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David Leite's chocolate chip cookies, gluten-free

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16 April 2009

David Leite's chocolate chip cookies, gluten-free

36-hour cookies III

(We're thrilled that this recipe is being featured at's roundup of holiday recipes for 2009. For more of our featured posts, visit today.)

"This recipe is being featured at For more of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef's featured posts,
See that cookie? That chocolate-oozing, warm-in-the-hand cookie? The cookie I was mean enough to make Danny stop eating after only two bites so I could take this picture for you?

And, I'm assuming, if you are looking at the photo, the cookie you want to eat, right now?

Well, that's one of David Leite's famous 36-hour chocolate chip cookies. Gluten-free.

36-hour cookies V

I love how recipes live on much longer than the time it takes to read them on a page. Someone has an idea — I know! How about refrigerating the dough before baking? — and the idea becomes cookie, becomes words, becomes other cookies. That piece of paper is spread from hand to hand (or these days, from screen to screen), becoming increasingly frayed and chocolate stained along the way. Recipes are one way of talking with each other. A particularly delicious way.

Back in July, just a few weeks before Little Bean was born, the New York Times published a compelling story by the inimitable David Leite. Why was it compelling? Well, of course, David's research and scholarship were impeccable, his writing fluid and easy to read, and his recipe meticulously written. Who am I kidding? It was the photograph that grabbed the eye, a baking tray with warm chocolate chip cookies packed in like little kids waiting to be released for recess. One look at the melting chocolate, the caramel color, and the crisp edges of the cookies, and I wanted one.

Oh, I wanted one bad.

But of course, these were full of gluten. The original recipe calls for cake flour and bread flour. Nope. That wasn't going to happen. More to the point, Little Bean was going to emerge into the world just 12 days later. I set the recipe aside.

(I did laugh when someone wrote to me, about 4 days before the little one was born, and asked, "Look, I know you're about to have a baby, but could you just adapt these cookies first? I need one." Um, no.)

Little Bean turns 9 months old next week. (How the hell did that happen?) I finally got around to it this week.

Oh, the wait was worth it.

Sometimes I meet folks who despair about having to bake gluten-free. They're scared of it. They don't want to do the work. I understand. It's daunting, at first. But lately, I meet more people who -- like me -- revel in this. We get to be mad scientists in the kitchen, tossing flours together and waiting to see what happens.

Shauna, I can feel you saying. That's all very well. But I can't stand to hear you wax rhapsodic about the joys of baking right now. Please, just cut to the chase. How do I make these cookies?

No problem. Here you are.

Instead of cake flour and bread flour, I used sorghum, tapioca, potato, and amaranth. Equal parts of each. I tried another batch with teff, instead, but those puffed up and stayed in ball shape. Normally, that's quite the achievement in gluten-free baking. But here, I wanted those flat cookies, crisp on the outside, increasingly chewier toward the middle, and a little flattened and soft in the center. This is the combination that worked for me.

The original recipe calls for large chocolate discs, either made by Jacques Torres or Valrhona. Well, I'm afraid I can't afford Mr. Torres' chocolates. And many bars of Valrhona I have seen say, in tiny letters, may contain gluten. So, neither one was an option. The tiny chocolate chips just won't do for this recipe. You want giant oozing gooey chocolate places in the midst of the cookie. What to do?

Thank you, Dagoba Chocodrops. 73% cacao. Single origin. Fair trade. Organic. And gluten-free. Also, along with those superlatives? A lovely piece of dark, slightly bitter, redeemed-by-a-bit-of-sweetness chocolate. Oh yeah, baby.

A bit of xanthan gum. Make sure the butter is softened, not melted in a rush. Good sea salt to crunch on top.

And other than that? They're cookies. They're damned fine cookies.

Are these as good as David Leite's originals, the ones with gluten? I'll never know. I'll never be able to eat those.

But I can tell you this. This weekend, when I finally made the cookies, Danny's niece, Kelly, and her fiance, James, and their friend Tanya stayed with us for three days. (For those of you who have been reading for a bit, you might remember that Kelly and James came to visit in September, and we made fried green tomatoes. Well, they are engaged now, and we couldn't be happier if we tried.) Three food-loving, discerning young people, all in their 20s. None of them is gluten-free. Before they met me, they probably couldn't have told you what gluten was.

Just after they arrived, on Friday night, I made the dough in front of them. I watched James's eyes go wide. Just the dough looked delightful. "Nope," I said, shoving the dough in the back of the refrigerator. "We have to wait until Sunday morning."

As David explained in his original article, the refrigeration wait allows the dough to soak up all the liquids, which makes the final cookies more fully flavored. And the drier dough produces a firm, crunchy cookie. So, we had to wait.

For a moment, James looked wounded. Luckily, we had plenty of other food to feed them.

Sunday finally arrived. We ate smoked salmon that an island family catches in Neah Bay and sells out of ice coolers on the side of the road. (It was good.) Scrambled eggs. Danny's roasted potatoes. No one was going hungry.

But still, just after breakfast, James called out: "Time to make the cookies. It has been 36 hours now." He was right. I started working.

We all stopped talking when the warm chocolate cookie baking smell emerged from the oven.

They came out perfect. I jumped up and down, a bit. James wanted to grab one, right away. So did Danny. (The girls were more polite.) Nope. We had to wait, just like the recipe said. All in the name of science, and this blog.

Finally, they had cooled sufficiently that the center had fallen, like a sleeping baby against the shoulder of someone she trusts. The outer edges were crisp. Okay kids. Eat.

Everyone took a bite. Silence. More silence.

