Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free, vegan) and some baking tips

When life hands me a hectic schedule and excess stress I hand myself a chocolate chip cookie... I'm not sure when the pattern ...

When life hands me a hectic schedule and excess stress I hand myself a chocolate chip cookie...

I'm not sure when the pattern started exactly but its been going strong for awhile now. My kind of baking therapy I guess. Rather than tackle some ambitious new recipe I reach for old faithful. But here's the thing -- you can make chocolate chip cookies like a zillion different ways...

I've certainly made them many ways. I never follow a recipe so that sort of guarantees a different outcome every time. I love how you can take more or less the same ingredients and make something totally different. It all comes down to chemistry. Take for example hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) versus water (H2O) -- they start out with the exact same basic components, but end up with a totally different result. I think that's sort of why I love baking so much. As a baker you get to start on a level playing field -- using the same basic ingredients as everyone else -- but then you get to play around with those ingredients and make your own unique creations. 

Back to these cookies. My best tip for anyone looking to create the cookies of their dreams is to taste the dough. To me this is what separates a chef from a cook. A chef tastes and adapts -- they don't just follow a recipe to a T and stick it in the oven hoping for the best. To me this is essential to good baking, and cooking generally. If you don't like the taste of the dough, chances are you won't like the taste of the end product either. Another tip is to sweeten your dough a tiny bit more than you think you need to -- especially if you use any water based sweeteners like liquid stevia in your baking. I find these tend to dull down in the baking process. Its taken me a long time to sweeten my desserts enough to please my husband too. Why? Because we have different taste buds. I like desserts to be less sweet than he does. So, second tip, if you're baking for someone else (like your partner or your kids or your friends), have them taste the dough too. If they like it then you're good to go. 

Below you'll find my recipe for my latest spin on delicious, fudgey, sweet and dense chocolate chip cookies. They are gluten free and vegan and sweetened with low glycemic coconut sugar. I'd normally tell you to make this recipe, but I'd rather you use it as a starting point and make it your own. 

Happy baking! 

Chocolate Chip Cookies 
(vegan, gluten free)

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large ripe banana (spotted or brown skinned is best)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Big pinch of sea salt or pink salt
  • 2/3-3/4 cup dark coconut sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • liquid Stevia (to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup mini vegan chocolate chips
  • Water (if necessary)

Add coconut oil, sugar, maple and salt to food processor and puree together well. In a bowl mix together all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to food processor and blend well until a dough forms. Add water if dough looks dry (I used a little under 1/4 cup) and blend in. Taste. Add enough stevia to sweeten to your taste or add extra coconut sugar. Blend well. Add 
chocolate chips and pulse to incorporate. Dough should be thick and slick. 

Spoon tablespoon sized drops of dough onto parchment lined baking sheet and freeze 10 minutes while you preheat oven to 375F. Press down each cookie with the tines of a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes.

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