Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
There is one recipe that has perpetually plagued me. One recipe that I just cannot seem to get quite right: chocolate chip cookies.
I have read numerous recipes, tried various combinations of flours, sugars, chocolate, added different ‘secret ingredients’ and still just never really felt satisfied with it. What was the problem?
Let me go back a bit. I have very particular feelings about chocolate chip cookies. While I do love the classic toll house cookie recipe, it felt like more my childhood self who was satisfied by it. My adult taste wanted something that had a little bit deeper flavor, more savoriness, slightly less sweetness, a crisp outside and a soft inside.
My ideal cookie is a cross between the thin, crisp and the thicker, cake-like cookie. Let the testing begin.
A lot of recipes I read called for brown butter. Brown butter is a magical thing that has a delicious nutty, toasted flavor that adds such an incredible depth. I don’t know how to describe the flavor, but its so good. I tried it in 3 different recipe tests, but always seemed to end up needing to add more fat to the mixture and ended up with an oily cookie or it would the end result would be too dry and crumbly.
So, back to the drawing board. Why not almond butter? You get a great roasted, nutty flavor with the added fat. I have used almond butter as a butter replacement in other recipes so I knew that it could work. But using almond butter on its own, didn’t deliver the exact texture I wanted.
Why not combine butter and almond butter? AND IT WORKED. It ended up being the perfect balance of flavor and fat. Did I do a little dance in my kitchen? Yes I did.
Ok, let’s talk dry ingredients.
There are two ingredients in the dry mix that are key to this gluten-free cookie. They might seems weird, but they have a purpose.
Potato Starch. It is a weird one, but one that I always have in my pantry. When you take the gluten out of baking, you are taking out one key element of the chemistry of baking. Gluten provides that chewy texture, gives your cookie structure so the other ingredients come together even better. Even thought I am using a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour, I found that when I didn’t add the potato starch, the texture of the cookie was too cake-like. Not that that is a bad thing, but it just wasn’t what I wanted. Potato starch gives a little density to the dough; some wanted starchiness.
If you don’t have it in your pantry, I recommend picking some up. It is available (not expensive either) at most grocery stores or online (thank you amazon). Just make sure you get potato starch, not potato flour.
The next dry ingredient that is key is nonfat dry milk powder. I have talked about this before. Christina Tosi (my baking idol/spirit person) adds 2 tablespoons to most of her cookie recipes. Can I explain the science of it? No. Can I say that it makes a better cookie? Heck yes. The resulting cookie is more tender, slightly richer and almost get a little bit more vanilla flavor?
One of those things that I always have in my pantry and I highly recommend adding to yours. Better to be prepared right?
Well, I hope that you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 smooth almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cane sugar
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 1/4 cup gluten-free measure-for-measure flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp potato starch
1/3 cup chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the butter and almond butter. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave to melt the butter, 1-2 minutes if your butter is cold, 45 second to 1 minute if it is at room temperature. Once the butter is melted, stir together to combine the butter and almond butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, dry milk, potato starch and cinnamon. Whisk together to get out any lumps.
Once the almond-butter mixture is slightly cooled, add the cane sugar, coconut sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. It will be a thick-ish paste. Add the egg and whisk until full incorporated.
With a spatula, fold in the flour mixture and chocolate chips. It will take some elbow grease, but keep at it. Once fully incorporated, cover and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat oven 350F and line baking sheet with parchment. With a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop balls of dough onto the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each. Top with flaky sea salt and bake for 11 to 13 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes before grabbing on, snuggling on the couch with a glass of milk and enjoying.