Wheat-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 18, 2009  •  Desserts,

I have a friend who is sick – she’s battling breast cancer – and like most of us in the food world, my instinct is to cook for her. I’m helping out in other ways as well, but I find myself each day thinking what I could make her that would taste good and be good for her.

Turns out she’s also allergic to both wheat gluten and eggs. Note that she does not have celiac disease, which requires that the person eliminate ALL gluten. Now for someone like me who’s not really a baker using traditional ingredients, you can imagine this threw a wrench into my ideas. But I happened to have some rice flour on hand from a client with celiac and I just learned yesterday (making traditional chocolate chip cookies for the students at the Confluence Whiz Kids program) that corn starch can be used in place of an egg, so I set myself to making cookies hoping they would taste good – and be good – for my friend.

I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but the dough is a bit grainier because of the texture of the rice flour. Also, when you beat the butter and sugar together you won’t be able to get it as fluffy as if you were using an egg. But by adding the vanilla extract and milk at that point, the batter is wet enough to proceed and the rice flour incorporates nicely. Note that I used all white sugar and molasses because I was out of brown sugar, but you could also use half white and half brown sugar and omit the molasses.

I threw in a cup of oats because I don’t think they ever hurt anyone (unless you have celiac disease in which case either find certified gluten free oats or leave them out) and a cup of chocolate chips because, well, they never hurt either! The real test of this recipe is that my ultra-picky 22 year old who has the world’s most sensitive gag reflex said these were great and tasted just like “regular” cookies. Mission accomplished – hope my friend likes them.

Wheat-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 3 dozen

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons milk, any variety
2 cups rice flour, white
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 cup oats, rolled (raw – use gluten free if celiac)
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and milk together until smooth. Sift together rice flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. When mixed, add in oats and chocolate chips and mix just to incorporate. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool on baking pan before removing.


5 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Joy says:

    Michele it is so awesome you posted this — I struggle with finding good gluten-free recipes. Not to mention that oatmeal chocolate chips are one of my favorite cookies. These look awesome, I definitely want to make these for my friend who cannot eat gluten so thanks for sharing!

  2. Pierre says:

    Hi michelle

    Nice of you to cook for your friend and this recipe of cookies looks great !
    and if you like french creative food come and visit my blog you are most welcome
    Pierre from Paris in France

  3. Anonymous says:

    for those of you cooking for a celiac, please make sure you are using certified gluten free oats! most commercially grown oats in the u.s. are cross contaminated, only those labeled gluten free (available in health food stores) are ok for us.

    as a celiac, I am touched when my friends want to cook for me, but I am VERY wary of the high potential for cross contamination or other mistakes. please let your friends know what you are trying to do so they can offer you some helpful hints!

  4. Cooking with Michele says:

    Anonymous – many thanks for that clarification. My friend does not actually have celiac disease and only has some allergic reaction to wheat gluten, so she is able to eat oats without any problem. I should not have labeled this post "gluten free" as you ar absolutely correct about the gluten in oats. I've adjusted that in the recipe so that people will know! THX

  5. Tracey says:

    These look great and I love the idea that they taste like “regular” cookies. Here’s my question: I’m baking for a friend’s son who is allergic to nuts and eggs (eggs being the important component here). Since I don’t need to worry about the gluten aspect, AND I don’t have any rice flour on hand — do you think I could make these and substitute regular flour for the rice flour? Thanks for any advice!

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