NOTE:  If wheat is not a problem for you (and it's not for me, that I know of...)  this recipe can be made using regular all-purpose flour.

I've been playing around with gluten-free foods for a while now, and sometimes the food is a   little disappointing.  Not so with these.  They were soft and chewy in the center, crispy on the edges, with good texture and flavor.  The recipe was adapted from two nearly-identical recipes from "Life Tastes Good Again" and from the box of SunFlour Mills gluten-free Pastry Flour.  The only thing was, the recipe called for butter and a box of vanilla pudding mix, both of which contain dairy.  Here's the gluten-free AND dairy-free version:

Soft and Chewy GF CF Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup dairy-free 'butter', like this recipe (or use real butter if you're OK with it)
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. Ultra Gel (a no-cook food starch)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. gluten-free flour blend, like Sunflour Mills GF Pastry Flour  or whatever you prefer
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if using regular all-purpose flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. chocolate chips (dairy free, gluten free) OR 1 c. each nuts and chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Cream together the butter, both sugars, and Ultra Gel (or pudding mix).  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Add 1 cup of the GF flour, the xantham gums, salt, and baking soda.  Beat until smooth, then mix in the remaining 2 1/4 c. GF flour.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts if using them.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 7-9 minutes, or until just browned on the edges and centers still look wet.  Let cookies sit on cookie sheet for 4-5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.  (They'll fall apart if you move them too soon.)  Makes about 30 cookies.   Store any extras in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.
If you like cookies crispy, cook them until the centers look done.  If you want them chewy, it's critical to essentially underbake them a bit, hence the wet centers.  Baked goods continue to cook even after they come out of the oven. 

*If dairy is not a problem for you either, then you can use a box of instant vanilla pudding in place of 3/4 cup of the sugar, 1/8 tsp of the salt, 1 tsp. of the vanilla, and 1/4 c. Ultra Gel. 



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