In the past, I would have worried, tried to fill the space with words. But Danny has taught me. If no one talks, it just means they don't need words. They only want to eat.

Everyone loved them. Everyone ate two that morning — these are big cookies — and the kids took another six home for the car ride home.

I don't care if these are as good as, or better than, or an adequate substitute for the originals. These were warm, gobbled quickly, and inspired companionable silence. Everyone in the room agreed: these cookies, these gluten-free cookies, are the best chocolate chip cookies that each one of us has ever eaten. Ever.

These will be my chocolate chip cookie recipe now, the one I bake with my daughter when she grows older, the one I'll pass on to her, the edges of the paper frayed and stained with chocolate.

These are my chocolate chip cookies.

36-hour chocolate chip cookies II

36-hour chocolate chip cookies, gluten-free
adapted from David Leite's chocolate chip cookie recipe

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
1 cup amaranth flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (we used bakers' sugar, which is extra fine)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
16 ounces Dagoba chocodrops
sea salt

Sifting the dry ingredients. Sift each of the four flours, individually, into a medium-sized bowl. Add the xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir well (I like to use a whisk, to sift again, in a way). Set aside.

Mixing the wet ingredients. Put the soft butter and the sugars into a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, mix them well, until they are just combined, and then 1 minute more. (Do not over-cream, however, because this could lead to spreading in the baking stage.) Add the eggs, 1 at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix for a beat.

Finishing the cookie dough. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter, about 1/2 cup at a time, and then mixing. When the all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, add the chocolate pieces and mix for just a moment. You don't want broken chocolate here.

Refrigerating. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in your refrigerator. You might want to shove it to the back and arrange even more enticing foods in front of it, because you shouldn't touch the dough for 36 hours. Really.

Preparing to bake. 36 hours later (or as long as you could stand it), pull the dough from the refrigerator. Uncover it. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.

Baking the cookies. Scoop generous balls of dough from the bowl. (You can determine the size for yourself. David suggested they be the size of large golf balls. Or you can weigh them at 3 1/2 ounces each. Mine were the size of the indentation of the palm of my hand, but I could still lightly wrap my fingers around the ball.) Place 6 of them onto the baking sheet. Poke any errant chocolate pieces into the dough. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with the sea salt.

Bake the cookies about 18 minutes, or until the tops have turned golden brown. The middles should still be somewhat soft, however. Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Allow the baking sheet to sit on the counter for 10 minutes. Transfer the cooling cookies onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool for a few more moments.

Eat warm chocolate chip cookies and feel grateful. Why not?

Makes 1 to 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies, depending on the size you make.


At 9:10 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

This is so, so cool. I love that you made these. A service to GF eaters (and the cooks who love them and want to make them cookies) everywhere!

At 9:12 PM, Blogger kickpleat said...

those cookies do look amazing! melty chocolate goodness? yes please.

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous La Niña said...

Guess I'll have to do a side by side with MY chocolate chip cookies. Wonder what would happen if I left them in the fridge for 36 hours before I bake them? I still like the idea of flax seed meal in the cookies. It makes them "healthy" and reduces some of my guilt... and Booth finally felt "normal" after I figured out how to make that GF version. It has history for us.

But improvement is improvement. No sour grapes... maybe just a chip on the shoulder? ;-)

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Missy said...

So glad you finally posted these! I've been drooling over your flickr pictures!!! :)

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Julie said...

Funny.. I have been padding around the house all evening thinking about those exact cookies. A quick check in before bed and here they are! Gluten free, even. These look phenomenal. I'll take it as a sign to mix up a batch tomorrow (and plan to have friends around on Sunday!).

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Natalie said...

I don't know what to say but thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Leah said...

You know when you asked what treats I might want you to send?

Oh dear me. Dear, dear me.


At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Ricki said...

Who cares if they're gluten free or not? They look AMAZING. Reading the ingredients, I did the math (luckily, I can count that high)--FOUR cups of flour! This is one massive recipe. Good thing this makes so much--I'm sure they'll be eaten quickly!

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Miss | A said...

ive never made cookies yet. these look amazing!!! thanks for teh inspiration~

At 4:57 AM, Blogger Engineer Baker said...

I almost emailed this to my friend with celiac's. I did a doubletake, printed out the recipe, and now I'm thinking I'll mail them to him. Overnight, so they're still fresh :) Happiness all over. I'm just glad you posted them - I've been drooling over them since they hit your flickr!

At 5:14 AM, Blogger Lea said...

I can't figure out why the 36 hour chill time...does it have something to do with the texture of the finished cookies?

They look beyond yummy!

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Tracy said...

Amazing, I had just tried converting a recipe. I had used sorghum, corn starch, teff and corn flour and I know I must have done multiple things incorrectly because they were a goopy mess. I ended up dumping the rest of the goopy batter into a pyrex baking dish, baking until I figured it was a done goopy mess and we've been picking at it ever since. Tasty but NOT chocolate chip cookies. LOL. Ah this is sooo timely, thanks for sharing!

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Kylie of Thin Crust, Deep Dish said...

Oh, Shauna. These look so incredible. These are going directly into the "must bake" pile for my gluten-free friends. Brilliant.

At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Dallas from Bitchin' Lifestyle said...

...and a hush falls over the crowd. I love the moments of silence that are a product of only the best baking. It sounds like these cookies merited a few long minutes

At 6:28 AM, Blogger babyjenks said...

yay! i was just thinking about that 36 hour cookie recipe last week and had decided that i needed to adapt the recipe to gluten free so i can make them for my husband. and then *poof* you've adapted it for me! thank you soooo much! i'll probably play with it eventually, but what a wonderful starting point and recommendation! i wasn't sure if letting the dough rest would work with gf flours, now i know it will!

thanks again shauna!
~ sabe

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Laura said...

