Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chocolate Cookies

I've been using a chocolate cookie recipe from for a few months now. But it's always bothered me how much to cookies spread out. Lace cookies are awesome, don't get me wrong, but that's not what I'm after here. I modified the recipe a little, enough to get me a triple batch of good chocolate orange cookies for an order placed this week. But I still wanted a better dough. Something I could rely on to come out consitently well and something that wasn't overpoweringly chocolate. The first question I had to address was why the dough spreads so much in the oven.

The answer's a simple one and I can't believe it took me this long to get there. Gluten free flour contains little to no protein. Protein is what binds things together. Normally, I don't have this problem because my cookie recipes have eggs in them, so spreading isn't an issue because the egg protein compensates for the lack of gluten (which is, as you may or may not have guessed, a protein). The recipe I've been using didn't have egg in it, so there was nothing holding the batter together as it cooked. Thus the spreading and frustration. So I took the recipe, deconstructed it, and rebuilt it to suit my needs. Here it is:

1 1/4 cup gluten free flour such as Pamela's baking mix or your own recipe
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
1 tsp orange zest (optional)

Cream together butter and both sugars until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Add the flour, cocoa, salt, egg, and extract (and zest) and beat until a dough forms. Round into a ball and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Drop 1 tsp sized balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 6-8 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Remove from oven and cool on pan for an additional three minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

The result is a moist, chewy cookie that's fudgy but not too much. I like them slightly warm from the pan, but adding raspberry preserves of whipped cream wouldn't hurt. Enjoy!

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