Do you cook everything from scratch? Everything? I actually consider myself to be somewhat of a “cooking from scratch” type of cook. There are times when I will, of course, take full advantage of short cuts, namely using canned goods like chicken stock and dried pasta, but for the most part -- say 93.86% -- I will cook from scratch.
Baking, however, is a different story. While I know how to whip up a cake from scratch, I happen to be quite satisfied with Ms. Betty Crocker or Mr. Duncan Hines. Cookies, though, have ALWAYS been made from scratch. Always. Always. Always.
Always, that is until the past year. As you are all aware by now, the littlest member of the gouda family follows a, say it with me, gluten free diet. Whipping up a scratch batch of chocolate chip cookies is a thing of the past for us. For those not familiar with non-wheat flours, you can’t substitute just any old gluten free flour for wheat flour. Even the gluten free all-purpose flour doesn’t perform the same as regular old flour.
This presents challenges, then, when making chocolate chip cookies. I like to send a homemade treat in with my girls’ lunches, and so we’ve been experimenting with different cookie mixes. Our favorite so far is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookie Mix.This cookie mix runs around $5-6/bag and can be found at most grocery stores around here. It’s a complete mix needing only ½ cup of room temp butter, 1 egg, and 2 T of water. One bag makes 24 cookies, which works out great for a week’s worth of lunch treats.Look at the ingredients. While there is nothing overprocessed here, you will see something surprising. Do you see it? The main “flour” is garbanzo bean flour! Indeedlydo, this raw dough definitely has a “beany” and vanilla-y odor. Not bad, mind you, just not, shall we say, traditional. Thankfully, the baked product does NOT taste beany at all.
Cooking with “alternative” flours is very different from traditional wheat flour. Even after combining with the butter, egg, and water, the cookie mix remains very crumbly.See what I mean? To form the cookies, all you have to do is squeeze the dough together into a ball.Despite starting off crumbly, once in a ball shape, it holds together perfectly. It does spread out while baking, and doesn’t fall apart afterward.
In fact, the texture is quite good. Don’t they kind of look like oatmeal cookies? No oatmeal here, though.They spread and bake to a wonderful thickness. Not too thick, not too thin. Crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside, these baked goodies have a nice balance of vanilla and butter flavor.The bottoms turn a lovely golden brown, too. While I could definitely taste chocolate, it would benefit from a few more chips in the mix.
The best thing – my daughter likes them. In fact the entire family likes them. I have to label these “FOR SCHOOL LUNCHES ONLY” because they disappear so quickly.
So, for those of you following a gluten free diet, or for those of you wanting to move away from processed wheat flour, I’d rank these cookies a 4 out of 5.
Our next g/f cookie mix to try is called Pamela’s. I’ve heard good things about her cake mix, so we’ll see how the cookie mix is. I'd love, truly and sincerely, to hear about any cookies that you make that do not contain traditional flour. Send them my way!What do you think? Would you eat this cookie? Come on over, I’ll pour the milk.