Earlier this year, when my friend Rachel told me about the 100 Hours Project, where you use these beautiful cards as an offline way to hold yourself accountable for spending more time doing something you love, it was a no-brainer to choose baking. If I’m not in the kitchen baking cookies, I’m talking about them on twitter, or pinning them on Pinterest, or thinking about what I’m going to bake next. I learned how to bake from watching my grandma and mom in the kitchen, and put on the apron solo while I was in high school, perfecting cream puffs and taking over the annual holiday cookie-baking extravaganza.
What I had no idea about at the time is what a timely commitment this decision would turn out to be, thanks to implementing a gluten-free diet.
Over the past two months, when we started our gluten-free journey, I’ve had to completely re-learn how to bake. Having a significant number of years of baking experience may have made it a little easier, but the fact is that the gluten-free flours are entirely different in how they handle and bake than their wheat flour counterparts.
Thanks to my journalism background, I tackled this process like I would any other research project. I spent hours online identifying gluten-free baking blogs to follow, I read multiple gluten-free baking tips blog posts, and I reserved dozens of gluten-free cookbooks at the library.
Despite all this homework, it still felt incredibly intimidating to bake my first gluten-free treat from scratch. Instead, I started with a box of King Arthur Flour’s brownie mix. Baked in my beloved Baker’s Edge brownie pan (*note this is an affiliate link) that gives every brownie that edge of the pan awesomeness, they turned out pretty well.
Fresh off the success of my gluten-free boxed brownies, I saw King Arthur Flour’s Sift magazine at my local indie bookstore. I picked up a copy after seeing the recipe for these gluten-free chocolate chip almond flour cookies.
These became my very first gluten free cookies baked from scratch.
Well, the ones in the photo were actually my second go at the recipe. You see, as someone who could make her usual chocolate chip cookie recipe in her sleep, I missed a very important line at the end of the recipe, which instructed the baker to lightly smash down the cookie dough.
Which is why my first batch of these cookies tasted pretty good, but looked more like teeny drop-scones than cookies. It was
It was interesting to note that the pressing down the dough affected the taste of the cookies in addition to their appearance, which is not something I’d expected.
So in addition to this resulting in a tasty treat for our cookie jar, I also learned a lot in the process, specifically:
- Always read the recipe through twice and get everything ready-to-go before starting to work through the recipe.
- Re-read the recipe as you go along, making sure to note directions that are different than what you’re used to doing.
- Just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean it won’t still be delicious.
- Many gluten-free recipes involve chilling your dough before baking, so make sure you allow enough time for your baking projects.
I’m looking forward to continuing to share my progress in these pages as I learn how to master gluten-free baking.
Wish me luck!