Before giving up gluten, I was big cookie lover. I used to know where to get the kind of crispy, buttery chocolate chip cookie that I like, in almost every neighborhood in Manhattan. It was a survival mechanism. I find Manhattan stressful, but if you live in New York City, you have to go there to run errands. My internal conversation would go something like this…”Erin, If you go to 18th street to buy art supplies for your students from Paper Presentation, you can get yourself a cookie from City Bakery afterward” or “Erin, if you brave Pearl Paint and get all of the art supplies that you need to complete this puppet, there is a Le Pain Quotidian on Broome street and you can buy yourself a cookie”. I know that this sounds ridiculous to those of you who have not tried to get on a jam-packed Brooklyn bound subway at rush hour carrying art supplies for hundreds of students in giant, heavy bags….but trust me…it’s stressful and I deserve a cookie for doing it.
Despite my love of cookies, I was never a great cookie baker, even before I gave up gluten. My friend Barbara makes the most delicious and beautiful cookies. She produces hundreds of perfect cookies at Christmas. I on the other hand, cannot manage to produce even one pretty cookie. I bake my own cookies now (mis-shapen though they may be) because gluten-free bakeries do not happen to cook exactly the kind of cookie that I like. So I learned to make excellent gluten-free chocolate chip cookies at home and I try really hard to only shop for art supplies in Brooklyn…which should really be easier to do, considering how many artists live here.
Aside from chocolate chip cookies, I also used to like store-bought butter cookies like Peak Frean Biscuits (cream filling and jam dot) and Milanos (chocolate filling) and the Newman’s Own ones (with the ginger cream filling). I find store-bought, gluten-free cookies to be uniformly gross and way to expensive, so I recently learned how to make gluten-free butter cookies that can be used to make the cream filled treats that I miss.
I was inspired to learn to make gluten-free butter cookies because of this delicious single origin, Askinosie Chocolate Hazelnut Spread that my friend Tara Vamos gave me. It’s like a super fancy Nutella. Please don’t freak out when I tell you this… but, I don’t like Nutella. Its okay. we can still be friends… and please don’t stop reading my food blog because I don’t like Nutella. My taste buds can still be trusted, I swear. Nutella is just too sweet for me. The fancy chocolate hazelnut spread that Tara gave me is barely sweet at all. I ate only a few spoonfuls of it and then I hoarded it away until I had time to make gluten-free butter cookies. If you like Nutella, it would work in this recipe too. If you come across Askinosie Chocolate Hazelnut Spread though, it is really worth trying (I say this having no idea what so ever of how much it cost).
The butter cookie recipe is from Gluten-Free Baking Classics and it’s perfect. That book is awesome. I took some pictures of the process, because I found it hard to visualize when I was making them. Keep in mind though, I am not a very good cookie maker. If you are a more meticulous person you could roll prettier cookies with a rounder shape. Mine cookies are funny looking, but they still taste great!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup rice flour mix (recipe below)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Askinosie Chocolate Hazelnut Spread or Nutella
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a baking sheeting.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until it is light and creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt; beat until a soft smooth dough is formed.
- Shape the dough into a flat square, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Drop half the dough in small mounds across a large sheet of plastic wrap.
- Fold the plastic over the dough and shape in to a long one inch diameter log.
- Twist the ends of the plastic and smooth the log by rolling it back and forth on the counter.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough. refrigerate both logs until well chilled.
- Using a sharp thin knife, slice the chilled dough into 1/4 inch slices and place 1 apart on a cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes.
- Once the cookies have cooled, make sandwiches with them using the chocolate hazelnut spread.
BROWN RICE FLOUR MIX
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour