… Chocolate Chip Cookies with So Much More!
These cookies are different from any I’ve ever created. No bragging, though my friends tell me I could. Rather, I’m experiencing a slightly shocked excitement to the overwhelming response these cookies are receiving.
My good friends – reliable, regularly called upon, and bluntly honest taste-testers – who are not of the gluten-free, dairy-free persuasion – actually asked me if I cheated for this recipe creation and used real (aka gluten-containing) flour and dairy ingredients. They couldn’t believe that the perfectly crispy exterior and chewy inner textures, and the “gourmet chocolate chip cookie quality” could have been achieved with gluten-free flour, vegan buttery spread, egg-free, and soy-free ingredients. Yay! Yay for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan us … right? Right! (I know, I’m not vegan, but many of you are.) Reviews and feedback with this perception are what I (and any gluten-free, dairy-free food blogger in the community) strive for. That means success. That means we all get to feel “normal”. We can all say, “Yay!”
One thing I love about these cookies is their versatility. With this one basic chocolate chip cookie dough recipe, so many variations can be created by swapping out various nuts, dried fruits, and white, semisweet, or dark chocolate chips. While I’ve not tried playing with seasoning such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or subbing almond extract for the vanilla, I can imagine how irresistible cookies made with these flavors will be. All these options will give you an arsenal of choices – always making your cookies taste new and exciting … while keeping the recipe reliable, successful, and delicious with every flavor change.
For this reason, I’ve decided to share the basic cookie dough recipe and give you all of my favorite add-in combinations in one post, though originally I was going to share only the recipe for the Cherry Walnut Chocolate Coconut Chews. I’ve played around with many variations that I really like, keeping the quantities the same but changing the particular add-ins. My favorites are (in no particular order):
- Cherry Macadamia Dark Chocolate Coconut Chews
- Blueberry Walnut Semisweet Coconut Chews
- Apricot Cherry Pecan Dark Chocolate Coconut Chews – I made this with vanilla extract, but I’m sure the flavors would be larger with almond extract. Can’t wait to try it.
- Orange Zest Apricot Dark Chocolate Coconut Chews
- Basic Dark Chocolate Chip Coconut Chews
(Though the theme of shredded coconut runs through each of my favorite combos, if you’re not a fan, just omit the coconut because … the basic chocolate chip cookie remains the same. I’ve made myself forego the coconut on occasion. )
Two more characteristics I love about this recipe: it doesn’t require a flour blend or binders of any kind. Just equal parts of sorghum flour and almond flour, which in itself is a bonus by providing us with extra protein. To keep this recipe egg-free, I use chia gel, but I’ve made it with eggs too, and the results are equally perfect.
By sharing this way, you can play to your heart’s (or your family’s hearts) desire too. I just ask one thing … Please leave your favorite creations and flavor combos in the comments below. I love hearing from you, seeing your creativity, and learning new ideas that make you tick.
Want to know a secret about one of the ways I enjoy munching on these cookies, regardless of what I’ve dumped into them? I love spreading about a tablespoon of homemade coconut milk cream cheese on each one (once the cookies have completely cooled). I only do this to when I’m ready to eat the cookie right away … because the cream cheese shouldn’t be unrefrigerated too long and because I can’t wait to indulge. The “cream cheese” adds such a great tang and contrast to the gently sweet cookies. This may sound quirky to you, that’s okay with me, but it’s worth a taste try. It’s a favorite snack of mine. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.
So, let’s start baking … and remember to share below!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Coconut Chews
- 3 Tablespooons warm water
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour - I use Honeyville blanched almond flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (100g) sweet white sorghum flour - I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1 teaspoon baking powder - I use Clabber Girl
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 ounces dark chocolate chips (or other chips) - I use Enjoy Life Foods Dark Chocolate Morsels
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, optional
- 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts (or other chopped nuts)
- 1/4 cup dried, tart cherries (or other dried fruit), chopped
- 3/4 cup (155g) packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (80g) stick "butter" substitute, cut into chunks - I use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine warm water and chia seeds in small bowl. Stir to moisten all seeds then set aside to gel.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine almond and sorghum flours in bowl. Sift baking powder into flours. Add salt. Stir well.
- Add chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, and dried fruit to flour mixture. Stir well. Set aside. (Combining the add-ins - fruit, nuts, chips - into the flour mixture helps them distribute and stay mixed in the dough better than if added at the end of the mixing steps.
- In large mixer (stand mixer preferred), combine brown sugar, buttery stick chunks, and vanilla. Beat until well combined and almost creamy. Add chia gel OR 1 egg and mix until creamy.
- With mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the wet mixture and blend well until dough forms a ball and all ingredients are well mixed.
- Scoop dough into balls (I use a #40 scoop - equal to a golf-ball size ball), placing 12 per baking sheet, leaving space between balls. Press each ball down in center, using thumb to create a depression in the middle. This will allow cookies to bake evenly.
- Bake on center rack of oven for 14 minutes, or until golden brown on peaks of cookies.
- Remove from oven and transfer parchment paper with cookies onto a cooling rack. Let set 2 minutes, then transfer cookies off of parchment and back onto rack to finish cooling completely.
- Store completely cooled cookies in a wax paper lined tin, or a resealable container. Will stay fresh for about 3 days. Can easily be frozen and thawed at room temperature for snacks, lunch boxes, etc.
- Note: To change the flavor profile of these cookies, substitute the type of nut, chocolate chips, and dried fruit in equal portions as called for in this recipe. Coconut can be completely omitted, if desired, without changing the profile of the cookie. In other words, the basic chocolate chip cookie chew recipe includes the flours, baking powder, salt, chia gel or 1 egg, chocolate chips, brown sugar, buttery spread, and vanilla. All other ingredients are alterable. Have fun flavor-experimenting.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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