By Chef Jason
This year at Winter Camp I wanted to take a slightly different angle at what we were teaching the children to prepare. We all know allergies are something that affects the lives of people across the spectrum of ages, lifestyles, and so on. I don’t see any rhyme or reason as to who may be affected by what when it comes to allergies. Although not 100% of the children and staff here at camp are directly affected by allergies, I bet everyone knows at least one person in their lives who has some sort of allergy or food sensitivity.
That being said I, thought we’d talk a little about how learning to cook or bake alternate types of recipes for your friends or family with allergies can show a great deal of caring, kindness and inclusion. And guess what? Foods cooked with certain allergens removed and/or substituted can be just as delicious!!
For this 2019 Winter Camp’s Cooking Class, we had our all-around wonderful staff member, Liv Grant, teach everyone how to make the most amazing ‘Gluten-Free Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies’! Here’s a little hint too… you can make them ‘dairy free’ as well by substituting the milk with a milk alternative (we used rice milk and they came out fine… but you could also try soy milk or any other milk alternative that you’d like… just be aware that there are soy, nut and coconut allergies out there too)! If butter is an issue, swap it with a dairy-free margarine! Just be sure to read your labels because some margarines still may contain “milk solids”.
In the ingredients list below, you will see “all-purpose gluten-free flour”. You can buy a premade gluten-free flour at the store… I recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour for baked items… but if you are a little more adventurous and may have a higher demand for baked gluten-free products in your life, then I have the perfect hand-blended gluten-free baking flour listed below the cookie recipe. These items are not hard to track down at all. I got everything in one shot at a local supermarket. All of the ingredients I got to create the blend were Bob’s Red Mill brand also, but this specific ratio seemed to be perfect. (This blog post is in no way sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill… they just make quality ingredients!)
So here we go…
Gluten Free Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
1 ¾ cups (8 ounces) all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) light brown sugar
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups (7 ½ ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 candy canes, crushed
- Whisk flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl until well combined and smooth. Whisk in egg, milk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture with rubber spatula until soft, homogenous dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips and crushed candy cane. Cover bowl with plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. (Dough will be sticky and soft.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with about 1 ½ tablespoons of dough at a time, use two soup spoons at a time to portion dough and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets.
- Bake cookies until golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend
Makes about 9 1/3 cups (42 ounces)
4 ½ cups plus 1/3 cup (24 ounces) white rice flour
1 2/3 cups (7 ½ ounces) brown rice flour
1 1/3 cups (7 ounces) potato starch
¾ cup (3 ounces) tapioca starch
¼ cup (3/4 ounce) nonfat dry milk powder
Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Transfer to airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before using.
Happy baking everyone… and thanks for reading!