Chef in the City, Recipes

In Pursuit Of The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie…

August 22, 2015
danielle shine chef shine chocolate

Baking was my first foray into cooking. It was approachable, required a mix of affordable ingredients that didn’t require too much skill PLUS it made my house smell AMAZING during and after the baking process. I began baking cakes – super simple and very satisfying to pop out of the cake tin to decorate before gifting to a friend or simply cutting it open to enjoy with loved ones. Baking cookies came next, such a fun discovery ! Still to this day, I am amazed at just how many different types of cookies can be made. I can say with absolute certainty that I will live my whole lifetime and never be able to make all of the cookie concoctions out there!

Today at school, I had the pleasure of crafting American-style cookies into fantastic little health-supportive versions. Take a look below…

danielle shine chef shine

The huge assortment of cookies created – can you believe all of these are healthy, sugar free and mostly vegan!?

danielle shine chef shine

Chocolate biscotti that BLEW MY MIND. Crunchy, perfect for dipping in tea, these went fast when it came to tasting and discussion time!

danielle shine chef shine

Coconut macaroons…holy mother of coconutty goodness, these were light and very tasty. Main ingredient? 100% organic coconut flakes!

danielle shine chef shine

Ahhh, the infamous ‘black and white’ cookie. And yes…we did sing Stevie Wonder’s ‘Ebony and Ivory’ song while these babies were baking ;)

danielle shine chef shine

Linzer’s done healthy! SO much better than the fake sugary processed ones I used to eat as a child. The jam is a raspberry chia infusion which I will share with you soon.

danielle shine chef shine

Shortbread 2.0 thanks to the ghee used in these, though they could also be adapted to be made vegan with coconut oil. Yum!

All of these cookies were super delish, but the cookie that has my health-supportive heart is the one I’ve chosen to share with you so you can make it too: the glorious gluten free chocolate chip cookie. I didn’t realise until today that in order for a cookie to be gluten free AND properly health supportive, using JUST almond meal, or some other type of gluten free flour alone just isn’t enough. I learnt if I want to make a gluten-free version of my health-supportive choc chip cookie, a little more thought and preparation is required in terms of the ingredients…

You will see below my recipe calls for a mixture of flours including one I have only just begun to use: Sorghum flour. After working with, and learning more about it at the Natural Gourmet Institute, I can honestly say, it’s now a gluten free favourite of mine. You can read more about Sorghum here, but in a healthy little nutshell, it’s becoming more and more popular for its nutritional benefits… Aside from the fact it adds an amazing depth of flavour to any gluten-free baked good, it’s a nutritional powerhouse – high in protein, iron, dietary fibre and antioxidants which support heart health. What I like about it the most is that it can be added or substituted in any recipe that calls for flour, including cakes, cookies, breads and muffins. While some gluten free flours like white rice flour, can add a gritty kind of texture to cookies or bread, sorghum flour has a much smoother texture that really makes a huge difference when it comes to these choc chip cookies.

But don’t take my word for it – make these for yourself and see, smell and taste the goodness….

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings: about 20-24 cookies

You need:

  • 1⁄2 cup sorghum flour
  • 6 tbs buckwheat flour
  • 3 tbs tapioca starch flour
  • 2 tbs brown rice flour
  • 1 tbs white sweet rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbs ghee, softened not runny/liquid form (you can also use organic butter)
  • 3⁄4 cup coconut sugar (or maple crystals)
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tbs water (or you can use 1 egg)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3⁄4 cup cacao nibs (or 70-85% organic dark chocolate chips)

You do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F/190°C and line 2 half-sheet baking trays with baking paper
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, tapioca starch flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour and baking powder together. Set aside
  3. Cream ghee and coconut sugar with a hand mixer (or with a paddle attachment if using a stand mixer). Add flax ‘egg’, vanilla and salt to ghee/coconut sugar mixture and beat on slow speed for 30- 60 seconds
  4. Stop mixer and add combined flours, mix together (good to know: this mixture will be stickier than normal cookie mixtures). Once flours are incorporated, add cacao nibs.
  5. Using a medium ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto baking trays – about 12 cookies per tray, leaving a little distance between them as they will spread a little
  6. Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until nicely golden – check the bottoms to ensure they are nice and brown – not too pale or not too dark. Dark = burnt!
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack until cookies are completely cooled and firm (they may be a little soft even after they’re out of the oven). Leave to cook and they will firm up. Eat and ENJOY :)

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  • Reply Annette August 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Hi Chef Shine, I met you today at the Natural Gourmet Institute, wow, what a school! I smelt these cookies baking and now I can actually make them myself! Thanks for being so friendly, I loved your blog post on the Natural Gourmet’s website, it was the motivation I needed to come visit and think about studying there too. I’m 99.9% sure I’ll be enrolling next year. Your journey is such a fascinating one that I love to read about. Please keep writing, I notice you’re writing more than usual, thank you!!!!!!!! Off to bake your gluten free choc chip cookies (yes, I am a night owl). Namaste, Annette :) :) :)

    • Reply Danielle Shine August 29, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Annette, was lovely to meet you today and thanks for your kind words :) How exciting!! I think you’ll really love the process of becoming a chef here – it’s so much more than that to be honest, you’ll make lifelong friends, develop amazing skills, oh, and you’ll also learn everything you’ll ever need to know about how to prepare and cook food in a way that heals and nourishes yourself and others.

      Hope you enjoyed these cookies, they’re pretty damn delish!! In fact…think I might make them again this weekend 😉

      Danielle x

  • Reply Lynnette August 22, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Those cookies look amazing! :) I am trying to cut down on processed foods and learning to embrace the idea of eating clean. Loved discovering your blog via Aussie Bloggers Facebook. Will definitely keep an eye out and keep reading for more interesting and healthy recipe ideas. :)

    • Reply Danielle Shine August 23, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Thanks Lynnette, they truly are super tasty, I confess my husband and I devoured all of those cookies straight after I shot them for the picture you see above! Thanks for coming by to say hello – the Aussie blogger’s community is a great group of amazingly inspiring people – yourself included! Off now to check out your blog :) Be sure to keep in touch and let me know if there’s any food in particular you want me to health-ify, I love a challenge :)

      Danielle x

  • Reply Happy Labor Day! - Danielle Shine September 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    […] share soon, so keep an eye out! For now, you’ll have to feast your eyes on all my other yummy recipes like this one because it’s way past my bedtime, so off to sleep I […]

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