Last year when I had gestational diabetes, I had a real taste of what life is like for people with health-related eating issues–it sucks. Sure, there are “alternative” foods for all your unhealthy favorites (fyi–everything but Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches are CRAPPY), but generally speaking, most of the world, from restaurants to food blogs, don’t really consider these people.
I had an incredibly difficult time finding restaurants that even knew if their food was diabetic-safe or not, and forget about baking. And that was only for a few months—how the hell do people with celiac disease or dairy allergies function on a day to day basis without going crazy?
They or other people in their lives research their butts off until they find food that is safe AND crave-worthy. If you read my last post, you know that my sister in law is a celiac (allergic to gluten). She also happens to be a kick-ass person that deserves a delicious food any time of year, so I’ve decided to start including the occasional gluten-free recipe on my blog. This week–gluten-free world peace cookies (crumbly chocolate salty dough with chunks of dark chocolate). My recipe and food porn after the jump!
The original recipe for world peace cookies started with French pastry chef Pierre Herme, who created a slightly chewy salty chocolate sable cookie that writer/baker Dorie Greenspan included in her book, Paris Sweets. The cookie was a big hit, and when she went to include it in her new book, Baking From My Home to Yours, her neighbor mentioned they were so good, they easily bring world peace it people ate at least one a day. Thus, the cookie were renamed world peace cookies.
When it comes to GF baking, I learned there were two ways to go—with a pre-mixed gf baking mix, or by purchasing and mixing your own flours and chemical leaveners. Since I am new to gf baking and didn’t want to mess around with buying and mixing my own flours (I’m cheap), I decided to try out the world peace cookie recipe with Whole Foods gluten free baking mix.
I used Gluten-Free Girl’s recipe as a base, because I wanted to make sure my baking mix had all the right leaveners in it. I noticed the recipe called for baking soda, and the mix I had only had baking powder in it, so I made sure to add in the soda into my recipe. I also made jumbo-sized cookies because hey, this is America, it’s Christmas, and damn it, we like our sweets big. The key here is to use the best quality cocoa powder you can afford (I used scharffenberger) and a good quality chocolate. I didn’t go crazy, but I used my old favorite–70% Lindt dark chocolate, a dark but fruity bar.
Just a warning–this dough is crumbly, especially with odd sized chunks of chocolate in there. Don’t freak—just reshaped together the dough on the cookie sheet and all will be fine.
I learned a lot about baking gf cookies during this experiment. #1 and most important—never eat gluten free cookie dough. Especially when it’s rocking garbanzo bean flour. Pardon me a moment while I gag from the memory.
#2- gluten-free baked goods can taste awesome. Like, just like the gluten-filled pastry bastards do. The end result of this baking experiment was a tasty, chocolatey, crumbly, slightly salty, not too sweet, not too bitter cookie. Like a chocolate cookie for grown-ups. I can’t wait to make it for my sis in law over the holidays!
: Gluten Free World Peace Cookies
: Inspired by Dorie Greenspan and Gluten-Free Girl’s recipes
- 6 1/4 ounces WF Gluten Free Baking Mix
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1/3 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips, smashed a bit)
- Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Whisk in the cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Mix the softened butter and sugars together. with a stand mixer, hand mixer or a spoon. You want the sugar to completely dissolve into the butter, and for the mixture to be light and fluffy–this is called creaming. Add the egg yolk and stir to combine, followed by the sea salt and vanilla extract with another stir.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture 1/4 at a time, mixing slowly in between until all has mixed into the butter mixture. Do not over mix. Pour in the chocolate bits and mix in quickly.
- Split the dough in half and form each half into a log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. (The wider your log of dough, the wider your cookies will be–and I made mine WIDE) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put them into the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
- Cut the cookies into 1/2-inch rounds with a sharp knife. If dough breaks, squish it back together on the baking sheet. 6 cookies per sheet, baking 12 minutes for soft cookie, 16 minutes for a crisp crust/soft insides cookie.
- Let cool 15 minutes before eating. Makes about 36 cookies.