Gluten free and paleo friendly recipes typically make baked goods taste different from their grain containing counterparts. Take bread for example. Gluten free bread tastes very different from regular bread. You can make it taste very good, but it still wont’ taste the same. When I set off to modify the Salted Chocolate Rye cookies recipe from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole book to make them gluten free and paleo friendly I did not know exactly what to expect but I knew those cookies would taste different. Boy, was I wrong! These paleo friendly, gluten-free cookies tasted just like the cookies from the original recipe.
To be sure, I gave these cookies to try to those who tasted the original ones and asked how the liked them. Everyone said the cookies tasted great, same as before, and were supremely surprised when I told them these cookies were totally gluten free and paleo diet friendly.
Yes, they were practically the same. They puffed up really nicely in the oven. They held their shape just as well. They had the same thickness. The texture was the same, if a little bit softer. Perhaps it was because I baked them for a minute or so less. Still, if anything, I preferred the softer texture of these cookies. It was very ganache-y, velvety soft, and melt-in-your-mouth kind.
To make these cookies gluten free I substituted rye flour for almond flour one for one. As I was saying before, there is no noticeable difference from this substitution. When choosing chocolate for this recipe make sure it does not contain gluten. Some chocolates do! Most Valrhona chocolate, my preferred choice most of the time, does not contain gluten as an ingredient, however, this is what they say on their website:
“Are your products gluten-free? There is no gluten listed as an ingredient but our products may contain traces of gluten because of the machines used. We recommend people for whom gluten is a healthy concern not to consume our chocolate.”
So, there you go. If gluten poses health risk for you, you must use certified gluten free chocolate.
Non-paleo friendly baking powder was substituted with baking soda and cream of tartar. This combination is essentially the same as baking powder less non-Paleo cornstarch or potato starch which are added to absorb moisture. Hm, is this why the cookies turned out a bit softer?
Raw sugar, such as Mascovado sugar, is not strictly forbidden on a Paleo diet, but I did substitute it for coconut sugar. The choice is yours, and it’s nice to have options.
This recipe is a modified version of the Salted Chocolate Rye cookies recipe from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole book.
- 2⅔ cups (1 pound) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (70%), certified gluten free if you are gluten intolerant and even traces of gluten pose health risk for you
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup almond flour, certified gluten free if you are gluten intolerant and even traces of gluten pose health risk for you
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1½ cups coconut sugar (or Mascovado sugar)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Good quality sea salt, such as Maldon or flaky fleur de sel, for topping
- Place a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Set a heatproof bowl over the simmering water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, and melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally. Once melted remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt and set aside.
- Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed, adding the sugar a little bit at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and whip until the eggs have nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and the vanilla. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, then add in the flour mixture just until combined. At this point the dough will be very soft and loose, which is normal; it will firm up as it chills.
- Refrigerate dough until it just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. (The longer you chill the dough the harder it is to scoop.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and scoop with a rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets, shaping the balls of dough into rounds and spacing them 2 inches apart. Top each mound of dough with a few flakes of sea salt, pressing gently so it adheres.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have completely puffed up and have a smooth bottom and rounded top. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool slightly (the cookies may flatten a bit), then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The cookies will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.