Shauna! THANK YOU! I've been salviating over your Flickr photos, so I am grateful you posted the recipe. Cook's Illustrated recently did something similar to the Toll House Cookie Recipe. As I am merely wheat intolerant, I had one half of one that my sister-in-law-to-be-if-my-brother-would-just-finally-ask-her-already made. THEY are AMAZING. Yummy and caramel-y.

At 7:28 AM, Blogger caroline said...

Cook's Illustrated recently published an article on their version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I think it will be better than the NYT recipe (which, frankly, I was underwhelmed by). I was going to try it last night but sadly we were out of eggs... I'd love to see you try a gluten-free version of it, though!

At 7:52 AM, Anonymous beyond said...

yes, i'll have one, thank you.
your baby is nine months old? she'll be walking and babbling away soon... enjoy you time with her. (i know you are!)

At 8:07 AM, Blogger silly aunt sarah said...

thank you so much!! i have been craving chocolate chip cookes since i went gf and was going to break down and use the betty crocker gf mix. i will make these first and never have to try the mix!!

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous alison - said...

Guittard also makes a big chocolate chip called Super Cookie Chips! And their website says "Our products and our processing are gluten free."
Here's a pic from a blog (not mine):
Super Cookie ChipsThey might be easier to find than Dagoba? I can find them in Safeway in Northern Calif.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Jacqueline Hope Derby said...

I could just cry over the whole chocolate chip issue. 8oz of these chocolate chips cost almost $8--and that is without needing the price of shipping. Given how many chocolate chips have gluten or insane amounts of sugar--which these are much less guilt of...I WANT to buy them, however, $16 worth of chocolate chips for 12 cookies is hard...especially for those of us who live on a tight tight budget. That is for me the hardest part--and the most political--about eating gluten free. All these flours are not as cheap as wheat flours. I only have $100 per week for food for two. Veggies and a tiny bit of meat comes first. But oh how I would love to have a great chocolate chip cookie too! I don't think the DBF would go for a week's worth of food going towards making cookies...but I will ask. They look that good!

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I think I found my weekend activity. Any thoughts on high altitude, though? Like, Denver-high? That's what intimidates me baking gf. Altitude! LOL! I must try these, though. I live for a great chocolate chip cookie!

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Jina said...

I am definitely going to try this recipe. The 36 hours is going to kill my husband though (plus the 10+ minutes of cooldown). I have not seen the dagoba disks. are they really big? The See's chocolate baking chips are gluten free but are very big - I tried using them once for cookies and they seemed too big, but maybe they are ok for this recipe. Hmmm...
thanks as always for sharing your creations :-). My current chocolate chip cookie recipe is the old Mrs Fields recipe which I modified to be GF. I wonder if this one will be my new go-to cookie recipe.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Aryn said...

What would happen if I used almond flour instead of amaranth? I think that's the one flour I don't have!

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Wendy McConnell said...

Thank you so much Shauna! I can't wait to try these. My husband will be soooo happy!!! I'm trying to GF myself so I'll be very happy too! They look heavenly...

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time and effort to convert these. They have been on my list of recipes to convert for a long time too, and I don't have the 9 month old baby to excuse my tardiness.
I think I will go home and make a batch this weekend with the GF girls. Lunchbox cookies on Monday, whoooo hooo!

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Tay said...


Darling, these look and sound to die for! However, in the interest of this single girl who would like to enjoy these occasionally, maybe 2-3 a week...what is your opinion on forming the cookies in flattened balls and freezing bake a couple at a time?

Please don't tell me to have friends over to eat the whole batch! I know, i know, the best food is shared and I eat alone too often. My particular combination of issues (needing to keep sugar and starch a very low part of my diet because of health weirdness history) and budget...and well, time.

Please advise. I would love to find a better, more economical cookie than the GF frozen dough ones on the market.

p.s. Since September, I have been 100% GF and the healing is happening! YES.

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I"m not sure why but reading this not only brought tears to my eyes but actual drops rolled down my cheeks and landed on the keyboard. My two kids and I are gluten free and love baking together. Sometimes I feel bad that I passed this disease on to them but then I see the possibilities instead. We will make this right away (and then wait two days) to see how they turn out.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger amy said...

I cannot wait!!

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Brisa said...

I´m at work and I´m going away for the weekend, but all I can really think about is if I already have all the ingredients needed so I can bake these little fellas when I come back home... they look absolutely fabulous!!! And they´ll match perfectly with this chilly autumn weather we´ve been having down here...
Tks for the (literally) wonderful idea!!

Brisa, from São Paulo, Brazil

At 2:06 PM, Blogger evil cake lady said...

These cookies (well I've only tried the gluten full form) are the crack cocaine of chocolate chip cookies. I think about them constantly; I wonder how I going to get my next fix. I can't wait to try them gluten free! I might put the dough together tonight!

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Jacqueline said...

A- freaking- MAZING !

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Jacqueline said...


At 5:59 PM, Blogger Helene said...

I know I rarely comment but always read (can I start a NY resolution in April?!!) but just wanted to let you know that I converted the recipe in grams and translated it for my dad and when I called to see if I had made them yet, he could not pick up the phone because he was on his third! Thank you!

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous celiaclady said...

is there a flour for the armouth (sp) because I don't have that, and really don't want to pay for shipping...I live in a really small town so nothing close that would have this flour except for amazon....I have sourgum, buck wheat, coconut, almond, and the "normal" ones what would you suggest

At 9:41 PM, Blogger gfe--gluten free easily said...

