Monday, February 22, 2010

Ideas for Adapting and Successfully Baking Cookie Recipes

* CHOOSING A RECIPE: Almost any cookie recipe will adapt for gluten-free flours, though cookies with a soft texture or that have to be rolled (like ginger sparklers) may be harder to adapt, though if the dough is too sticky to roll, chilling it will probably fix the problem. Cookies that are light and crunchy will turn out even better than usual when they are made gluten-free. Chewy is a bit trickier. I’m still working on it. Nut flours help.
* FLOUR MIX: Replace wheat flour with a blend of gluten-free flours. My favourite: For 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour, use 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup amaranth flour, 1/3 cup potato starch, 3 tbsp tapioca starch, and 1/2 tsp xanthan gum.
* EGGS & LEAVENING: Use extra jumbo eggs and rounded, not level teaspons of baking soda or baking powder.
* BEATING:The more you cream the butter and sugar, and the more you then beat in the wet ingredients, the more your gluten-free cookies will spread and spread. In fact, I don’t cream the butter and sugar first anymore. I just toss the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla or other extracts into a bowl all together and blend them all briefly until smooth.
* BATCHES: Make small batches and make small cookies. They will turn out better and then will keep better.
* FREEZING: Freeze leftover cookies at the end of the day. They lose texture and flavour very quickly.