How many batches of cookies have you made for the holiday season so far? Let me tell you a little secret: This is my first batch.
Normally in the past, I've made quite a few tasty holiday treats at this point in the season and I didn't think this year would be any different. So far, however, it has been one busy thing after another. That's why I was quite grateful that this month's Gluten-Free Ratio Rally challenge was cookies. It's given me the kick I needed to put my mind in the holiday baking mood.
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If you aren't familiar with the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally, check out my rally page where I include all of my rally recipes as well as the very first rally post by Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl. Ratios and using weights have given me freedom in the kitchen I never imagined possible.
I began with Michael Ruhlman's suggestions for cookie dough ratios as I decided what kind of cookie I wanted to make for this challenge. I knew I needed something simple this time around that wouldn't take a long time to make, or (hopefully) take too many trials. Ruhlman's basic 1:2:3 cookie dough ratio suggests 1 part sugar: 2 parts fat: 3 parts flour. I wanted to make a drop cookie, however, and he suggests equal parts of sugar, fat and flour for drop cookies, with the addition of an egg.and some baking powder.
I was concerned that the gluten-free flours would create a dough that spread too much if I used an equal amount of butter, so I cut back on that just a little. I also used molasses as part of the sugar because I thought it might moisten the stickier flours a little more and help bind them with the rest of the ingredients. Using the egg as the starter 2 oz. in the ratio, my ratio ended up being 1:3:4:4 -- 1 part egg: 3 parts fat: 4 parts sugar: 4 parts flour. (2 oz. egg: 6 oz. butter: 8 oz. sugar: 8 oz. flour)
These certainly aren't a cookie that I traditionally make this time of year - I've never even tasted a cookie with these exact flavor combinations before - but the flavors were stuck in my head and I had to try them in this cookie. The whole family agreed the cookies are delicious - and the warmth and smell of the cardamom certainly fits into the season. The only thing I might change if I made them again is try adding more dates. Not too many more, but a few. This ended up being a cookie that spread a lot and were slightly crispy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside. The different sugars help with this.
Projected prep time: 10-15 minutes; Projected bake time: 7-9 minutes
1 large egg
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 oz. (29 grams) organic pure cane sugar
2 oz. (57 grams) molasses
5 oz. (143 grams) pure dark brown cane sugar
2 oz. (57 grams) sweet rice flour
2 oz. (57 grams) tapioca starch
2 oz. (57 grams) sorghum flour
2 oz. (57 grams) brown rice flour
1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (2 1/4 oz. or 62 grams) chopped dates (best to chop them yourself unless you wash any extra ingredients off dates bought already chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flours together with baking powder, salt and spices.
Cream together butter and sugars. Add molasses, then add egg and mix together thoroughly.
Gradually add dry ingredients and mix well. Let stand a few minutes to moisten the flours. Fold dates into the dough.
Drop dough by tablespoon balls (a cookie scoop works well for this, especially as the dough isn't stiff enough to roll into balls) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Leave sufficient room for spreading - they will spread quite a bit.
Bake 7-9 minutes, or until cookies are browning on edges and mostly or completely cooked in center.
Let cookies cool on pans for several minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling. They are a little crumbly when hot, but they are no longer crumbly when cool.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we did! If you don't have a scale yet and find all those numbers daunting, I can assure you that it's easier than measuring by cup - and less messy. And I just happen to be giving away a scale and a copy of Ruhlman's Ratio cookbook until noon (CST) today on my anniversary blog post - so hurry!
Please be sure and stop by Caroline's blog to see all the incredible cookies the rally participants baked up for you this season - thanks again, Caroline!