The best recipe for soft and chewy gluten free choc chip cookies ever, with no special ingredients and easy instructions. Unlike some cookie recipes, this cookie dough is ready to go in the oven immediately. No chilling required!
What’s the secret to soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies?
Changing cookie texture and thickness with just a slight change in the balance of what start out as super simple ingredients is a real life education in baking chemistry. To make soft, chewy, thin cookies, you must have:
- Enough butter that the cookies spread, but not immediately
- Just enough egg to bind the cookie dough
- Baking soda to help the cookies brown quickly
- No baking powder, which makes cookies rise much taller
- Enough flour to help the cookies keep their shape, but not so much that they don’t spread
- The right all purpose gluten free flour blend (including xanthan gum)
- A touch of extra starch to help soften the cookies
- A simple digital kitchen scale, so you can measure your ingredients by weight for accuracy
What else does a recipe for chocolate chip cookies have?
The most important flavor in a chocolate chip cookie (besides the chocolate chips, of course) is molasses, which you’ll find in the brown sugar. You can’t make a chocolate chip cookie without it, but if you use too much, your cookies will have too much moisture, and they’ll become crispier than they should.
The dough for these cookies is soft, but not quite as soft as it is with thin and crispy gluten free chocolate chip cookies, which are made with less egg and more butter, proportionately.
What do these soft gf choc chip cookies taste like?
These particular chocolate chip cookies remind me of Archway brand chocolate chip cookies—they come in a cardboard sleeve, covered in plastic. The thin choc chip cookies and the oatmeal cookies were always my favorite.
For a short time, Archway did make a couple varieties of gluten free cookies, but they were very thin and crispy. Nothing against thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies, but the Archway brand cookies that I miss are the soft-baked “homestyle” cookies.
These cookies bake up evenly, like Archways. That means that, unlike our thick and chewy gluten free choc chip cookies, these cookies don’t even have any crisp edges.
How long to chill chocolate chip cookie dough?
Chocolate chip cookie dough is often best chilled before baking. However, this recipe for flat and chewy gluten free choc chip cookies shouldn’t be chilled at all before baking, because the ingredients are balanced to control oven spread with soft butter.
A cookie recipe like this, that doesn’t require any chilling, takes less time to make. You’ll still have to make sure that your refrigerated ingredients like butter and an egg are at room temperature first, of course.
To warm the egg quickly without heating it, place your egg in a bowl of very warm (but not hot) water for 10 minutes. To warm the butter to room temperature quickly, unwrap the stick of butter, chop it into squares or slices, and let it sit at warm room temperature.
If your room temperature is rather cold, you can microwave the butter for 15 seconds at a time at 50% power, at most. You don’t want to melt the butter at all.
Chilling cookie dough helps solidify the fat
Chilling the dough before baking returns the fat to a solid state, so that it takes longer to melt in the oven than the other components of the dough. That helps to control the spread of the cookie, which keeps it from running across the baking sheet and crisping too much.
To combine fat, usually in the form of butter, with sugar, egg, and flours, the fat can’t be cold. In most baking recipes, the fat is either at room temperature or in liquid form.
Chilling the cookie dough returns the butter to solid form. When you’re chilling it for this reason alone, it’s best to chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator after shaping it, and only until it’s firm to the touch (usually about 15 minutes).
Can you freeze gluten free cookie dough?
If a cookie recipe calls for chilling the dough before baking, you can freeze the shaped, raw cookie dough. Just place the shaped dough on a lined baking sheet and freeze it until solid.
Then, pile the frozen balls of cookie dough into a sealed freezer-safe container until you’re getting ready to bake. To bake the cookies, allow the dough to come to cool room temperature before baking, or they won’t melt in the oven at all.
For example, I often freeze the shaped dough for our recipe for New York Times-style gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Those cookies are so special, and require special ingredients, so I always make extra to store in the freezer for emergencies.
How do you keep gluten free chocolate chip cookies soft?
These cookies are the perfect soft, flat, chewy texture as soon as they’re cool enough to be stable. Pick one up, bite into it, and feels like you just dipped it in a glass of milk.
You can keep your soft cookies that way by freezing any cookies that you don’t plan to serve that same day. Just be sure to place them in a well-sealed, freezer-safe container.
Even once they’ve been in the freezer for a long time, they won’t freeze solid. Let them sit at room temperature and enjoy them defrosted—or pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds or less.
Ingredients & substitutions for soft gluten free choc chip cookies
As always, unless I specifically state otherwise, I haven’t tested these cookies with any substitutions. These are just my best-educated guesses.
How to make gluten free dairy free choc chip cookies
To make these cookies dairy free, try using vegan butter. My favorite brands are Melt and Miyoko’s Kitchen.
You shouldn’t need to make any other changes to the recipe. Just be sure your chocolate chips are also dairy free.
I’ve tried making this recipe with Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of butter, but the texture wasn’t great. Earth Balance has too much moisture.
How to make gluten free and egg free choc chip cookies
When a recipe has only one whole egg, you should be able to replace it with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). Bob’s Red Mill brand egg replacer might even work.
How to make gluten free and corn free choc chip cookies
You can replace the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in this recipe with 1 tablespoon potato starch or arrowroot powder. The bit of starch helps to soften the cookies even more.
How to make vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies
If you use the suggestions above to replace both the butter and the eggs, your cookies will be vegan. But the taste and texture will suffer.
Instead, we have a separate recipe for chewy vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I’d use that!
Soft and Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅜ cup (75 g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (73 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 (50 g, weighed out of shell) egg at room temperature, beaten
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (175 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend (I like Better Batter here)
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
- 1 tablespoon (9 g) cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth (about 1 minute). Do not overmix.
- Add the flour blend, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Using a large spoon or spatula, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the cookie dough is just combined, and the chocolate chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- The cookie dough should be fluffy but thick and not very sticky.
- Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two small spoons, scoop the dough by the tablespoonful. Drop the mounds of dough on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches from one another.
- Using moistened fingers, flatten each piece of cookie dough into a disk about 1/2-inch tall. Do not chill the dough.
- Place the first baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until very lightly golden brown all over. Do not overbake.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool until firm, about 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.