Cooking with Claire: Gluten-free baking

Palm sugar sweetened gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. (Courtesy/Cassidy/Flicker Creative Commons)

“Cooking with Claire” is an introduction to dining beyond the dining hall using easy, fast and cheap recipes.

Gluten free diets are becoming much more popular. Some choose to start a gluten-free diet out of necessity, while others think the “back-to-basics” diet will help them feel healthier and more natural.

My first interaction with gluten-free diets was through my best friend. When she was diagnosed with celiac disease, a rare autoimmune disorder that destructs the stomach lining, she had to completely change her lifestyle. Besides cutting “normal” breads, pasta and other grains, she had to buy all new makeup and toiletries, because gluten is used in the production process.

Thankfully, she reacted fairly well to the change and the stomach aches and migraines she suffered from were eliminated. Below is a delicious recipe for gluten free chocolate chip cookies she shared with me, courtesy of Alton Brown via the Food Network. Our first dive into baking will be centered on gluten-free foods, but we will feature more tasty sweets in the future.


  • Eight ounces unsalted butter
  • 11 ounces brown rice flour, approximately two cups
  • One and one quarter ounces cornstarch, approximately one quarter cup
  • One half ounce tapioca flour, approximately two tablespoons
  • One teaspoon xanthan gum
  • One teaspoon kosher salt
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • Two ounces sugar, approximately one quarter cup
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar, approximately one and one quarter cups
  • One whole egg
  • One egg yolk
  • Two tablespoons whole milk
  • One and one half teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Once melted, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xantham gum, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Add both of the sugars to the bowl with the butter and using the paddle attachment, cream together on medium speed for one minute. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

4. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm, approximately one hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Shape the dough into two-ounce balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, six cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the pans after seven minutes for even baking. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the pans for two minutes. Move the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Store cooked cookies in an airtight container.

While I haven’t had the chance to taste these cookies, my friend and her non-gluten-free friends say these cookies are delicious, and even prefer them over the “normal” gluten cookies.

When shopping for gluten free foods, keep in mind that some breads and other ingredients need to be refrigerated. If your grocery store’s “natural foods” aisle seems sparse, ask an associate if gluten-free foods are located elsewhere.

Claire Galvin is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at