I’ve been obsessed with perfecting this gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe. I even went so far as to skip my salsa dancing class so that I could try just one more variation to see if it was better. It wasn’t. The winner was the previous night’s version. The differences were subtle but important. I mean, it’s a gluten free, low carb, sugar free, chocolate, chocolate chip cookie. What could be more important than getting that right?!
Baking is fussy but fussy doesn’t equal difficult. You just need to follow certain rules for it to come out right. Winging it is fine with a frittata, but not with a cookie.
Here are important things to know (just by the way – none of what follows is complicated):
You do need to care what type of almond flour (also called almond meal) you use because they are not all created equal. You need one that’s very finely ground, which is not the bulk type or the Bob’s Redmill type. Honeville almond flour works great and is the one I use. You can also create finely ground almond flour by taking coarse almond meal and putting it in the food processor. Just watch carefully not to over process or it will turn to almond butter. More effort but it works.
The temperature of the butter matters. It needs to be softened but still cool. If it gets too soft and close to room temperature, the cookies don’t hold their shape. The New York Times has a great article on butter temperature and cookies if you’re interested in the science of it. If not, you don’t need to get too worked up about this – just make sure the butter still feels a little cool.
What about chocolate and low sugar? I buy chocolate with a very high percentage of cocoa, like 70% or more, so it has less sugar in it. It does have some sugar though. Another alternative is chocolate sweetened only with stevia (not my personal favorite but my kids like it). You could also make your own chocolate chunks and melt unsweetened chocolate and xylitol, let it cool, and chop it into pieces. I’ll be working on that recipe soon.
Oats are inherently gluten free. However, they can be contaminated by gluten when they’re processed. Oats and oat flour that are certified gluten free are available from Bob’s Redmill and others.
I’d love to hear from you so please let me know how these turn out. More is more as far as cookies go, so maybe you have some ideas for things that can be added? Grated coconut and dried cranberries come to mind.
- 6 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 1/2 cup xylitol, or more to taste
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely ground Honeyville almond flour (or another finely ground almond flour)
- 3 tablespoons oat flour (certified gluten free oat flour is available)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Valrhona is my favorite)
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or more to taste)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips or chocolate cut into small chunks (use high % cocoa for low sugar, or stevia sweetened for sugar free)
- Put rack in upper middle of oven and preheat oven to 350°.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and xylitol on medium speed for 3 minutes, until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add almond flour, oat flour, salt (if using), and cocoa powder, and beat on medium until dough is well mixed.
- Add chocolate chips and walnuts and beat on low until combined.
- Roll dough into 1" balls (about 2 scant tablespoons). Space about 1 1/2" apart on baking sheet. (Cookies don't spread as they bake so they can be close together). Gently flatten balls. You can use the palm of your hand but it's much quicker and easier to use a small juice size glass: wrap the bottom of the glass with parchment paper and attach the paper to the glass with a rubber band.
- Bake until cookies start to firm, about 10 minutes. Cookies will not be firm when you remove them from the oven. They firm up as they cool.
- Note: These cookies taste great warm of course. But they also taste great frozen and get kind of fudge-y.