If you found this post because you’re looking for Mexican wedding cookies, lo siento, amigos. Today, I’m writing about a lovely little oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that played a starring role at our wedding.
As we interviewed caterers for the big day, I kept saying that I wanted to offer something homemade in the mix. I’m fairly well known in my circles for the baking and giving of treats. It seemed wrong to throw this big party and not offer something that I made myself.
First, I was delusional. I dreamed of making a variety of cakes, pies, cookies and squares and displaying them beautifully in a desert buffet. All without breaking a sweat.
I can you hear you laughing. You can stop. Because I came to my senses. Ok, you might disagree on that point, but I think I found a reasonable solution to add something of myself into the food offerings without half killing myself in the process.
I decided to bake cookies. And to make them all gluten-free because we had more than a few guests with known gluten issues. It was important to us that nobody would be singled out because of their dietary requirements. We worked with the caterer on a buffet menu that made it easy for everyone to find lots of options. And I set about looking for a gluten-free cookie recipe.
I wanted one that didn’t call for a zillion different kinds of flour. This was going to be a big enough production, I didn’t want the extra measuring of four types of flour. I tried a Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free general purpose mix that included tapioca flour, but I found it left a weird, almost metallic aftertaste.
Then I thought perhaps an oatmeal-based cookie might do well with the nutty flavour of brown rice flour. So I took a Cooking Light recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip and pecan cookies that I’d made once before, and tried a straight substitution of brown rice flour for regular flour. I omitted the nuts, added some more chocolate chips, and I happened to forget the white sugar.
The verdict? Delicious! You’d never know they weren’t made with regular flour judging by taste. If you’re familiar with the challenges of gluten-free baking, though, you might guess the ingredients by the texture – they were slightly more crumbly.
This is drop cookie but I tried rolling them to make them sturdier. It worked like a charm and they held together very well. So about a month before the wedding, I spent a Saturday with the oven on for 10 straight hours and the KitchenAid roaring away, mixing three batches of dough at a time. I made nearly 600 cookies. Hoowah.
I froze them, took them out two days before the wedding to thaw, and packaged them the day before with a thank you note and the recipe. The little packages looked so happy and eager to please on the tables. Happy and eager to please, just like me.
While these little yummies freeze very well, there’s noting like fresh and gooey from the oven. So I now use a different make ahead trick: I make three batches of the dough, roll it into balls, package about two dozen per plastic container, and pop them into the deep freeze.
The only problem with these cookies is that I can’t keep up with the demand. They’re always gone in two days. But I guess as far as problems go, that’s not a bad one to have.
(adapted from Cooking Light oatmeal chocolate chip pecan cookies)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or brown rice flour)
1 cup regular oats
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk; set aside.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place an inch apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 14 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.