Cookie 101

Tips for Making Over Your Favorite Cookie Recipes

(1)  If you are converting a recipe you’ve never tried before, consider making  half a recipe first.  This way you are not wasting precious ingredients if you don’t like the taste or texture or if the recipe simply doesn’t work.  Just make sure to cut everything by half when you are testing a recipe this way.

(2)  Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend to replace regular flour (cup-for-cup) in all your favorite cookie recipes.  Gluten-Free Pantry, Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour all have an All-Purpose Baking Flour that is perfect for these projects.

(3)  Add ½ teaspoon xanthan gum and ¼ teaspoon salt per cup of the flour blend  if they are NOT included in the blend or listed elsewhere in the recipe.

(4)  Use unsalted butter in recipes that call for butter.  If you are dairy-free, try replacing butter with Earth Balance Buttery Non-Dairy Sticks or another non-dairy spread.

(5)  Use good quality vanilla such as Nielsen-Massey vanilla in all your baking.  It’s a bit more expensive than artificial vanilla, but a little goes a long way and the flavor is worth it.  All grain alcohol vanilla is safe for the gluten-free diet as the gluten molecule is trapped in the filter during the distillation process.

(6)  For cut out and spritz cookies, chill dough before scooping and baking or form and chill.  This helps cookies keep their form and prevents cookies from spreading.

(7)  Double check your oven temperature by using a separate oven thermometer.

(8)  Baking times and browning will vary depending on the type of cookie sheets you use so begin checking for doneness at the shortest time given on the recipe.  Use flat cookie sheets (no sides) if possible to allow cookies to bake more evenly.

(9)  To store cookies, cool completely, wrap well and freeze.  Remove frozen cookies and make up packages to give as gifts.  No need to thaw them first.