Gorgeous ... I'm glad you made Danny stop mid-bite so you could take that photo--that's the best one!! I am going to make these, but with my GF flour mix.

I make brown sugar chocolate chip cookies that everyone raves over and they were voted one of the best by our local newspaper, but you can never have too many award-winning chocolate chip cookie recipes!

Thanks, Shauna,

At 1:35 AM, Anonymous Regan said...

Is it possible to make these without tapioca? Maybe substitute a different flour? I'd love to be able to bake chocolate chip cookies with my mom again, but she can't have gluten and tapioca will kill me off, so i've been looking for a delicious chocoalte chip cookie that has neither.

At 6:44 AM, Blogger Lauren Denneson said...

Dang these look delicious! And, I'm due for some cookie baking :)

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Erin Elizabeth said...

Shauna, I finished reading Gluten Free Girl this morning, and the last couple chapters almost had me crying (with joy). I'm a 30yo late bloomer who found out a year ago I have a sever intolerance to both eggs and wheat. I'm still looking for my Chef, but for now, I'm going to go mix up these cookies. Hopefully the eggless version will be almost as good.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Fran Meneley said...

Hi - I'm an artist and food lover and have just gone gluten free - about 8 weeks - and can't believe how much better I feel and a host of health issues are disappearing - healing really. LOVED your video on Food Network and so very happy to find your blog. I also am a foodie and passionate cook. This has been a surprise to me, this gluten free living. But I embrace your philosophy and am very happy to find others like you. So thank you, very much, for making a difference in my life. Check out my blog - art, life, travel - - if you intersted - Best - fran

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Rosie said...

I am so excited to make these cookies and to have found this blog! I have just discovered my gluten intolerance and have been feeling really down about cooking. I love to cook but now I have to learn how to do everything differently. I am thrilled to see that people who love food and love to cook can still happily live gluten-free.

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Wow, those cookies look to die for!

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made these on Friday evening and left them in the fridge as instructed. I just baked some of them and they are wonderful. I added walnuts to the recipe because my gf husband craves walnuts in his choc chip cookies.

I only cooked about half and the other half I have rolled into "logs", wrapped in wax paper and plastic. I'll finish baking them (as my great-grandmother used to do) when I have more time.

I have made several gf cookies and none tasted 'right'...these do and are wonderful.

Thanks .

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

made these on Friday evening and left them in the fridge as instructed. I just baked some of them and they are wonderful. I added walnuts to the recipe because my gf husband craves walnuts in his choc chip cookies.

I only cooked about half and the other half I have rolled into "logs", wrapped in wax paper and plastic. I'll finish baking them (as my great-grandmother used to do) when I have more time.

I have made several gf cookies and none tasted 'right'...these do and are wonderful.


At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am exploring celiac disease and came across your site a few weeks ago. I got your book at the library yesterday and I'm almost finished.
Just wanted to let you know I had trouble with a couple of links on your blog. Mayo clinic page has moved and Where gluten hides is gone as well. I didn't go through all the links yet.
Thank you for the recipes - the choc. chip cookies look amazingingly like choc.chip cookies. There is a gluten-free bakery in Sellwood (Portland, OR) that has a more cakey version which doesn't have that crunchy/melty texture of the original.
I'll be back.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Ruth said...

I just stumbled across your blog by chance a week after being told I'm probably celiac. I heart you verrrry much for recipes like this and all those links in your blogroll. Thank you!

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chocolate chip cookies were one of the first things I made gluten free. And I have been experimenting with them ever since. I can't wait to try these out. They may replace my current favourite, which has pecan pieces as well as chocolate chunks.
I actually have been more adventurous baking gluten free - otherwise I would never have made anything other than my mom's recipe and she would never dream of a new type of chocolate or even, gasp, nuts!

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous LaurenL said...

@ Jacqueline: I think many of us can sympathize with being on a budget--hang in there! A couple of things that you probably already do, but just in case:
--shop the sales and stock up when things are marked down
--if you have a Whole Foods Market, pick up their free publications (like Delicious Living) and scour for coupons
--Check out "" and see if there's any stuff there that is helpful
--Buy in bulk, either from your grocery or from online retailers. For example, I do one or two big orders from Bob's Red Mill each year, and I just keep the extras in the fridge or freezer till I am ready to use them
--Buy less meat and more vegetable/legume-based protein--lentils are awesome for this!! Super-cheap and delicious--then with the money saved from not buying chicken or whatever, you can buy some "fancy" GF ingredients.
--Again, if you have a Whole Foods (or even a Trader Joe's)--call or ask about whether their store-brand chocolate chips are GF. Sure, they won't be 73% cacao and maybe not organic, but they'll still be high quality and delicious. I am not as sensitive to trace amounts of gluten as others reading this blog might be, but I can tolerate both TJ's and WF's 365 chocolate chips with no problem.

GOOD LUCK and hang in there. I've been in grad school since 2001 and have had to be GF on a very tight budget--you CAN do it!!!

At 7:51 PM, Blogger La Tartine Gourmande said...

mmmm, I want a bite....

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Ingrid said...

I only made it 2 hours in the fridge (and they were wonderful!).

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Nancy Miller said...

I have made them; they are waiting patiently in the refrigerator. But I am concerned. The dough looks VERY dry. IS very dry. I'm thinking that isn't good and I'm not sure what to do about it. I should have stopped adding flour when I thought I should and just thrown out the remaining 1/2 cup or so. The original recipe doesn't have as much flour as yours.

