A few years ago you would have found me, a professional chef and caterer turned weekend cookie maven, selling my sweet treats at one of three farmer’s markets. I had created a line of cookies, after months of delicious testing, that met my uber-high standards. I decided that between catering gigs in this downturned economy, I’d participate in some farmer’s markets to generate a little more revenue. The biggest sellers were Chocolate Buzz (a deeply rich and moist triple chocolate cookie with a fabulous hit of espresso, hence the “buzz”) and Cherry Oatie (a cookie packed with texture from oats, pecans, dried cherries, and chocolate chips). Others found the chocolate chip or peanut butter more to their liking. For my Saturday morning sugar junkies I created an ice cream sandwich, filling my just baked yummies with ice cream from Cleveland’s own talented Mitchell brothers of Mitchell’s Ice Cream. They were ‘da bomb. Especially when I filled the Chocolate Buzz with Coffee Chocolate Chunk ice cream. Not appropriate for children under 18.
What I didn’t earn in profits working the farmers markets I gained in the warm, back to nature, slow down and get to know your neighbor, comaraderie that is ever present at the farmer’s market. I no longer sell my treats at the farmer’s market – the gluten sensitivity diagnosis put a kabosh on that adventure. However, just last night my husband suggested I take my reinvented cookie recipes that are now free from gluten and dairy, back to the market! I’ll have to think about that one. Nonetheless, I am so glad we can continue to get our local meat and produce (especially my son’s favorite “4 a day” Paula Red apple) through the whole winter at our nearby Countryside Farmer’s Market inside the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
A recipe, you ask, for those renovated, updated, reinvented farmer’s market cookies? I’ve been selfishly keeping them to myself . Sure, I baked the chocolate chip cookies for snack this week for my daughter’s brownie troop, but I’ve never considered giving the recipe away. I can share the recipes for my waffles and pancakes, and pizza (hold the gluten, please). But my cookies? I’m possessive. I’m protective. I’m proud. They are so good I can barely believe it. But today, I’m in a sharing mood. Today, as I look out and see the trees blowing in the cooling Autumn winds, I wish everyone the joy of sharing a warm from the oven, melty, gooey, chocolate chip cookie. So, today, I will share. I hope you enjoy.
I have only made these cookies using my own gluten free flour blend. I’ve had such success with my blend, that I don’t even consider buying anything prepackaged any more. If you do make these with a purchased mix, let us all know what you use and how they turned out. I’m sure Better Batter or Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour would be a fine substitute.
You’ll see this makes a large batch of cookies. The only kind I make. I mix the batter, portion the dough out into balls using an ice cream scoop, and freeze the dough balls individually on a sheet pan. Once frozen, they can be transferred to a freezer safe container and you can bake as many or as little as you like when the craving arises (no need to thaw). As you’ll know if you’ve been gluten free for any significant amount of time, gluten free baked goods don’t stay fresh for very long. Many nights, my husband or I will bake off 6 cookies after the kids are in bed for our own little snack. Shhhh, don’t tell them our secret. You’ll have to guess if there are any left on the sheet pan in the morning.
- 2 cups The Culinary Artist's Gluten Free Flour Blend or another all purpose flour of your choice
- 6 tablespoons almond meal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup organic palm fruit shortening or organic extra virgin coconut oil or a combination of them
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups dairy free chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the white and brown sugar with the palm fruit shortening and/or coconut oil until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and then egg.
- Gradually, mix in the flour mixture until mostly combined. Mix in the chocolate chips on lowest speed until well blended.
- Using a #40 ice cream scoop, or heaping tablespoon, drop the dough onto a parchment lined sheet as close together as possible without touching. Freeze sheet, covered with plastic wrap, until balls are frozen solid.
- Transfer frozen dough balls to a freezer safe container or bag until ready to bake.
- Although cookies can be baked immediately after mixing, they will spread more than after they have had time to rest in the freezer.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer frozen dough balls, 6-8 to a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for 9-10 minutes. Cookies may still look soft in the center. They will continue to bake and set up as they cool on a cooling rack. Let rest for a few minutes before devouring.
I’m excited to link this recipe up to The Tasty Alternative’s Allergy Free Wednesdays weekly blog hop, as well as Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday recipe swap.