These gluten-free chocolate chip cookies get loads of flavor from oat flour, vanilla bean brown butter, bittersweet chocolate, and flaky salt. Xanthan gum is an optional ingredient here; adding it will make the cookies chewier and less delicate, but I usually leave it out and my cookies are still delicious! This makes a relatively small batch of cookies, as far as batches of cookies go, so feel free to double it. The dough keeps beautifully in ready-to-bake balls in an airtight container in the fridge, or longer in the freezer. Let the dough balls soften to room temperature before baking. See more cookie-baking tips in the above post. You can find more gluten free cookie recipes in my book Alternative Baker!
Prep Time: 30minutes
Cook Time: 10minutes
Resting Time: 1hour
Servings: 15-20 cookies (3 inches each)
8tablespoonsbutter (115 g) unsalted butter
1/2vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste, added with the egg)
1/2cup(100 g) packed organic dark brown sugar
1/4cup(50 g) organic granulated sugar
1large egg (2 ounces by weight out of shell)
1/2cup(80 g) sweet white rice flour (such as Koda Farms Mochiko)
1/2cup(60 g) gluten-free oat flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)
2tablespoons(15 g) tapioca flour
1/4teaspoonfine sea salt
1/4teaspoonxanthan gum (optional, for chewier cookies)
1/2cup(60 g) toasted pecans, cooled completely and coarsely chopped
flaky salt such as Maldon, for sprinkling
Make the dough:
Brown the butter: Melt the butter and vanilla bean and scrapings (if using) together in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. (If using vanilla extract or paste, just brown the butter by itself and add the vanilla along with the egg.) Continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter turns golden and smells absolutely amazing, 3-5 minutes. There should be dark brown bits (not black) on the bottom of the pan. When the butter starts to foam up, watch it very closely as it can go from brown to burnt in moments.
Place the sugars in a large bowl and when the butter has browned, scrape it and the browned bits into the sugar immediately to stop the cooking. Let cool, stirring occasionally, for 10-20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean if using (you can rinse and dry it and use it to make vanilla extract or to flavor a small jar of sugar or liqueur).
Meanwhile, sift together the flours, baking soda, salt and optional xanthan gum into a medium bowl to unclump the oat flour.
Whisk the egg into the cooled sugar mixture until well-combined and emulsified. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, stir until well combined, then continue to stir vigorously for 45 seconds; the mixture will firm up slightly. This increases the stickiness of the flours and xanthan gum (if using) helping the cookies hold together and be more chewy. Stir in the nuts and chocolate until evenly distributed.
Cover the dough and let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours to allow the butter to firm and the starches to absorb moisture, leading to thicker, chewier cookies. Alternatively, if baking the cookies later, scoop the dough into individual balls, place close together on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover tightly, and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to bake.
Bake the cookies:
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375º. Line two rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop the dough into 1 1/2" diameter balls (about 3 tablespoons each; a size 24 or 30 spring-loaded ice cream scoop works wonderfully) and place on the prepared cookie sheets, spaced 2-3 inches apart. Flick a few flecks of flaky salt over the top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies about 7-10 minutes, rotating back to front and top to bottom after 5 minutes. When the cookies are ready, they will seem underbaked. The edges should be just starting to color, and the tops should be puffed all over with soft centers that collapse when gently touched with a fingertip (note: there will be less collapsing if you didn't use xanthan gum). The centers will look wet under a thin surface of dry, cracked-looking dough.
Remove the cookies from the oven and pull them, parchment and all, onto cooling racks. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before devouring. Or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature; the butterscotch flavor comes through better when the cookies are cool.
The cookies are best within 2 days of being baked.
Make-ahead:Make the dough as directed, then let sit until firm enough to scoop (or chill for a few minutes). Scoop into balls, place the dough balls on a small baking sheet lined with parchment, and chill until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer the cold dough balls into a container and chill for up to a week or so. When you’re ready to bake, just plop the dough balls on a cookie sheet as directed, top with flaky salt, and bake. You can also freeze dough balls for up to several months.Tips for better cookies:Since cookies are sensitive to slight changes in moisture and temperature, here are some ways to get foolproof cookies:
measure by weight, not volume
if measuring by volume, use the dip and sweep (aka scoop and swoop) method
make sure your oven is the correct temperature by using an external oven thermometer
bake off a single test cookie to make sure your cookies spread the right amount
if your cookies spread too much, add more flour or increase the oven temperature
if they don't spread enough, flatten the dough balls or decrease the oven temperature