Any suggestions on saving this before I bake them tomorrow??

At 8:23 AM, Blogger jbeach said...

Yes yes yes! I wonder how these would ship cross country...any tips would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you!

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Tracy said...

given the topic I wanted to share this:

Ms. Price,

Thank you for contacting Ghirardelli Chocolate. In June 2008, the
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company started production of a new milk chocolate
bar, Milk Chocolate Luxe with Crisps, which has a product containing
barley malt as an ingredient. As a result, the line on which our
chocolate bars and squares are produced, will now share a common line
with barley gluten. The chocolate chips (60% Bittersweet, Semi-Sweet,
and Milk Chocolate) line and powder line (hot chocolates and baking
cocoas) will remain free of gluten ingredients.

Ghirardelli takes the following measures to reduce cross contamination
on our production lines: lines are cleaned between the changing from one
product to the next. The first two batches of any product made are
disposed of and not packaged.


Senior Consumer Affairs Coordinator
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
1111 - 139th Avenue
San Leandro, CA 94578

At 10:22 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

I am just about to put the dough together. I could not find any kind of chocolate disks so I am going to substitute with Scharffen Berger Baking Chunks and keep my fingers crossed! I am also hoping to keep my dough in the fridge for 48 hours and serve for a dinner party desert Wednesday evening! They really do look good, although I have to say, La Nina's were to die for!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous celiaclady said...

I made these using millet flour insted of armouth flour (from my friends over on the celiac site at delphi fourms) and they turned out great---did nothave the disks, I live in a very small town but I found big chunk chocolate chips that are GF---they worked and these cookies are great.....hubby said that they taste like a regular chocolate chip cookie---yea!!

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Kim - Affairs of Living said...

These cookies look amazing!!!! It is my birthday on Thursday, and I wanted so desperately to make cookies. I had to try these out, but I can't eat potato, egg, sugar, unclarified butter, or chocolate. are my substitutions:
For potato starch: 3/4 c arrowroot starch and 1/4 c mesquite flour (for a little added flavor!)
For eggs: 2 T gelatin dissolved in 2 T cold water, then add 4 T boiling water, cool for 10 minutes in freezer, then whisk until frothy and light
For butter: 1 c ghee, 1/4 c Spectrum shortening
For white and brown sugar: 3/4 c agave nectar (I am making these less sweet, as I have a low tolerance for sugar)
For chocolate chips: 1 1/2 c homemade carob chips (adapted recipe from Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions")

The dough is chilling as I write this, and I can't wait to bake these to share with friends!

At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Jackie said...

I only wish I'd found you before I made my chocolate chip rocks on Saturday! :) Being newly GF, I am having a blast learning new ways to cook and can't wait to try these.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the photo and thought no way would those be GF. But they are. I want to try to make them, I miss baking because I'm new to GF and it does scare me. But I am also recently DF... do you think DF butter would work??? Oh please say yes!

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipes, it was my first foray into gluten free cookies and it was successful... and I veganised it too (I used veggie butter and flax eggs). This was well worth the 36hr wait in the back of the fridge, I see no reason to go back to wheat!

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Crystal said...

@Nancy -- the dough was also dry for me (in fact I had cookie dough dust at the bottom of the mixing bowl), but it formed into balls ok and baked up great.

Am I the only person who think amaranth flour smells like corn husks? It's distracting to me, in a negative way. My husband (not GF), noticed it but doesn't mind it. I think next time I make this recipe I might try celiaclady's tip of millet flour.

I used E. Guittard's 72% chocolate baking wafers, which are pretty big, but I liked the effect.

Cookies turned out great -- I brought some into work for my coworker who has celiac's, and he came into my office raving about them. :)

Thanks for the great recipe!

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Wendy McConnell said...

This recipe is not good! It's heavenly!!! It's not good because I want to eat the whole batch! I made the recipe exactly as stated. Except I couldn't wait 36 hours. I did wait 24 though. I only meant to bake 6 cookies and the let the rest chill for the additional 12 but after they came out of the oven and I tried it... I wondered "how can an additional 12 hours make these taste any better?!" So I baked the rest of the dough! I'd like to say that I think you can get away with adding one - 1.5 bags of Daboba chocodrops. 2 bags was a whole lotta chocolate for me - maybe a bit much. I will definitely make tehse again and again but with just a little less chocodrops. Absolutely heavenly! Thank you Shauna for sharing this recipe - they are incredible!

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Cakespy said...

You're wonderful. They look absolutely perfect--even more delicious than the ones in the pic from that now famous article!

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Dallas Designing-Diva said...

I'm drooling reading this and now I'll have to wait 36 hours before mine are ready to break. Cruel, cruel,cruel! ;-)
What is your favorite kind of baking sheet? I do use parchment paper but still find that many GF baked goods brown quite quickly on the bottom! ;-)

At 8:34 PM, Blogger jgoodfellow said...

After seeing those photos, I definitely MUST try making those cookies :) They look delicious! Thanks for the post.

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved these cookies. I used a GF Flour mix instead of Amaranth and sucanant instead of brown sugar because I was out of both and they were still fabulous. 3.5 oz is a HUGE cookie though - or maybe I did the metric conversion wrong. I figure my batter will make me 2 - 3 dozen cookies.
To someone who thought the batter looks dry - it looks drier than it is because the butter hardens again in the fridge. When you take out a scoop and form a ball with your hands it softens right up again. Don't worry about the dry look.
I made the batter and then put it in tupperware in my fridge, this way I can make a few cookies when my husband and I want dessert and always have fresh cookies.
Fabulous recipe! Thank you!

