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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies



Chocolate chip cookies made with brown rice flour stacked on top of parchment paper.
Photo by Travis Rainey, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

It’s highly doubtful anyone could tell that these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies weren’t made with wheat-based all-purpose flour. The key is the homemade gluten-free flour blend. Made from finely ground brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour, it gives the cookies an irresistibly chewy texture, complete with crispy edges and pillowy interiors. The nuts are optional but delicious, and you can use finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts if walnuts aren’t your thing.

Using vegetable shortening keeps these cookies moist and chewy for days, but if you prefer, you can use softened unsalted butter (or vegan butter) instead. While you’re at it, you can take a few other liberties: Swap the semisweet chocolate chips for milk chocolate, or go for an eye-catching mix of white and dark chocolate. Use chocolate chunks for a rustic look, or carob chips to make these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies dairy-free. If you want dramatically domed cookies, use an extra-small cookie scoop to make teaspoon-sized mounds, then refrigerate the scooped cookie dough balls on a flat cookie sheet for at least 30 minutes before you slide them into the oven. Baking time varies depending on the size of your cookies; start checking at 9 minutes and remove the baking sheet when they look golden brown. Sprinkle flaky sea salt on the baked cookies for a crunchy salty-sweet contrast. Let the baked cookies rest on a cooling rack before serving, and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    2 hours

  • Yield

    Makes about 6½ dozen


1 cup vegetable shortening, plus additional for baking sheets
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. (280 g) brown-rice flour mix
1½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (packed; 100 g) brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Put oven rack in middle position; preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.

    Step 2

    Whisk 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. (280 g) brown-rice flour mix, 1½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and 1 tsp. xanthan gum in a small mixing bowl to combine.

    Step 3

    Beat together 1 cup vegetable shortening, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, and ½ cup (packed; 100 g) brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer (either a hand mixer with beaters or stand mixer with paddle attachment) at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add 2 large eggs, room temperature, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients until just incorporated, then stir in 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips and 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (if using). Drop heaping teaspoons of cookie dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets.

    Step 4

    Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, 9–15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 1 minute, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the second batch of cookies on a cool baking sheet.

    Do ahead: Cookies can be baked 1 week ahead; store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Cookie dough can be portioned and frozen 3 months ahead; after freezing, store in a freezer-safe container and bake from frozen, adding 2 minutes to cook time.

    Photo by Travis Rainey, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

    Editor’s note: This gluten-free cookie recipe was first printed in the November 2005 issue of ‘Gourmet.’ Head this way for more of our best gluten-free desserts

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  • Stick with Nestle Toll House. Butter is better. Why wrap your chocolate chips in nasty crisco? Yuck.

    • Anonymous

    • Fairport, NY

    • 11/5/2005

  • Use coconut oil or palm oil - NOT crisco. Different shortenings offer a different crumb, all butter wouldn't give these the same texture.

    • corpdeity

    • 11/8/2005

  • to "A Cook From Fairport" I guess you don't get it. Those of us who can't eat gluten can't "stick with Nestle Toll House" because that recipe has flour. Of course, if you CAN eat wheat or gluten there's probably no reason to make this recipe.

    • dianne31

    • Willow, NY

    • 11/11/2005

  • I disagree - I think there's every reason to try something different whether you can eat gluten or not. These were very light and crispy. Good!

    • afinkel

    • Asheville NC

    • 11/16/2005

  • I made these for my mother who can't eat wheat. I used butter instead of Crisco and I used Bette's Gourmet Featherlight Rice Flour Blend from Authentic Foods. These cookies were surprisingly good. They are not as "cakey" as flour cookies - more crispy, but I agree that most would have a tough time guessing they were made without flour. This is an amazing find for those with wheat allergies.

    • baw21

    • Oregon

    • 11/18/2005

  • My brother can't eat any products containing gluten, a real problem during Christmas cookie time. I became so excited when I saw this recipe. I made these cookies along side my traditional, all-purpose flour chocolate chip cookies, using butter in both. The rice flour dough was more elastic, but the cookies baked up wonderfully. They taste better than the traditional ones. If I didn't know already, I'd never guess they weren't made with wheat flour.

    • Anonymous

    • Harrisburg, PA

    • 12/13/2005

  • what is meant 1 cup(what is the weight)

    • jessieho

    • Lincoln

    • 2/25/2006

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