I have always offered gluten-free treats at our holiday party, so I was happy to offer gluten-free options for people picking up boxes of holiday cookies this year. As you might know if you read this blog with any regularity, my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is the one by Jacques Torres that was published in The New York Times. When I realized the Erin McDowell had developed a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie based on the Jacques Torres recipe, I had to give it a try (she also developed a vegan version of the recipe, if that's your thing).
McDowell's recipe conveniently uses almond flour, which was great because I always have it on hand and definitely prefer not having to buy a bunch of alternative flours to make gluten-free items. Other than the use of almond flour instead of wheat flour, there's nothing surprising about this recipe. You cream room temperature butter with sugar and brown sugar until light; add an egg and vanilla; mix in almond flour, salt, and baking soda; and stir in chocolate. Unlike the original Jacques Torres recipe, this dough does not need to be chilled before baking, because time in the refrigerator would not improve the absorption of ingredients into the almond flour the way it does with wheat flour.
I used a #16 scoop to portion out the dough and got 17 cookies from a batch. I flattened the cookies and sprinkled them with Maldon salt before baking.
I thought this was a perfectly good cookie, although the texture was chewy throughout and not crisp outside or along the edges as it the case with the original wheat version. Also, the flavor was not as well developed or caramel-y. I had no qualms about including this cookie in my holiday boxes, even for people who can eat wheat flour. That said, I would not make this recipe again unless I specifically needed a gluten-free cookie. There are just so many chocolate chip cookie recipes that I definitely prefer -- including, but not limited to, the Jacques Torres original.
The other gluten-free selections for my first week of holiday cookie distribution also included King Arthur Flour's almond cloud cookies, Melissa Weller's tahini-white chocolate chunk cookies, and BraveTart's hazelnut-brown butter brownies. I think all of these recipes are good enough to serve even when avoiding gluten is not specific concern.
Recipe: "Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies" by Erin McDowell, from The New York Times.