Allergy Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have often asked me as a professional pastry chef what my favorite thing to make is. I think they’re expecting me to say something like plated desserts, croquembouche, wedding cakes, chocolates, etc. But actually, my favorite things to make are the basics that people crave, straight comforting dessert like coffee cakes, breads and cookies that make you fuzzy inside. A perfect chocolate chip cookie is a great example. So, on that note…
Stop looking! Here is the most allergy, gluten free friendly chocolate chip cookie you could want! My regular chocolate chip cookies are beloved in my family, everyone from my older brothers to my boys ask for them regularly. I had to make a version that was safe for Casey and could satisfy my brothers, that after over 30 years of me making them, are very picky about how they like them! My oldest son grew up eating them weekly and has a VERY fussy palate. He doesn’t flinch a bit at these and actually sneaks extra to school.
I’m not going to lie; this wasn’t easy to pull off. The dairy free part is doable, but not having egg structure is always difficult. Egg replacers don’t always do what we need them to and finding proper balance with the crispy/chewy can be tricky. We’re looking for moisture from the brown sugar, but it serves a bigger purpose. Brown sugar is a combination of molasses and white sugar. Molasses is acidic and that reacts with the leavening (baking powder and soda) to help set rise and structure. Without the egg we needed a bit more oomph. After a few trials, applesauce worked but only when the other ingredients were adjusted.
Here’s a pro tip as well for the dough. I worked at a 5-star hotel on Long Island for many years. We would have to bake off cookies of many varieties by the hundreds a few times a week. Obviously, this can’t be done the same day, so the freezer was our best friend for always being prepared and can be for you as well. After making the dough, line a pan with parchment paper and scoop the dough as if you’re placing it on the pan to bake but instead put the scoops directly next to each other. Wrap tightly and freeze. After the dough is frozen, you can take it off the pan and put in freezer zipper bags. I buy small disposable aluminum pans and layer the scoops, then wrap and freeze. Whenever you want a treat, defrost the amount you need in the fridge for an hour or so and bake as normal. It’s great to always have on hand. Enjoy!💙
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter substitute – I used Casey’s safe margarine for this, and shortening worked well but did not spread quite as much. Regular butter is fine to use here too, just keep the dough chilled if you use applesauce because it makes the dough softer and butter melts quicker that the vegan butter substitutes.
- Egg replacer – I tested a few and unsweetened applesauce was the best substitute here. I tried a baking powder egg and Ener-G, and the results weren’t quite right. Chia or flax eggs will work well because their consistency is similar to applesauce. Use eggs if they are safe for you.
- Flour – As always, I used King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour, but another flour blend will work including regular wheat flour. Remember to weigh your flour using 140 g. per cup as a baseline whether you are using gluten free or regular flour because all blends are different densities. Make sure your gluten free flour blend has xanthan gum and if it does not, add 1/4 tsp. per cup of flour.
- Chips/Add-Ins – I always use Pascha dairy free chocolate, but use whatever chips you like, whether they be white, milk chocolate, butterscotch, etc. If nuts are safe for you then add chopped walnuts or pecans, just reduce the amount of chips to adjust for the volume of the dough.
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Allergy Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: 10 minutes (includes 30 minutes chilling)
Total Time: about one hour
Cook Time: 15-18 minutes
Yield: 3-4 dozen, depending on scoop size
- 2 sticks (8 oz.) vegan butter substitute or regular butter, room temperature
- 1 c. light brown sugar
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- Scant ½ c. applesauce (measure ½ c. then remove 1 Tbls.), room temperature OR 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 ¼ c. (12.5 oz./315 g.) gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum or regular flour
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 ¾ c. chocolate chips
- Mix dry ingredients and chips in a bowl with a whisk and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (with a paddle attachment) or hand mixer on medium speed, cream the vegan butter and both sugars until lighter in color and fluffier, stopping the mixer often to scrape down the sides. Don’t overmix or the “butter” will get too warm and break down.
- Add applesauce OR eggs one at a time and vanilla, blending in and scraping down when necessary.
- With mixer on low speed, blend in dry ingredients and chips, making sure all is incorporated well.
- Refrigerate the dough at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Scoop and bake without crowding pan (maximum 12 per sheet pan) and bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden, do not underbake or the structure will not set on the cookie.
- Cook on a rack, cookies will deflate slightly as they cool.
- Store in an airtight container after completely cooled.
- Cookies freeze wonderfully for up to 2 months. Scoop (see notes above) and wrap well for the freezer. Defrost at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before baking or bake from frozen, just add a bit of cooking time.
- The cookies will need to be completely cool before eating or storing as the gluten free structure needs time to set. Because of the applesauce they will be slightly softer after a day or two, store in an airtight container.
- Don’t bake until light for a chewy texture. It will be chewy no matter what and as gluten free, it needs to be baked longer. A nice golden is what you’re looking for. Trust me, it’ll be delicious!
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!