The Recipe That Started It All….Then & Now!

Me and Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies have quite the history.  That was the first recipe I ever tried to make on my own.  I was so excited and proud of myself.  I told my mom, who was outside gardening, that when she came back in, there would be a treat waiting. And boy was there! I climbed on counters gathering all the ingredients and tools. I was like a puppy with a toy, I was so excited. Unfortunately, I did my own version of reading the recipe, which was actually skimming, and ended up just dumping all the ingredients in a bowl…together…at the same time.  Needless to say this did not make good dough…or edible dough. When the first batch came out of the oven, I stood there staring at them in disbelief. Then the laughter began. And mom and I went back to the beginning!

But this did instill in me a love for baking and a deep love for the chocolate chip cookie!

Flash forward to five and a half years ago and  that is probably where this new baking journey began. I had begun to have terrible chronic migraines that would last for weeks on end.  Now, I had had migraines before, periodically and knew that my mother suffered from them.  But this was something quite different.  For those of you who suffer from migraines, you understand the whole host of other symptoms that accompany these delightful occurrences.  I felt like my whole body was out of whack and rejecting me.  I saw doctor after neurologist after allergist and on and on.  Soon I was taking a whole host of medications to stop the migraines, I was switching birth control and I felt like I was falling apart.

Soon after a quite scary heart event, possibly brought on by the medications, I started seeing a cardiologist.  With her help, along with my amazing PCP, I went on a 7- week regime to wean off of all medications. I also started a more natural regime of magnesium, niacin, fish oil, D3 and probiotics. And then they suggested one more thing….to go gluten free.  I remember being so resistant.  What about baking was literally my first thought?!? Followed closely by (if not concurrently) with the self pity. Haven’t I been through enough.  Wasn’t this enough changes? I was a healthy 20-something, why was this all happening to me? After a lot of research and many months (pretty close to 12 if I am being honest!) of trial and error, I finally embraced a  gluten free diet.

But through all of this, I was determined to figure out how to make the treats that I had grown to love to make.  Without fail, I would always want a chocolate chip cookie (or chocolate cake, but more on that later!) after a particularly bad migraine spell. So, the first thing I set out to do was re-create the chocolate chip cookie from my childhood.  I started where I always do. Reading.  I read posts and cookbooks and experimented with recipes.  And always something was missing. Too poofy, too hard, too soft, to crispy.  I was looking for that perfect outside crisp and inside chewy gooey delight.  So I went back to the beginning and I studied that Tollhouse recipe and based my own off of that.

To me, this recipe is perfection in a chocolate chip cookie.  Crispy, chewy, gooey…everything that a classic is supposed to be.  Nowadays, I often play around with the ingredients. Change up the chocolate, add nuts, etc.  But the basics always stay the same.


1c. Brown Rice Flour

1c. Teff Flour

1/8c. + 1 Tbsp Tapioca Starch

1/8c. Cornstarch

1tsp. Xanthan Gum

1tsp. Salt

1tsp. Baking Soda

1c. Butter (I use Soy Free Earth Balance, but regular butter will work)

3/4c. Granulated Sugar

3/4c. Coconut Sugar (or Brown Sugar if you prefer)

2Tbsp Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs

Bag of Gluten Free Chocolate Chips or about 5oz Chocolate Bar chopped

Optional – 1c of Pecans (or any nut you love!)

In medium mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients (first 7) together and set aside.

Here is what I used this time. Chocolate and espresso with pecans made out for an out of this world flavor sensation!

Here is what I used this time. Dark chocolate with espresso beans and pecans made out for an out of this world flavor sensation!

In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer or a crazy strong arm), cream together room temp Earth Balance, granulated sugar and coconut sugar. Mix until light in color and fluffy.

(I substituted coconut sugar for brown sugar to see about cutting down the sugar content, to me this added dimension and a deeper flavor to the cookies that I really liked without being overly sweet)

Add vanilla and 1 egg at a time, mixing after each addition.

Incorporate flour, in thirds, mixing after each addition.  Fold in your chips or chopped chocolate. Fold in your nuts.

Put on lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes

(Note about baking times: I live in an old Astoria apartment. I love the size of my kitchen, which I know is hard to come by. But my oven frequently has a mind of its own. You made need to adjust baking time on these to a little longer, depending on the mind of your oven!)




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