October 30, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another lawyer has opened a cafe and bakery, and it's completely gluten-free.  Perhaps the American Bar Association should consider a baking chapter for us bakers-at-law?

For a long while, I have not been a fan of many gluten-free treats out there.  They tasted dense and almost gummy-like, and the flavor just wasn't the same.  Since I do just fine with gluten, gluten-free baking did not appeal as much to me.

After hearing about the lawyer opening a gluten-free cafe and bakery, visiting a Denver bakery with gluten-free treats, and getting gluten-free requests from friends (my trusty taste testers), I started to wonder if it was time to play with gluten-free flour--and thereby expand the product variety of my future bakery.

Before law school, I went to business school for my MBA and MS.  My MBA concentration was in Marketing, and many a day were spent learning--and appreciating--competitive analysis.  To help evaluate a strategic position, we learned Michael Porter's five forces framework: the threat of substitute products, the threat of established rivals, the threat of new entrants, suppliers' bargaining power, and customers' bargaining power.  In applying Porter's framework to my question of whether to add gluten-free baked goods to my baking repertoire, I decided it was time to say hello to gluten-free baking.  (Phew, I managed to avoid giving an industry analysis of the cookie industry.)

I turned to King Arthur Flour for a tried-and-true gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe, and as usual, they did not disappoint!  I found some brown rice flour and used that in lieu of a gluten baking mix.  The cookies tasted chewy, and nobody even knew that they were gluten-free until I revealed it.  By leaving the cookies dough refrigerated (preferably overnight), the butter flavor really richness and melds into the dough.  Be sure to use good chocolate because it makes a difference in the taste!

Enjoy, and be sweet to yourself!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 3 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, unsalted
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2 1/3 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 to 3 1/2 cups chocolate chips (and nuts, if desired)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugars, vanilla extract, and salt until fluffy.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, and be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is combined.

Beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.  Add in the chocolate chips and blend.  Continue to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure everything is well blended.

After the batter is finished, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop tablespoons-sized balls of dough onto the baking sheets.  Leave space between the cookies so they can spread.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, to set, before transferring to racks to cool completely.  Alternatively, the cookies can cool right on the baking sheets.

Source: King Arthur Flour


  1. King Arthur is the best! I'll have to make these for my gluten-free friends soon!!

  2. I'm making these as soon as I come back from Adelaide. My friend Jan can't eat anything with gluten and she has a huge sweet tooth. Yay!


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