This is an adaptation of Gluten Free Girl Shauna James' adaptation of the infamous David Leite's 36-Hour Chocolate Chip cookies. Why 36 hour? Because the dough needs to rest for at least 36 hours before baking!
I do have to point out that this recipe is a departure from my usual avoidance of starch, binders, and lots of sweetener. Why? Because I baked these for my birthday. I shared these with friends with family. These were for a special occasion. And I wanted a real cookie, damn it. So I was willing to do what it takes to get that light, buttery, sweet, crispy on the outside chewy on the inside cookie of my dreams. Even if that means using a bunch of starch, some guar gum, and more than my usual amount of sweetener. The original recipe called for making HUGE monster cookies, and since I wanted a smaller portion size and wanted to share these with lots of friends, I opted for a more petite cookie. But don't be fooled - this petite cookie is wonderfully satisfying. I made a number of other alterations from Shauna's recipe. Since I'm allergic to potato, and wanted a little extra spicy flavor, I substituted arrowroot starch and mesquite flour for potato starch. Instead of eggs, I used gelatin as a substitute, which I'd never tried before and am really happy with. Instead of butter, I used a mix of ghee and Spectrum shortening. Agave nectar took the place of white and brown sugar, and I used about half as much sweetener as the original recipe called for overall. And finally, instead of chocolate chips, I used my homemade carob chips, adapted from Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions".
Assembling these cookies took all night. I melted together the coconut oil and carob powder for my carob chips, and while they chilled, ran to the co-op to get more arrowroot flour, since I needed it for the cookie dough and to make another batch of my homemade corn-free baking powder (equal parts cream of tartar, baking soda, and arrowroot). Once I got back I spent time sifting all the flours, making my new batch of baking powder, and making my gelatin "eggs". I creamed the butter and agave, mixed in my "eggs" and then lovingly and slowly sifted the flours into the butter agave mixture. Finally, I chopped my cooled carob bar into chips, and gently stirred them in. Lots of dirty bowls, spoons, and measuring cups later, I had a very promising looking dough. It lovely light brown color, with a substantial, yet light, texture. It smelled lovely; the fragrant nutty sweetness of ghee mixed with the chocolate-coffee-cinnamon smell of the mesquite flour was intoxicating. I greedily licked the beaters. The flavor was caramelly and buttery, with the perfect mix of sweet and salty. Wow. It seemed impossible, but I had made cookie dough that would totally pass for "real" cookie dough. I've always been a dough eater, and I had to practice serious restraint so as not to eat WAY to much dough...
Then, per the recipe, I covered the dough, and put it to rest in my fridge. My dough rested for a whopping 48 hours. Apparently, allowing the dough to rest makes it flavor through, and creates a drier dough, leading to a better cookie. Patience, darling, patience. Good things come to those who wait.
Finally the time came to bake, the eve of my birthday. And so, bake I did. I scooped out balls of dough onto the baking sheet, and hoped for the best. Sadly, I lost my photos of the dough and my overall process, and somehow only ended up with the single photo I've included on this post. You'll notice that the cookies spread out like real cookies - amazing! They smelled like real cookies. As the intoxicating aroma of fresh cookie filled every nook and cranny of my apartment, I realized that a smell like this hadn't come from my oven in quite some time. I couldn't help but eat a warm one. Yum. Cooled, it was even better.
Is this like the cookie you remember from your childhood? No, probably not. Because it isn't that cookie. But it is darn good. MY friends loved them. My family loved them. I loved them. They were soft, a little cakey, with crisp edges and a chewy center. Sitting outside at the park, sharing a picnic blanket with my friends, I dipped my special cookies in a cold glass of rice milk and it was the best birthday ever. At the end of the evening, my cookies were more popular than the all-natural, super tasty store-bought cookies I had also provided for unadventurous gluten eaters - my friends loved the rich nutty flavor from the ghee, the chunks of carob chips, and the the spicy cinnamon flavor of the mesquite flour. I loved that they loved my cookies. I had some leftover to share with my parents when they came up for the weekend, and they loved them too, which says a lot, because they are both quite discerning when it comes to cookies. Try these out, I think you'll be happy!
36 Hour Mesquite Carob Chip Cookie
adapted from Gluten-Free Girl's adaptation of David Leite's chocolate chip cookie recipe
yield: approx 48 3 inch cookies
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1 cup amaranth flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 3/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup mesquite flour
- 1 tablespoon guar gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons corn-free baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 c ghee, room temperature
- 1/4 c Spectrum shortening
- 3/4 c agave nectar
- 2 T gelatin + 2 T cold water + 4 T boiling water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c carob chips (or chocolate chips) - see recipe below
- sea salt
PREPARE THE DOUGH >>>
PUT IN THE FRIDGE >>>
- Sift each of the four flours, individually, into a medium-sized bowl. Add the guar gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk vigorously to mix and introduce air and make light. Set aside.
- Dissolve 2 T gelatin in 2 T of very cold water, and stir. Add 4 T of boiling water, and stir until gelatin has dissolved. Cool in freezer until room temperature and slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Then whisk vigorously until light and frothy.
- While gelatin cools, put the soft butter and agave into a stand mixer and cream. Mix well, until just combined. After frothing your gelatin, immediately add half of it to the butter/agave mixture, mix, then add the other half. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix for a beat or two.
- Finishing the cookie dough. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter, about 1/2 cup at a time, and then mix. When the all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, gently fold in the carob chips.
PUT IN THE FRIDGE >>>
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap, pressing plastic firmly on the surface of the dough.
- Put it in the fridge, and let sit for at least 36 hours. According to David's recipe, it can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
- Pull the dough from the refrigerator, and uncover it.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
- Scoop onto baking sheet by the heaping tablespoon. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake the cookies about 11-13 minutes, or until slightly brown on the edges, but still soft in the middle. These cookies are better slightly underbaked than overbaked, so don't let bake too long!
- Allow the baking sheet to sit on the counter for a few minutes. Then transfer cookies onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Will keep for 3-4 days if tightly covered; freeze leftovers or later!
Homemade Carob Chips
yield: about 2 c of chips
- 1 1/4 c coconut oil, melted
- 1 c carob flour
- 2 T agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract/flavoring (gluten free)
Whisk all ingredients together until well mixed and smooth. Line a small pan with parchment, plastic wrap, or wax paper, and pour in oil mixture. Place in refrigerator to cool. Once solid, chop into chips of desired size, and store in jar in a cool place until ready to use.