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Tara Barker said...

My batch is on it's 20th hour in the fridge, and I'm hoping to hold out a little longer - but man, the temptation to bake JUST ONE is so great, although reading others' comments I now know what a dangerous road that is to embark on! ;)

To those looking to make these as cheaply as possible, I did a couple of things that helped the bottom line (although it was initially out of ingredient-availability necessity rather than cost): I couldn't find amaranth flour, but my co-op did have grain amaranth in bulk, so I bought that and ground it myself in a spice/coffee grinder. At $2.89/#, it was pretty cheap! And then I got home and remembered that I was out of brown sugar, so made some in the food processor (granulated sugar plus molasses). Again, cheaper than buying it. And then, because my budget prohibited spending over $5 on the chocolate, I used Nestle Chunks, so not a quality chocolate, but at least it didn't break the bank. I'm on the fence about their gf-ness, as the package doesn't say either way - anyone know? Assuming the cookies turn out well (and I can't imagine they won't), I'll save up for the good stuff.

Now must find some cookie-baking distraction . . .

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Dallas Designing-Diva said...

OMG, finally got around to making this recipe...and boy was my patience tested...but man am I glad I waited the 36 hours. YUMMO!

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Kalee R. said...

For those of you who cannot tolerate eggs - these are still fabulous using Ener-G egg replacer. I mixed these up Wednesday evening, after deciding I wanted to take baked goods over to my friend's mother - who recently had her hip replaced. The whole family is celiac, and egg white sensitive. After I had all the ingredients mixed together, I was very excited and had to hold myself back from eating the dough by the spoon full! Since the 36 hour wait time is for the egg to absorb (and mine had no real eggs), and since I'm a curious gal, I baked one very large cookie at 24 hours, then the rest at 36. I can't tell you how the one at 24 hours tasted, as I had a stuffed up nose, but my mother and brother approved. The ones baked at 36 hours (today) are incredible, however. My brother said they're better today, and my mother can't tell a difference, so I'll guess I'll just have to try it again. :^)

This was also a very easy recipe to make - I'm a seventeen year old without much baking experience (our family is gluten sensitive, but not celiac), and I was able to make these no problem. Thank you so much for converting this recipe and allowing me to make something for my friends that I can be proud of. I'm looking forward to experimenting with these in the future, and trying out your other recipes.

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your cookies and the adaptation to the recipe looks wonderful. My daughter, away at UCLA, sent me this link because she wants to make them as soon as she gets home in a few weeks. She has created a recipe that is pretty damn good, too, but she's not too happy with it and wants to try your techniques and flour mix. I have a question though. I've started using guar gum instead of xanthan gum because it seems to control the shrinkage and rubbery texture that occurs in some of my other baking (particularly cakes). Have you considered using that structural source instead of xanthan gum? If not, why not? Do you have techniques with xanthan gum that help you control these problems? Thanks for your consideration of these ideas, and thanks for your wonderful blog and dedication, as I have, to making G-free foods traditional tasting.


At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Devorah said...

Thanks, Shauna! These cookies had perfect, fabulous texture. Like some of the other posters, I thought the amaranth lent a strong, almost grassy flavor, and I like the millet idea, as I've been loving millet lately. Has anyone tried it yet? If so, did it change the texture at all?

At 12:47 PM, Blogger NatalieD said...

Just baked these cookies and they were every bit as good as I thought they'd be. Kind of a pain to make, but well worth the effort. Love the blog, your writing and your expertise! Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Dil said...

My daughter and I made them for her to take to school to use when there's treats she can't have. She loves the cookies and we bagged them (we made small cookies) into 2 cookies/small ziplock and put them into bigger freezer bags and keep some at home and some at school in the freezer. They freeze fine and she's still enjoying them over 2 months later.
We also used ener-G egg replacer and it was fine.

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Kate said...

I know this is an old post - but it seemed like a great place to stop by and say thank you, THANK YOU for writing your blog.

After years of dealing with fibromyalgia, and just generally feel bad most of the time - I am going through testing for Celiac Disease. While it seems to be the likely answer, I am both excited at the prospect of finally feeling good, I love to cook & bake & have been feeling overwhelmed at the changes ahead of me. Your blog has made me realize it doesn't have to be dreary. Thanks!

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Pamela Ann Bennett said...

I really feel for those whose budget is tight! Especially now with the economic downturn. I just happened on this post because I was researching gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. I had read the article just yesterday. There IS a way to cook gluten-free with rice flours. I've been researching it for a while now.

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oh Shauna, Thank You!
I've had an undeniable cookie craving since going gluten free this past January and all the commercial baked goods I tried did not satisfy. I finally made the dough on Sunday and spent yesterday evening baking up the cookies. They are unbelievable! I couldn't find amaranth flour so I substuted a cup of Pamela's GF baking mix. Even so, this recipe is awesome and the first time I have baked from scratch since going gluten free. Love your blog and all your recipes.

At 5:43 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

Hi you guys, I am seriously starting to think you are a mind-reader or have some sort of telepathic ability! Every time I think of a gf recipe that I want, shabam, it's on your blog, front page. It's so incredible. Well, I now need to set out to find all these various flours here in Belgium- literally the land of gluten! Yikes....
Have a lovely weekend-and enjoy that lil plum as they do grow like bamboo!
in BE
PS- any chance of a gf calendar with all your lovely food pics and recipes? Some of us are still old school and use paper calendars ;-)

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Marcella said...

