Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie--Part2

I was going to write about my pie dough recipe, it is Turkey day this week after all. But you know, sometimes things just don't go as planned. I'm not the best with that, but what are you going to do, I'm working on it. The funny thing is, Charlie just taught me how important and more fun it is to make the bounce back, from something yucky or not working out just right, as quick as possible. Long story short, on Thursday our day started out great, then she ate a crouton (old fashion style from wheat bread), took a nap and woke up with a tummy ache. She then proceeded to spend the next hour and a half in the bathroom as her body tried its best to bring every bit of that thing back up. Then, it was over, as fast as it came. A few Sesame Street videos, a little milk, water and quick visit from daddy and she was fine--back to her three and a half year old snarky self. Once everyone under four feet tall was happily asleep, I went back to my dough, but it didn't work out like I planned/envisioned. At all. That dough disaster and feeling disappointed and frustrated led me to realize that I was still bothered about and sad for Charlie and her afternoon, hours later. But why? Once she felt better she wasted no time dwelling on it and went straight back to being silly and not listening to me. She's a genius. It was like she was saying, "it's over mom, let's not do it that again, and can you pass me my purple crayon?" So, now I try again with the pie dough. In mean time, here are my imperfect G-free Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Most, if not all, of my recipes are works in progress to a certain degree. But this chocolate chip cookie recipe, my G-Free version, is absolutely still in the “tweak it every time I make it” stage. I want to see this cookie’s development. By posting it now, I see where it is and then will be able to look back and see the changes that it has gone through. The first time I made chocolate chip cookies, way back when, I, like everyone else I know, followed the Nestle Toll House recipe. Because of my need to tweak and make little changes to recipes, I am confident that I only made the true Toll House recipe that first time. Since then I have experimented with different chip combinations, more flour, more or less brown sugar, more or less white sugar, adding a bit more vanilla, adding peanut butter… until I finally got to That Cookie. 

I made That Cookie for Justin during the first few months of our relationship and gave them to him for our first Valentine’s Day. He is a cookie guy, with serious opinions and preferences about cookies; luckily it passed his test. In August of 2005 Justin and I were married at my parent’s place on San Juan Island, WA. That same weekend was the San Juan Island County Fair and the cookies won a blue ribbon. About a month prior to our wedding I spent a weekend at my parent’s place making and freezing about 400 cookies for our wedding. Along with a bottle of champagne (one of my favorite things) our guests took home two cookies at the end of the night. Some people took more than their share of cookies and/or champagne, but luckily we planned for that and had enough of both so that everyone left happy.

And so now I am starting all over again, this time G-free.

As I have mentioned, the original cookie has played a pretty big roll in my life. Who would have thought that a cookie would help find my husband, watch me get married, earn itself a blue ribbon and even help me get a job in the bakery of a catering company? 

Prior to being G-free, when I cooked or baked I knew that if I did or added A, then B would be the result. Now I feel like there are more wild cards, experimentation and “we’ll see how it works out” moments. The best part of this new version is that Charlie can help me mix, bake and taste test. This cookie has already been awarded, from her, an “Mmm, tastes good.” The trick is trying to get the texture and “bite” right. I don’t want it too dry, flat, crumbly, grainy or airy. Not only does the cookie need to taste good, but it has to feel good as well; there needs to be a certain weight to it when picked up. I will know when I have the right recipe the instant Justin tastes it—I can’t wait for that day.

It took a long time to get the original recipe where it is now. This is why I like posting the current version of my G-Free chocolate chip cookie. Seeing the contrast between the two (one, the way I like it and the other, still very much in the works) is a great reminder that it takes a lot of time and effort to get the kinks out and end up with a recipe that I truly love and feel confident about. I have no doubt that I will be able to come up with a great new version of my cookie at some point. While the recipe below creates a pretty good cookie, it will receive more time and more love.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 ¼ cup millet flour
1 ½ cup amaranth flour
1 TBSP psyllium husk powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2 sticks butter, room temp
½ cup cane sugar
¾ cup brown sugar

½ banana
2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients (flours through salt) in a medium bowl and set aside.
With the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium until well combined and the color lightens a bit.
Add the banana and vanilla and mix until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing well between each addition, periodically scraping the bowl.
Add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing until combined between each addition.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Spoon dough onto cookie sheets and bake until edges turn golden brown.


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