If you are planning to make gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookies, the good news is that much of the recipe and directions is very similar to what you might be familiar with if you have experience making chocolate chip cookies with butter, milk chocolate, and wheat flour. There are a few tips that will make a huge difference in your attempts, starting from the research and ingredient gathering stage, to the actual baking stage.
Without further ado, let me dive right into the essential particulars of the gluten free vegan experience as it pertains to baking gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookies (I know, that’s a mouthful. Should I mention that they are soy free, too?). Actually, I just finished baking a batch of GF SF vegan chocolate chip cookies and am currently typing one handed as my lips chase the melty string of chocolate trying to run away between the two halves of the lovely cookies. Here are the top tips that you can use to avoid a pure hot mess:
1.) Master Gluten Free Flour Mixes:
It is almost essential to mix gluten free flours in order to achieve a good texture and consistency when baking. Below are some of the flours I prefer to use for pastry baking, as well as additional tips. Keep in mind that I could create a list that was twice as long. I use pea and bean flours for biscuits all the time, for example, but the flours that I have left our I almost never use for pastry baking (although I might use them for meals/ savoury dishes).
- Brown Rice Flour
- White Rice Flour
- Tapioca Flour
- Potato Flour
- Arrowroot Flour
- Millet Flour
- Buckwheat Flour
- Corn Flour
- Soy Flour
- Quinoa Flour
- Coconut Flour
I like to use at least half whole grain flour in most of my pastries, unless I am making something that needs to be a very light texture. Gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookies are fine with everything on the list above except buckwheat flour, in my opinion. Some of the others are included in small quantities only, though. Texture is the most important factor when mixing, as well as flavour, since you will generally be less concerned with the nutritional make-up as compared with gluten free vegan meals.
Here are some of my gluten free vegan flour mixes for pastry baking:
- Brown rice flour 1/2
Tapioca flour ½
- White rice flour 1/3
Tapioca flour 1/3
Millet flour 1/3
- Brown rice flour 1/2
Arrowroot flour 1/4
Potato flour 1/4
2.) Dairy-Free Chocolate:
Dairy-free chocolate was one of the biggest hurdles for me in the gluten-free vegan baking experience. I am gluten and dairy intolerant, actually. As a result, I look closely at the manufacturing processes used to make the chocolate. Obviously, anything that has any milk, cream, butter, butteroil, and so for, in the ingredients is off the list. What else is there, you ask?
Virtually every commercial chocolate on the mass-market is produced on factory equipment that is shared with products manufactured with dairy ingredients. Yes, dark chocolate is included in this category, too. Most dark chocolate contains some dairy, and those that do not virtually always note in bold lettering that they used equipment shared with dairy-containing products and therefore may contain traces of dairy. This fact may or may not matter to the vegans reading this, and that is certainly up to you. For me, on the other hand, it is a big deal. If the equipment is cleaned very well it may be safe for me. Many will still cause a reaction. There is no hard and fast rule to this rule if you decide to be flexible about what companies you choose to buy from. I find even in my local very respectable vegan shop in Greater Vancouver, Canada, a very large part of the vegan chocolate products are manufactured on shared equipment. I generally research and then contact the company and if the company really stands behind their cleaning practices, I may consider trying the product if I cannot easily find a substitute. This method has not let me down yet.
3.) The Bonus Ingredient
I usually add a tsp of xanthan gum to my baking mix to prevent an over crumbly mix. You may find that once you are really good at balancing your flours, you do not need to add this for recipes where you want a very crisp result.
Gluten-Free Soy-Free Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1 cup millet flour
- 2 eggs worth or Orgran Egg Replacer
- 2 tsp real vanilla extract
- 1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks
- 1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking soda
Making gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cookies is partly about adapting to uncommon circumstances. We cannot simply go to the store and get 20 varieties of jammy dodgers. If you are willing to try new things and adapt your recipes, you will find that this limitation is really a benefit in the kitchen. I much prefer to eat the cookies I bake myself, even when they are not all nice and warm, fresh from the oven.
If there is anything in these recipes that doesn’t suit your tastes, that’s great! If you really look at what you have taken out of the dairy and gluten-containing recipe, and what substitutes you add instead, you will have a feel for what you can do to modify your own recipes. You can even make them from scratch. After you make a couple dozen batches of cookies, the basics will really become basics and you will be off to the races!