After choking down loads of dense, eggy breads, biscuits and pancakes that felt like they were expanding in my throat, I decided coconut flour just didn’t live up to its reputation as an exciting (or even acceptable) paleo/gluten-free flour. No matter what it was blended with, the results were off just enough to remind me that I was eating a substitute for the real thing. But high praise from Jenny at MFAMB for a chocolate chip cookie made with a blend of coconut and almond flours* but no eggs led me to reconsider. The recipe at Cookie & Kate sounded deceptively simple, so I went straight to the kitchen to test the vegan version** with coconut oil (which you can see above). After cooling them on the pan until they were firm enough to be handled — 10-15 minutes — I bit into a delicious, standard chocolate chip cookie that was crisp at the edges and soft in the center. I defy anyone to identify them as gluten-free by taste alone.
Naturally, I also baked a batch with butter instead of oil (just above), but I made a few other big changes at the same time:
- I browned the butter instead of just melting it, because brown butter makes everything better.
- Taking a cue from the awesome Jacques Torres cookie recipe that swept the food world several years ago, I rested the dough in the refrigerator for three days before baking.
- I doubled the size of the cookies from one tablespoon to two, flattened them slightly, and topped each with a sprinkle Maldon sea salt before baking for 13 minutes.
Weirdly, the butter amplified the coconut flavor more than the coconut oil did, but otherwise, I much preferred the second batch. It’s a heftier cookie that gets its only crunch from the sea salt, which accents the chocolate and just leaves you wanting more. And more. And still more.
Gluten-free bakers, this one’s a home run. Be sure to try this recipe.
* For the record, I used JK Gourmet Almond Flour rather than the more easily found Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour, which probably had a lot to do with the smooth texture that mimics regular flour. If you use almond meal, I’m sure you’ll produce a cookie every bit as delicious as these, just a bit coarser.
** For vegan cookies, be sure to buy dairy-free chocolate chips. I know you dedicated vegans always read labels, but when you’re just starting out, it’s sometimes easy to forget.