Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gluten free lemon-scented white chocolate cookies

I think I died and went to heaven. Lemony, white-chocolate heaven.

I started experimenting a couple of months ago with quinoa flour. Timid at first, worried about its bitter scent, I would think of adding it to a batch of muffins and then back out. Surely sorghum flour would work better here, I would think to myself. After all, sorghum flour has become my staple. My go-to flour as a base in almost everything.

I finally used my quinoa flour in a bread recipe and was pretty darn impressed.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, a co-worker of mine came back to the office with an enormous lemon white chocolate chip cookie. It was a flavor combination I had never really thought of before – but it sounded delicious. I imagined it lightly sweet with a hint of lemon scent and creamy sweet bits of chocolate. Perfect as a summer cookie.

And suddenly, I was thinking of all kinds of lemony sweets. Lemon bars, lemon scones, and lemon sorbet – just to name a few. I picked up a bag of sweet lemons and set to work this past week.

Feeling particularly saucy as I began creating the cookie recipe to replicate the lemon white chocolate cookie my co-worker had purchased, I decided to throw out my old ideals of using sorghum or brown rice flour and went straight for the quinoa. I was thinking texture and thinking the bitter flavor might work particularly well with the lemon in these puppies. And my instincts were right.

By far, the texture of these cookies is better than my previous cookie concoctions. They are sugar-cookie-like, delicate and slightly sweet, melt-in-your mouth, without any graininess. And, in case you were wondering, no quinoa-induced bitterness detected.

Go ahead, give ‘em a try. But don’t blame me when you can’t stop eating them!

Lemon scented white chocolate cookies:

The secret to great cookies, imparted to me by a good friend back when we lived together in college, is to have your butter just slightly soft. I microwave it for 5 seconds at a time, rotating it each time, until I can just put a dent in the side with my finger. Also, after your dough is all mixed and you are in the baking process, stick the dough in the fridge in between batches. If it’s warm in your home, the butter might melt!

1 cup quinoa flour

1 cup tapioca flour

½ cup coconut flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup butter

1 cup raw sugar

½ tsp baking soda

2 eggs

6-12 oz white chocolate chips or chunks, depending on your preference for chocolate (I used the Whole Foods 365 brand of white chocolate chunks)

Zest of one small lemon

Juice of one small lemon

Begin by mixing your flours and xanthan gum in a bowl. Blend well and set aside.

Zest and juice your lemon into a small bowl.

In a large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar, then add the baking soda and mix well. Add in your eggs and stir until well-incorporated.

Add the lemon zest and juice. Then add your flour mixture about a third at a time until your dough forms. Add the white chocolate and stir to evenly distribute.

Scoop rounded spoonfuls and place one inch apart on your cookie sheet – flatten slightly. I was able to roll these into balls with my hands and flatten slightly after placing on the cookie sheet.

Bake in a 350F oven for 18-20 minutes.

Let cool a couple of minutes and remove to cool completely on a wire rack. (Be sure your cookie sheet cools before re-loading with new dough.)



Steph said...

Oooh, those sound divine! I'm on a quest to find some dairy free white chocolate chips!

Lauren Denneson said...

Steph - good luck! Incidentally, I didn't check the package of mine to see if they contained dairy, so I can't offer any help off the bat. I'll let you know if I come across any.

Laura said...

These look absolutely divine......... what an intriguing combo -- white chocolate and lemon. I've never been a big fan of white chocolate, but I think the lemon would pair perfectly with it.

Lauren Denneson said...

Laura - I have to confess I'm not a big fan of white chocolate either and thought about using regular, but I was really impressed with the combination of lemon with the white chocolate! It made a believer out of me :)

Anonymous said...

Yum those look really good :)