gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

I’ve just spent a fascinating ten minutes having a metaphorical ramble through the online Oxford dictionary. I am a bit of a word nerd – I love language and etymology and I was musing on the words “cookie”, “biscuit” and “scone” and the differences between them. “Cookies” have been imported into the British lexicon from the American (originally from the Dutch, meaning “little cake”) but, to us, the word denotes a particular type of chewy biscuit containing chocolate chips. When I was growing up, “cookies” weren’t as prevalent as they are today. We ate “biscuits” – the biscuit barrel would contain an array of Mr McVitie’s finest digestives, rich teas, fig rolls, custard creams, bourbons and, the ones that always got left, half-broken and woebegone in the bottom, Garibaldis or “squashed fly” biscuits as they were commonly known (Yuk. They still make me shudder).

Anyway, my summary of my lesson courtesy of the Oxford dictionary is that: cookies are biscuits and biscuits are scones. Unless you’re Scottish – then they’re buns. Cookies, that is, not biscuits. Clear? Good!

I’ve been fiddling with this cookie recipe for quite a while. We’ve had to munch our way through quite a few clumps of melted chocolate chips surrounded by congealed puddles of over-cooked, crackly butter and sugar. Then I decided to add extra tapioca flour to the mix which is excellent if you want to add a chewy texture to your baking…and chewy is exactly what you want with a cookie. I used dark chocolate chips but you could use milk or white or any combination of the three.

I think the traditional American way to eat these would probably be accompanied by a glass of milk but that’s not something I’ve grown up with, so we eat ours with a nice cup of tea. How very British.

gluten-free chocolate chip cookies 2

Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Makes 12 large cookies

115g butter, softened
80g light brown soft sugar
80g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour
30g tapioca flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
100g chocolate chips

You will also need 1-3 baking (cookie) sheets lined with baking parchment*.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (my oven is fan-assisted, so adjust accordingly). In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the two sugars until light and creamy (I used an electric hand whisk). Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Sift in the plain flour, tapioca flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Beat to combine until you have a soft and sticky dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using well-floured hands, take 50g portions of the mixture and form into patties, about 1cm deep and 6cm across. Place one in each of the four corners of the baking sheet. Continue until all of the dough is used up. Bake for 11 minutes or until golden and spread-out. Leave to cool on the baking parchment and remove with the aid of a palette knife. Don’t try to remove them until they are cooled or they will crumble.

* I only have two baking sheets, so I baked the cookies in two batches.