Cookies and milk
Like many coeliacs I was lactose intolerant when I was first diagnosed. I drank as little milk as possible, using just enough to merely dampen my morning cereal, eschewing it in favour of artificial whiteners in tea and certainly not drinking it straight up, chilled from the fridge. It was a shame since as I child a glass of milk was often my drink of choice. But, alas, one of the first things to go when those poor little microvilli get damaged is the ability to properly digest lactose. It gets as far as lactic acid and then, um, stops. So we’re left with bloated bellies and horrible cramps and that nasty, burning feeling in the gut. Bleurgh.
Fortunately, all that is a thing of the past and as my gut gradually healed on a gluten-free diet I was free to enjoy milk again. However, although I can have it in tea now (hurrah!) and douse cereal and porridge in it, I have yet to really rediscover the joys of drinking cold, fresh milk. Ironic, since coeliacs, even on a gf diet, are recommended to eat more calcium than “normal” people (I use the term loosely, I mean who is really normal?) These cookies though (and I feel that they really are cookies and not just biscuits – that certain chocolate chippiness and slightly soft, chewy centre that makes them a true cookie) are perfect with milk. In fact I might even go so far as to say that a glass of milk is a must with these cookies; almost a part of the recipe if you like. See, they have quite a rich coffee flavour which means they jar slightly with traditional hot drinks. They taste a little odd with tea, and even with coffee they’re not right; the balance of flavour is upset and only the chocolate shines through. With hot chocolate the reverse is true and they taste overly of coffee and too bitter. But milk, ahhhh! Hot from the oven with a glass of cold milk. Perfect. I’m planning on saving a few (just a few mind) for later and having them cooled with hot milk before bed.
Adapted from Taste of the South, via Bake or Break
I forgot to weigh the flour before adding it! Apologies. I used very dark chocolate (85% cocoa) for these, which gave them an almost bitter edge, which was fab. However, if you want a slightly sweeter cookie, I think 70% or even 60% chocolate would be just fine.
200g dark chocolate (60% cocoa or above, I used 85%)
1/4 cup (~60g) butter
3/4 cup soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (~60g) chocolate chips
Icing sugar to dust
1. Preheat oven to 160 C.
2. Break the chocolate into chunks and put in large bowl along with the butter. Microwave on high for a minute or 2, stirring every 30 seconds, until butter and chocolate are almost melted. Remove and stir until completely melted.
3. Beat the sugar into the chocolate and butter into almost smooth. Add the coffee granules and stir until dissolved. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
4. Mix the gf flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt in a different bowl. Add this, a bit at a time, to the chocolate mixture. It might look like too much, but keep stirring and eventually it will be mixed in. Add the chocolate chips and stir briefly.
5. Roll the mixture into balls about an inch in diameter. Flatten these slightly and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet an inch or so apart. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes or so; rotate halfway through baking. Once done they will be crispy on top, though still soft in the middle.
6. Cool on wire racks and sprinkle a little icing sugar on top before serving to give them a bit more sweetness. Eat as soon as they don’t burn your tongue. Serve with a nice glass of milk.
Makes 36. If you want them to be a bit larger, will probably make about 24; increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes if doing this.