There are so many gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipes on this blog that it would be embarrassing if it weren't so terribly necessary. This kind is different. It has chopped Andes Mints (they're gluten-free!), and the cookies are green (but not too green). And if I don't develop these recipes, they're not going to develop themselves.
By the way, a programming note: I am resolved to continue to love the buildup to the holidays. Even if the actual holidays themselves, when they begin, have proven to be excruciating exercises in self-control that I didn't even know I had. I keep thinking that I'll enjoy the actual holidays themselves when my children are grown and my family grows with whomever they bring home and we can make the holidays easy and inviting and warm and kind. That's how it is in my mind's eye, which will have to do unless and until my children grow up and/or I get an invitation to spend the holidays with someone else's easy and inviting and warm and kind family. It is in that spirit that I continue the Cookie Baking Brigade. With this very important recipe for gluten free chocolate chip cookies that has just the right mix of chocolate and mint.
Now I'm not going to bury the lede. I used artificial food coloring. I did it. I feel a little bit bad about that, because I know that some of you simply can't use artificial food coloring. But I made 5 batches of these cookies (5 batches!) before I settled on this exact recipe. And I tried everything with those India Tree natural colors. But no matter what I did, the color baked right out of the cookies. No matter how psychedelic the green color before baking, after baking the cookies were brown. And anyway even though I'm immature enough to think that lightly green mint cookies taste more minty (power of suggestion!), I know that it's not really true (it isn't, right?). So you can safely omit the green coloring and maybe close your eyes and imagine them green. Or just eat them with eyes open and taste the just-right combo of peppermint extract and Andes mint pieces, and find them just minty enough thankyouverymuch.
Before you even ask, yes, Andes Mints are gluten-free. I didn't always know that, but then I learned that. And it's the truth. It says so right on the website, and they don't hedge. They don't waffle. They just say so. And they also say they have baking chips that are gluten-free, too, but I have never seen these supposed baking chips in real life. They're like unicorns, except that unicorns don't have a website saying that they exist. At least not that I know of.
Oh, and if you do plan to use green food coloring, go light. The artificial stuff really does hold its color. The dough should be a nice, pale green when it's raw. Trust me. Remember – 5 batches. 5! Here's the best of the best—thick and chewy, slightly crisp around the edges and the perfect mix of mint and chocolate:
Thick & Chewy Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Andes Mint Pieces!)
1 1/2 cups (210 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
9 tablespoons (108 g) vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs (120 g) at room temperature, beaten
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Green gel food coloring (optional)
1 package (4.75 oz.) Andes mints, roughly chopped, tossed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Preheat your oven to 300° F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, brown sugar and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the butter, eggs, peppermint vanilla and optional food coloring, mixing well after each addition. The dough will be soft but will hold its shape when scooped. Add the Andes mint pieces and cornstarch to the cookie dough, and mix until the pieces are evenly distributed throughout.
Drop the dough by the tablespoon on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches from one to the next as they will spread during baking. With wet fingers, press down evenly on each tablespoon of soft dough to make a disk, smoothing to ensure a circular shape.
Place the first baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, for 9 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the edges and just set in the center. Allow to cool on the baking sheet until firm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.Repeat with the remaining baking sheets, one at a time.