

Flash-forward to this week when I got an unquenchable chocolate-sugar craving and decided to adapt (gluten-free, egg-free) an old chocolate-chip recipe from Family Fun magazine. (I looked online but didn't find it on their website.) Results: a pale, slightly fragile chocolate chip cookie with a tiny bit of sandy texture from the rice flour, but otherwise quite an acceptable taste. It was when I was eating a second, or maybe a third, that I realized what was tugging at the back of my mind: made with gluten-free flours, these are about as close to Those Cookies as I've had in about thirty years. Well, without the greasy splotches.

So here's the recipe. The only complicated thing about it (if you have the gluten-free flours) is that I cut down a flour mix from this wonderful post on the Going Gluten-Free blog. I didn't have enough of everything to make a big batch of flour mix, so I made a third-size batch, which was enough for the cookies and left a cupful of mix to use for something else.

Clear as melted chocolate chips?

Gluten-Free Dutch Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs or equivalent replacer (powdered replacer mixed with liquid)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups of this flour mix: 2 cups white rice flour, 1/3 cup each tapioca flour, potato starch, and corn starch; and 1 tsp. Xanthan gum (see note above: you will have some mix left over)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips or as desired (we only put in about a cupful)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter, sugars, eggs (or replacer) and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients and add.
Stir in chocolate chips last.
Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes (watch them, don't let them get dark). Cool on pans several minutes, then on rack.
Makes about 60 cookies.


Anonymous said...
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Birdie said...

Isn't it funny just how different the same recipe can taste depending on who cooks it?

jasmine said...

Perhaps recipes are like perfumes--any given scent on you will smell differently on me, our neighbours etc..

I hadn' tthought of that show in ages...even back then I cringed at the creations those kids came up with!