March 15, 2013

GF Chunky Monkey Cookies

Filed under: baking, cookies, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 10:11

chunky monkey cookies with cookie dough

I think I mentioned before, but I have a cookie problem.

I have plenty of self-control when it comes to cake, brownies or any other baked good, but put a plate of cookies in front of me and poof!  They will disappear.

Like a true addict, I can’t eat just one and instead of confronting my problem, I had the bright idea that if I made healthier cookies I could justify my cookie eating ways.

I’m not delusional enough to believe that it’s okay to eat a dozen cookies in one sitting, even if they are healthy, but I do think that the resulting recipe is a good way to sneak in some extra nutrition.

Fair warning, like a lot of my experimental recipes, this one ended up with a variety of unexpected ingredients in strange quantities.  I haven’t had any complaints and the cookies disappear pretty quickly even when I’m not in the room, but I’ll let you decide.


Makes about 42 cookies

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)

*I used butter and vanilla because I started from my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but am not really sure that it adds anything to the flavor.  I think the peanut butter adds enough flavor and fat that the cookies would probably work without them.


  1. Preheat oven to 4000
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Combine brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and xanthan gum in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In another bowl cream peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat in egg.
  5. Add GF flour mix, oats and baking soda, mix until combined.
  6. Stir in shredded apple and carrot.  Add raisins, chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop, place dough on lined baking sheets and flatten with fork.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes at 4000 or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

One important thing to note about these cookies is that the dough is pretty dark and it’s hard to judge their doneness based on color.  The cookies in the picture look burned, but are really almost the same color as the raw dough.  If they look like the edges are done but still feel a little too soft just leave them on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes.  Just like a steak, they will continue cooking until the pan cools.

Note: I did try adding ground flax in early versions, but it just made the cookies too dry.

So what do you think?  Now that you’ve seen the ingredients and tried the recipe, could these cookies count as a vegetable serving?


February 8, 2013

Basic Gluten Free Cookie Flour Blend

Filed under: baking, cookies, recipe makeover — Tags: — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:39

cup of flour

So, you want to make cookies

They say that the first step to overcoming a problem is to admit that you have one.  I’m not so sure about that, I think it really depends on the problem.

Take cookies for example.  With the exception of pfeffernüsse, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.  Some would say that I have a cookie problem.  It’s not like an actual addiction, I can control my consumption and I don’t have withdrawals if I don’t eat any, but it’s not easy.  I still have to make a conscious effort to step away from the cookie jar and I throw a lot of virtual speed bumps in the path of cookie madness.  The big one being that cookies should be homemade.  It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it is one that does help cut down on the free range munching, or at least it did until I got used to banging out a few dozen cookies at the drop of a hat.  But I digress.

The real cookie problem began when Mr. GF had to give up gluten.

You have to understand that I’ve literally spent years developing my repertoire of cookie recipes.  The perfect chocolate chip cookie, check.  Sugar cookies, check.  Peanut butter cookies that are both crispy and chewy, check.  Maybe it is an addiction, but I wasn’t going to give up cookies without a fight.

After a lot of trial and error I have finally managed a good basic gluten free flour blend for cookies.  Keep in mind that baking is as much science as art and that the type of cookie you are baking will require tweaks in the ratios, but this flour mixture is a good starting point when you want to convert your favorite family cookie recipe to an intestine friendly gluten-free version.

Gluten Free Cookie Flour Blend

makes 2 cups flour

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum

Note: One of the side benefits to cooking gluten-free is that the flours can be custom blended to make whatever density or texture you want.

My favorite gf yellow cake is heavenly and has a much lighter texture than any cake I’ve ever eaten.  The same goes for cookies.  This particular blend will result in very light, airy cookies that simultaneously crumble and melt in your mouth.  If you need a heavier or chewier texture just play around with the proportions.

Try 1 cup of brown rice flour and eliminate the potato starch.  Increasing the sorghum will give you a dryer texture which is great if you are trying to simulate something with a whole wheat flavor.

Experiment until you find the right blend for your recipe.  You may have some misses along the way, but you will get a feel for what each of the alternative flours brings to the table.  Before you know it your cooling racks will be lined with fabulous gluten-free cookies!

December 30, 2011

Pat’s Yummy Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Filed under: baking, cookies, freezer friendly, gluten-free — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:14

Have you seen the price of gluten-free cookies in the store?   It’s crazy!  Four, five even six dollars for a small package of cookies.  I can’t say that I’ve ever tried them, but from what I read online, many of the packaged options are either bland or have a strange texture and just don’t stack up to the gluten filled cookies everybody else enjoys.

What if I told you that I have a super fantastic recipe for gluten-free sugar cookies?  What if I promised that they are very easy to make and taste so close to regular all-purpose flour sugar cookies that you will not taste a difference?  Seriously!  They look and taste the same!

GF Sugar Cookies

Pat’s Yummy Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

(makes about 4 dozen)


  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (sometimes called potato starch flour)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • colored sugar for decoration


cookie sheets with cookie scoop and tea strainer

  1. Preheat oven to 375o and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  (Between the sticky dough and melted sugar the parchment paper is well worth the cost when it comes time to clean the pans.)
  2. Thoroughly mix all dry ingredients, brown rice flour through salt, in a medium bowl and set aside.  Make sure to mix well so there are no streaks and you can’t tell where one flour ends and the next begins.
  3. In another bowl combine the shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined.  Add flour mixture and stir until well blended.Don't worry if the dough seems dry, it will get wetter once you've incorporated all the ingredients  Don’t worry if the dough seems really dry, just keep mixing and it will get wetter once the ingredients are completely combined.
  4. Using a small cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets.
  5. Wet the palm of your hand or a small glass and press the cookie dough so that it is flat.  (The dough is very sticky so you might need to re-wet your hand or glass a few times.)
  6. Once the dough is flattened, sprinkle colored sugar over the tops.  (I use a small tea strainer for this, but you could use a spoon if you don’t have one.)adding colored sugar to the cookies
  7. Put cookies in oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes at 375o until the edges are starting to brown.
  8. Remove from oven and set aside for a few minutes until cool enough to handle.  (If you try to pick them up too soon they will crumble and break.) Once the cookies are cool start eating.


TIP: This dough freezes well so if you want to enforce portion control, prepare the cookies up to step 7 (last step before baking) and freeze. It’s really handy to have cookie dough on hand and a special treat for you and your gluten-free loved one to be able to pop three or four cookies in the oven when they want a snack. You don’t even need to thaw the dough, just preheat the oven to 375o then bake for 8 – 10 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.


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