I had never made chocolate chip cookies from scratch, let alone gluten-free (for my sweetheart). These were amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe :)

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been sick for over a year and recently found out I have become gluten intolrant. (WHY?) Anyways, I am feeling much better now. Being a decent cook I am trying new recipes almost daily. THANK YOU!!! I am so glad to have found your site! Thank the high heavens for google!!! Many Blessings...SMR

At 4:27 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi there,
i hope that you won't mind if I pass this recipe to a lovely friend of mine? I have a question before I do though. We're the other side of the water and don't use cups for measuring. I have found the conversion quantities but am a bit confused. The non GF version converts to 500g flour but your version seems to convert to 1kg flour (1 cup of each type). Do the GF flours behave very differently or have I misinterpreted?
with hopeful thanks, F

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Super Job said...

Greetings :) Thank You for this recipe, and this blog. My partner is possibly Gluten intolerant and we are in a trial period to see. These cookies are just what the doctor ordered (and they turned out so yummy I am bringing them along to a party tonight!).

In gratitude, Liz

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I know this is an old post, but I made these again and they are fantastic. Its just a great cookie, I love it!

At 8:06 AM, Blogger ReadHowYouWant said...

Those cookies look well worth the 36 hour wait! I've been following postings on of recipes from Living Gluten-Free for Dummies, and have been impressed by how most gluten-free recipes are quick and easy to prepare. However, I am totally willing to put in a little extra time for a great cookie! Thanks for the recipe :)

At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

Wow, great looking cookies, and amazing cookie photography! Very inspiring recipes.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Marianne said...

Thank you for this recipe. It really helps my husband to have a GOOD GF cookie. I did follow another post and used Pamela's Baking mix in stead of amaranth flour. I also made them smaller, cooked them for 10 mins. Don't overcook or they dry out.
Thank you so very much for working this out.

At 7:54 AM, Anonymous katie said...

I just made these cookies last night. Okay, I cheated and made a dozen after only a hand full of hours. SO yummy! I'm snowed in at the moment in northern VA. Blizzard of 2010! I am going to wait the 36 hours and bake the rest just to see how they are different. Everyone loved them! Mine look just like the picture. Thanks!

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous i-geek said...

Oh wow. I'm fairly new to the GF life (determined I was gluten intolerant right after Thanksgiving of last year) and am determined to make the most of it rather than lament what I can no longer have. These cookies sure hit the spot. I've got the last ones cooling on the pan right now and I've already eaten three from earlier pans (and no hint of the stomachache I'd learned to associate with homemade cookies). Thanks so much. This blog is a fantastic resource. I'm looking forward to the cookbook. :)

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First attempt at these and they turned out perfectly! My dear friend who is a food snob :) could not tell that they were gf. They were amazing! Now, I just have to figure out how to nix the eggs and sugar for my highly allergen friends! Thanks again!

At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear GFG,

Looking at your recipe and the comments that followed, I, too, am going to have a hard time waiting the 36 hours.

Question: could these be made into "icebox" cookies, where the dough is rolled into logs, wrapped in wax paper, put into a zippy bag, then frozen for future slice-and-bake use?

I have the feeling I'm going to want these frequently, and making them in "icebox" fashion would enable me to make dough in advance and have it on hand for those sudden cravings. :)

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Franca said...

This "non-baker" loves your gluten-free baking adventures -- thank you!

Since learning of my gluten intolerance (not celiac, fortunately, but still....) I am, by necessity, trying to turn myself into something I am truly NOT by learning how to bake just a few essentials ... a decent GF bread or two, a killer GF chocolate chip cookie and a killer GF brownie. (Did I mention I don't bake?) I want to try making these cookies but I don't own a stand mixer. Can I make them with my nifty Cuisinart 7-speed hand mixer that I got for Christmas? Please tell me I can!

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

These are fabulous! I have made them twice and they are hands-down the best cookies I've ever baked. I substituted almond flour for the amaranth flour and it worked just fine. I cook them on the short side- take them out of the over when the centers still look raw, and they stay soft and chewy on the inside. I've let the dough rest up to a week in the fridge, and they still bake up perfectly. I don't own a kitchenaid, so have to borrow one from my neighbor, but it is totally worth the hassle.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Rachel said...

Franca - I mixed these completely by hand, so I'm sure you will be fine with a stand mixer.

Wow, these are great cookies! I was going to wait the 36 hours, honest I was, but I had a terrible day and came home and the first batch went into the oven after resting only about 2 hours. Still the best chocolate cookies I've ever had. Made them egg and dairy free, subbed another cup of sorghum for the amaranth which I don't have, and chopped up a bar of Trader Joe's 72% for the chips. It was almost a spiritual experience. I can't wait to try the next batch after the full 36 hours!

At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made these last night for my gluten-free sister. I eat gluten rarely, but I can tell you that NO ONE would notice that these are gluten free. I didn't have amarynth flour - mixed 1/2 cup corn and 1/2 cup almond flour. I baked some immediately after mixing didn't even let them go inthe fridge - fabulous. I have some dough in the fridge for 36 hours. We'll see if they get better :)

At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Clare said...

Being a cookie monster from way back, I couldn't wait to try these. I like the idea of pre-making then baking later on, gives me a chance to clean up. They are just out of the oven and taste delicious but a little grassy so I might try millet next time. The only problem (and I tried to follow the directions exactly) was the dough was rock hard out of the fridge. The 3.5 oz batch were still in ball form with only 7 minutes to go so I took them out and flattened them with a glass then put them back in. The next batches were half the size and I flattened them first but they still didn't spread out. Maybe I'll also use less flour mix next time. Thanks for the recipe.

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Clare said...

