With less than a week to go before I go gluten-free, I’ve been preparing by a) making a list of foods I need to buy and b) eating as much gluten as possible. I’ve also been studying lists of surprise gluten sources and making lists of restaurants that offer gluten-free options as June fast approaches. But June also means the full throes of wedding season, and I’m wondering: what’s the etiquette on making sure you can have food to eat at weddings and similar events? One wedding I have this summer is that of one of my closest friends, and I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all talking to her about it. The level of our friendship meant that she both sent me the full menu and gave me her contact person at the catering company so that I could call to double check. But obviously, not all weddings and related events lend themselves to that level of comfort. So, gluten-free folks, what do you do in these situations? I’d really love to know.
And now, a lighter note.
As I said, I’ve been eating as much of my favorite gluteny things as possible lately. One of those things is this recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Any baker will tell you that the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe is not an easy one, and that it took them a long time to find a good base to adapt off of. This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit’s Desserts cookbook, more commonly known as my bible. One of my first projects (after the heat of summer) is to work on adapting this recipe to be gluten-free, because it’s too good not to. A variety of my baking secrets are mixed in here that should still work with gluten-free flour, so if you’re adept at adapting recipes, feel free to work off of this and let me know how it goes! If you’re not gluten-free, make this as is, and enjoy. It takes a bit of advance planning, but is well worth it.
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever
(adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened but still cool
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup brown sugar, packed (I use Trader Joe’s organic brown sugar, which does not come in dark/light, but if you have both I’d recommend using dark brown)
3/4 cup regular sugar
2 large eggs
2 overflowing teaspoons vanilla bean paste (pure vanilla extract will also work)
1 regular-size bag semisweet chocolate chips
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attached, beat butter on medium speed for one minute until smooth. Add in both sugars, mix on low for about 15 seconds so you don’t get sugar all over your kitchen, then beat on medium speed (4-6 on a KitchenAid) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well-combined and fluffy, about one minute. Add in flour mixture and mix on low speed (stir on a KitchenAid) until half combined, then dump in chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge at least 3 hours but up to 24.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scoop out a bit more than a rounded tablespoon’s worth of dough and roll between your hands to form a ball, then place on cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating sheets top to bottom and back to front at the 6 minute mark (I know it’s annoying, but don’t skip this step or your cookies won’t bake evenly, no matter how snazzy your oven is). Let cool on sheet for one minute, then move to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 4 dozen cookies.