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Recently I have been experimenting more with gluten free recipes. Mains and starters are quite easy but actually when it comes to baking it can be quite different. Until recently I never really worried about cooking gluten free but lately I have become more aware of the number of people who have a gluten intolerance. Quite a few of our friends and colleagues are gluten intolerant and I have only just opened my eyes to it. And in work, more of my customers are asking about gluten free products. I’m now very aware that I don’t do enough gluten free cooking and want to try improving on that. So I took this morning to adapt one of my favourite cookie recipes to be gluten free. I’m quite happy I did as I’m learning little by little how to work with gluten free flours and about the intolerance in general.

For some people, the presence of gluten can merely cause some discomfort or rashes and for others it can be a lot more serious. So when D came home recently and asked me to make some gluten free goodies for a colleague at work, I realised that I don’t know the severity of their intolerance and have to be extremely cautious. I have stocked up on totally gluten free flours and also bought some gluten free oats. Reading the packets and doing some research online, I realise that even if the crop is gluten free, it may be tainted by a near by crop. There are luckily some farms and groups that are run by Coeliacs for coeliacs and gluten free products. I chose to buy these products today so not to have any worry when giving my goodies to the people I don’t know well.

I had already written this post yesterday before deciding to adapt this recipe. It read quite differently and talked about being healthy or my lack there of and trying to cook with more wholesome ingredients. I made my favourite cookies on Sunday for my mother… Wholemeal chocolate chip and nut cookies. They were so good (in fact later that day, D and I scoffed the whole plate while watching a movie in bed). I am going to post both the gluten free and the original recipe as I’m quite proud of both. So without further delay…

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WHOLEMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP AND NUT COOKIES

This is my original recipe and contains gluten

These are a soft baked cookie, and with each bite they have something different in them. They aren’t too sweet or too heavy which is great. I am trying to make myself believe that they are healthy cookies because they are wholemeal, but I don’t think I’m quite buying into it or that anyone else would, but they are definitely better for you then the ones in the shops.

  • 75 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 175 g wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 100 g mix of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 50 g nuts, I used toasted almonds and hazelnuts but you can use any nuts you have lying around, they actually work really well with brazil nuts too.

THE HOW

Preheat the oven to 170 °c  (fan oven). Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until well mixed.

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Sift the flour into the bowl, and return the bran (that gets caught in the sieve) into the bowl. Fold it in gently. The bran gives the cookies a really nice texture and flavour.

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Add the vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of the milk. Mix until the dough is fairly soft and pliable. If the mix is still quite dry after mixing then add more milk just be careful as you don’t want it too sticky or thin. Add in the chocolate, nuts and salt and mix.

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Spoon the mix (I use a soup spoon) onto a lined baking tray, cookies slightly separated and pop into the oven for 15-17 minutes. I have a very small tray ( and only 1 ) so I did it in two batches in the oven. Take them out when they are turning golden.

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Now for the gluten free version:

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GLUTEN FREE BROWN COOKIES WITH OATS, CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND NUTS

 I won’t lie! These little treats do vary from the original. They have a slightly paler colour and different texture. I would have made these with buckwheat flour if I could find one that didn’t say ‘possibly contains gluten’. As buckwheat is the closest to wholemeal. I added oats to give the texture that the bran gives in the original. I’m not sure if it is just me but I found the gluten free brown flour mix was a little dryer than the original wholemeal so I added a bit more milk to make it softer and moister, and also added a tiny bit more vanilla. But I think these hold up pretty well to the original cookies…

  • 75 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 175 g gluten free brown flour blend (I used Doves Farm brand)
  • 50 g gluten free oats (I used Nairns brand)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 100 g mix of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 50 g nuts, I used toasted almonds and hazelnuts but you can use any nuts you have lying around, they actually work really well with brazil nuts too.

THE HOW

This part is exactly the same as the original recipe. Obviously just changing the flour and adding the oats. But here are some pictures so that you can follow by sight.

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Cream your sugar and butter, sift in your flour and throw in the oats.

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Mix well and then add in your milk and vanilla. Mix again. Throw in the chocolate, nuts and salt and mix.

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Spoon your mixture into small rounds onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

To compare:

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Original  recipe                                             Gluten free recipe

Hopefully you’ll like them as much as we do.

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