These cookies seemed too good to be true so after my first batch didn't work out (they were more like shortbread) I decided to try again. Being a bit bothered by so much butter I made one batch with half butter and half canola spread and the other with half butter and a quarter canola oil. I didn't wait 36 hours but baked them right away. Both batches were perfect, just like in the pictures, absolutely delicious. When these are gone in a month or so (they are in the freezer) I'll try the real recipe and wait 36 hours before baking.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Do you have any advice for quadrupling (or even doing an 8x batch) of gluten-free cookies? I know there are certain rules to follow when 'scaling up' a recipe but most reference books are geared toward traditional recipe-scaling...

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Katy Moore said...


I've made two batches of these now - the first with 58% chocolate chips and the second with 1/2 58% and 1/2 72% chocolate chips - and both were amazingly wonderful, decadent, and delectable. The base cookie is fantastic, and I love tasting the dough over the 36 hours to see how it melds and develops. It's truly fascinating.

I live in Texas, but I was in Seattle the other day, and I happened to be walking down a street in Queen Anne, and there was A&J! I've been following your blog, and I'm halfway through your first book, so I was quite intrigued to stumble upon this place which you've oft mentioned! Thanks for connecting your readers to the world:)

P.S. Per a request from a gluten-eating friend of mine who could not tell these were GF (and thought they were better than "normal" chocolate chip cookies), and since I'm such a fan of the base cookie here, I'm going to test this recipe out Snickerdoodle style. I'll post how it goes!

Thanks again for devoting so much to all your writing.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Katy Moore said...

Hello again,

So, I tested out the mutation of this base recipe into Snickerdoodles by excluding the chocolate chips and adding 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon to the dough. I let it sit about 48 hrs. Then, I mixed up 2 teaspoons of cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of sugar, took the dough in roughly 1.5" balls, rolled it in the cinnamon/sugar mix, placed them on a cookie sheet with cookie mat, and flattened them out to about halfway. After 18 minutes at 350F, perfection! Cooled for 10 minutes, they have the perfect crunch on the outside, and the inside remains soft and chewy. They were a hit with the gluten eater!

All the best!

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you have any recommendations for a butter/dairy substitute? will margarine work just as well? My son is on a dairy free, nut free and GF diet and I would like to find recipes for him--especially something for his birthday coming up. thank you for your help.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

These cookies are absolutely fabulous. I really try not to eat too much sugar, but I've never been able to eat less than three of these cookies in one sitting!

My 2 y/o son & I are gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, but I was able to substitute palm shortening for the butter with great results!

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Peripatetic Wanderer said...

And for those of you who need guaranteed soy-free chocolate chips, try the ones at - exceptional dark dairy-free and soy-free chocolate....

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Robin said...

OMG! I somehow managed to leave the dough in the refrig for 36 hours and just took the first 6 out of the oven. There is only 1 left :-)
I have never tasted the original recipe, as I've been GF for 12 years. But I've made my share of GF CC cookies over that time period. While some were tolerable, none of the 25 or so different recipes stirred any excitement in me. These are in class by themselves! WOW!I can't stop thinking about them. But I will have to stop eating them before I get sick.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous SC Rachael said...

This is a great recipe! We make the original version at the restaurant I work at which I enjoyed immensely before I realized I was allergic to gluten. So I was so excited to try this gluten-free version and they did not disappoint me! They are amazing the first day, however as they are gluten free dont stay well past the second day. I baked them for my classmates and they didn't even know the difference; they loved them actually! Thanks for this recipe!

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Shauna! I LOVE your cookbook. In this past week, I have been tackling the overwhemlming job of feeding my son gluten free. I explained your beautiful concept of "yes" to my 12 year old in his first few days of diagnosis with celiac. He said it made him feel better. One of the first things I needed to know I could still make for him was delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies. So I made these. HOLY COW!! They are amazing! And even better than that, my son loved them! It almost made me cry. I also had a group of 15 year old girls in my house when they came out of the oven. They were gone in minutes. Each girl telling me they would easily replace my gluten full cookies they've had so many times. So thank you for experimenting to adapt a recipe that makes so many sincerest thanks.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Nikko28brass said...

Would substituting some applesauce for some of the butter make them awful? I am very new to gluten free baking so I didn't want to sub anything - but it's sure a lot of butter! I made these as the recipe stated and the were the best choc. chip cookies I have EVER made. But like I said, a lot of butter :)

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Justin said...

These cookies are delicious. My mom made them for me before.

Question: Can these be made with a immersion wand, instead of a stand mixer? I don't have one and can't buy one now.


At 5:27 PM, Blogger Ambra said...

My husband is allergic to wheat, but also eggs and amaranth. I can experiment w/ egg substitutes, but is there another flour you would recommend in place of the amaranth? Thanks so much!

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Lisa from Ontario said...

These are by far the best Gluten Free cookie I have ever tried. I used semi sweet, milk chocolate, and white chocolate chips mixed together. My three teenage sons love them as well, gluten free or not! Finally some baking I can enjoy as well, rather than be tortured by the aroma.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Gail said...

How long will the cookie dough last in the fridge? After the first 36 hours I would like to bake the first tray of 6 and eat them over the course of 1-2 days. Then get the dough out of the fridge and bake another batch so I always get to eat fresh cookies. Also I'd probably halve the recipe to begin with unless I was planning on bringing them to work to share.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Katie said...

I'm (we're) celebrating my (our) first gluten-free holiday this year. I don't miss the stomach pains and exhaustion, but I do miss holiday cookies (my husband echos that cry). I'm really looking forward to giving these a go! Thanks for helping us save the holidays!


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