I am experiencing a low-gluten and gluten-free flour drought in Riyadh. For many months, a steady stream of spelt flour, buckwheat flour, and even Kamut flour spoiled me. My baking was unrestrained and my canisters were full. But it seems the worst has happened. My grocery store, the Lulu Hypermarket on Khurais Road, has pulled the plug on my flour supply. Slowly but surely, the Dove Farms specialty flours that were my saving grace were not restocked. I always feared this would happen. Now that dreadful reality is upon me. I know that’s rather dramatic. I’ve been watching a lot of Call The Midwife. Sister Monica Joan has an affect on me.
I will prevail, somehow. I’ll start by asking the Lulu staff, preferably when the place isn’t chaotic, about possibly bringing my flours back. I’m not expecting that to work, but I have to try, in the name of biscuits, scones, cookies and fresh bread. For now, I have my memories. Like these spelt chocolate chip cookies.
I don’t often have a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, but when I do, nothing else will suffice. My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe of all time is by famed pastry chef and chocolatier, Jacques Torres. It really is the pinnacle and if you don’t have a gluten allergy, you can’t beat it. That being said, I haven’t attempted to make chocolate chip cookies since dropping gluten, for fear of a major letdown. When I couldn’t shake that chocolate chip urge recently, I decided to adapt the Torres recipe for spelt flour. This recipe does not disappoint and your non-gluten-free folks will be equally pleased. These cookies are crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, just like a warm chocolate chip cookie should be.
I like to sprinkle mine with a little coarse sea salt when the cookies are about halfway done baking, for added saltiness. Also, this batter bakes even better after chilling. So it’s ideal for portioning into scoops and freezing for later. Just make sure the batter is well sealed in freezer bags.
Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Jacques Torres’s Chocolate Chip Cookie)
- 1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups white spelt flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 lb semi-sweet chocolate (a mix of dark and semi-chocolate is also great)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk powder
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If using chocolate baking bars, go ahead and roughly chopped the bars into pieces no larger than 1-inch squares and refrigerate until needed.
Mix together all dry ingredients (white spelt flour, whole spelt flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and psyllium husk powder) and set aside.
Using an electric mixer with a bowl and paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and light-brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well, followed by the vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips and mix until well combined.
Scoop dough onto lined baking sheet, using a cookie scoop or spoon (the size is ultimately up to you, but I prefer a medium to large cookie with this batter). Leave about two inches of space between each cookie. Bake for about 20 minutes for large cookies, until lightly brown. Adjust cooking time according to the size of your cookies. Cool on baking sheet before removing.
Makes about 18 four-inch cookies, best served fresh and warm.