Moist, chocolaty, crispy edges and a chewy center are ideal descriptions of this classic gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have tried several times to duplicate my mother's classic chocolate chip cookies and turn them gluten-free. I think I have just succeeded after multiple failures.
Classic cookies are known for being moist and chewy; however, when I tried to turn a conventional gluten cookie recipe into a gluten-free recipe, I always find that the cookies end up being dry. Little did I know that the secret to making gluten-free cookies moist and chewy is CREAM CHEESE. I know right, who would have guessed?
Before diving into the recipe, I would like to discuss the essential ingredients you need to succeed:
- Cream Cheese (Our secret ingredient)
- Brown Sugar
- Corn Starch (can be removed from the recipe)
Each of those ingredients affects your final product, and understanding their role can help you alter the recipe as you see fit. So, let's start, shall we?
For this classic chocolate chip cookie, we will be using one whole egg and extra egg yolk. One whole egg helps in leavening the cookies, as the whites in the egg act as a leavening agent. This process takes place in your mixer when you mix the eggs with the butter and cream cheese. As you combine the ingredients, the eggs will incorporate air in their cells. The air will later expand when the cookies are in the oven helping in leavening.
Meanwhile, an additional egg yolk helps make the cookie chewy due to the yolk being high in fat. Egg yolks also act as an emulsifying agent. It helps in mixing the batter and making it smooth. Did you also know that yolks are what give cookies a golden color when it's baked? I didn't, honestly.
Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in this recipe. Gluten-free flour makes a very dry batter, which leads to dry baked goods. To increase the moisture in our gluten-free cookie, we need to add cream cheese as it has a high-fat content of about 35%. By adding cream cheese we are giving those gluten-free chocolate chip cookies a chewy center and a classic taste.
We will be using a mix of white and brown sugar for these cookies. Brown sugar is white sugar mixed with Molasses. Molasses is a byproduct made from making sugar. It is bitter and dark in color. The use of brown and white sugar in this recipe provides it with more flavor and depth. The brown sugar makes these classic cookies moist and gives it a delicious nutty flavor.
You can eliminate the addition of corn starch if you like. However, I use corn starch as it prevents the cookie from going flat while it's baking. Another trick is to chill the cookie dough for a minimum of three hours. I tend to refrigerate it overnight and bake it the next morning.
To have the best classic and chewy chocolate chip gluten-free cookie, it is vital to follow the correct mixing technique, especially when dealing with gluten-free flour. Gluten is the main ingredient in all baked goods. Removing it disrupts the chemical process that takes place when ingredients are mixed and baked. Hence, we need to compensate for it mechanically. We do this by focusing on our mixing technique.
We will first have to beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together using a stand-alone mixer to make these cookies. By beating the fat sources (cream cheese and butter) with sugar, we are essentially adding air to the butter to the mixer and dissolving the sugar. The trapped air will act as a leveling agent as it expands in the oven aiding the baking soda and Xanthium gum. This will make your gluten-free cookies chewy and moist and who doesn't want that?
We will then be adding our eggs one at a time to our cream cheese, butter, and sugar mix. This ensures that the eggs are well incorporated before proceeding with adding the dry ingredients.
Once all the wet ingredients are incorporated, we can add all of our dry ingredients while mixing at a low speed. Once the dry ingredients are mixed, we can finally add the chocolate chip cookies.
Can I skip chilling the dough?
Yes, sure, you can. If you are short on time and want to bake your cookies as fast as you can, definitely skip chilling the dough. However, if you have the time, I strongly encourage chilling the dough. It will help hold the fat content together and prevent the cookie from spreading into a flat disk in the oven.
When do I know the cookies are baked?
When the bottom of the cookie is golden in color. Does that mean I have to remove a cookie and check underneath it? Well, yes, that's the best method, in my opinion, to know if a cookie is baked or not. I usually get a spatula and gently remove one of the cookies and check underneath it. Suppose the bottom of the cookie is golden in color. In that case, I remove the tray from the oven and let the cookie sit on the tray for about five minutes before putting the cookies on a cooling rack. Leaving the cookie on the tray for five minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack allows the cookie to further cook on low heat. I know that a lot recommend waiting for the edges to become golden in color, but for me, that advice always led to overbaked cookies.
Classic Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 270 grams of All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon of Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- ½ teaspoon of Salt
- 110 grams of Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
- 70 grams of Cream Cheese at Room Temperature
- 170 grams of Dark Brown Sugar
- 100 grams of Granulated Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 240 grams of Hershey Unsweetened Chocolate Chips
- In your stand-alone mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy (5 Minutes)
- Then add in the eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract and beat until all ingredients are mixed.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, Xanthium gum, and salt together.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix at low speed using the paddle attachment until all is combined.
- Now add in the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
- Then cover the cookie dough tightly and chill the dough in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.
- After the cookie dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 180 °C. While the oven is heating, align your baking pan with baking paper.
- Using an ice-cream scooper, scoop the dough and place them on the baking paper at least 5 cm apart.
- Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 9 to 11 minutes until the cookie's bottom is slightly golden.
- Once the cookies are baked, let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing them from the baking pan and placing them on a cooling rack
- Feel free to increase the amount of chocolate chips in this recipe if you prefer a higher chocolate chip to cookie dough ratio. I have used Hershey Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips in this recipe.
- For this recipe, you can use any brand of all-purpose gluten-free flour. I have made those cookies several times, and each time, I used a different brand, and the cookies always tasted good.
- I have not tried this recipe without Xanthium gum, so I don't know if removing it will lead to similar results. If you have an alternative to Xanthium Gum, please let me know. I would love to try it out.
- You can keep the cookie dough in the fridge for up to three days before baking it.
- Ensure that your oven temperature is 180 °C as the baking temperature will have a massive impact on your final product. I strongly recommend getting an oven temperature as your oven temperature indicator is not always accurate.