Chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies are light, buttery, and tender, with a rich chocolate flavor, and yup, they really do melt in your mouth. An easy drop cookie to add some color to your cookie plate.
Where do meltaway cookies fit in the cookie 🍪 world 🌎?
These are not super rich or gooey chocolate cookies like, say, our chocolate chocolate chip cookies (gooey) or our chocolate kiss cookies (super rich). They’re buttery but not shortbread, even though they crumble like shortbread.
These cookies have a chemical leavener (baking powder), unlike shortbread cookies, which are made essentially with butter, sugar, and flour. They’re not butter cookies, either, since instead of eggs or egg yolks for richness, these cookies are made with egg white alone.
They’re super tender and light, and they melt in your mouth. They’re meltaway cookies!
Ever since I made tender, buttery plain gluten free meltaway cookies (don’t forget the lemon version, too!), I’ve wondered if I could add some cocoa powder and rebalance the recipe around it to make chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies.
I’m often asked if a cookie or cake recipe can be made interchangeably as chocolate or blonde. It’s rarely that simple, though, since cocoa powder isn’t a flour. But a few false starts were all it took to rebalance the recipe perfectly.
How to make these simple cookies
The dough for these chocolate meltaway cookies is made easily in a single bowl. Whisk an all purpose gluten free flour blend with cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and confectioners’ sugar. Be sure to read up on my favorite gluten free flour blends, as I can only promise results if you use one of those.
Use a large spoon to create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the softened butter, egg white, and vanilla extract to the well, which allows these wet ingredients to come into contact with as much of the dry ingredients as possible when they’re first added.
Relatively dry cookie dough like this can seem difficult to combine by hand, and bakers are often tempted to add some water or another liquid to help the dough along. Resist the urge! It creates an unbalanced recipe.
Simply use the back of a large spoon to press the butter into the dry ingredients, and continue to mix until the dough is fully combined. Think of the task as moistening the dry ingredients with the butter by pressing them together. The butter will absorb the dry ingredients slowly but surely until a cohesive dough has formed.
Next, scoop the dough into portions, roll each between your palms into a round, and press down on each piece with the moistened tines of a dinner fork. For a slightly dressed up look, try dipping the moistened tines in coarse sugar before each impression.
There’s no need to chill the dough before baking. These chocolate cookies are already brown, so you can’t judge doneness in the oven by color.
Look for the cookie dough to become matte instead of glistening and to spring back when pressed gently in the center. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet, and store them in a sealed glass container to maintain that soft, tender, and slightly crumbly texture we love.
Ingredients and substitutions
Dairy-free: The dairy in this recipe comes only from the butter. I think they would work if you replace the butter with half Melt Vegan butter (or Earth Balance buttery sticks) and half nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening.
Egg-free: In place of the egg white, you can try using aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Use unsalted chickpeas or at least low sodium.
Corn-free: The cornstarch in this recipe can be replaced with either arrowroot or even potato starch. Make sure your confectioners’ sugar is corn-free, as it usually made with added cornstarch.