I know this recipe might come as a surprise to those who know me. “Gluten Free???… But you love bread and cookies and anything with flour!”. Yes, I do, but for reasons that are too boring and complicated to explain in this venue, I have been on a semi-gluten-free diet for a few months. I have not been very strict about it because I do taste all the pastries I make, but I am trying.
The first time I really paid attention to gluten allergies was when my godson Connor was put on a gluten, dairy and soy free diet as part of his treatment for autism. Diet has been a crucial element in his recovery as well as other biomedical treatments. He is a beautiful, funny, affectionate and extremely intelligent 8-year-old boy who loves sports and is the best dance partner ever! Too bad he lives a 3-hour flight away from me or he would be eating these everyday.
The first time I made these cookies, I gave them to C. to try without telling him they were gluten, dairy or soy free. Too many “frees” for him to even want to try them. So I just didn’t say anything. I had just pulled them out of the oven. He ate one, then another and said “These are the best chocolate chip cookies you have ever made!”. And he meant it. They were warm and soft and chewy. They truly are very, very good.
I think that the trick to a nicely shaped cookie is to roll the dough into logs and then slice the individual cookies. I like this method better than the scooping one because I think it’s faster, the cookies look nicer after they are baked and also because a log is easier to store in my freezer than a sheet of scooped cookies. These are some tricks you learn in a kitchen that bakes 50 million cookies a day!
Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
110 grams (4 oz) butter flavored non-hydrogenated shortening
110 grams (4 oz) organic brown sugar
55 grams (2 oz) organic milled sugar
1 organic egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225 grams (8 oz) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free baking mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
155 grams (5.5 oz) gluten, dairy and soy free chocolate chip
3g (1/2 tsp) baking soda
5g (1 tsp) fine sea salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the shortening and the sugars until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and the egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all ingredients are well incorporated. Add the baking mix, the xanthan gum, the baking soda and the salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a log that is about 3 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in parchment paper and refrigerate it for at least one hour.
Cut the log into half an inch disks and bake them in a 350ºF oven for about 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown but the center is slightly soft.
This cutie pie is Sophia, Connor’s little sister who ate two of this cookies in a row!
To learn more about diet as part of autism healing, please visit ANDI (Autism Network for Dietary Intervention).