Several weeks ago, I finally managed to snag a bag of Cup 4 Cup flour at Jane’s Gluten-Free Foods in Moncton. (We purchased their regular gluten-free flour blend, but Jane’s also offers their pizza crust mix and a pancake/waffle mix.) I’ve heard great things about this flour but this was the first time I’d seen it in Canada. This blend is made up of the usual ingredients (cornstarch, white and brown rice flour, milk powder, tapioca flour, potato starch, and xanthan gum), but it promises a smooth texture and the ability to substitute it one-for-one for regular wheat flour. My hopes were high, especially since the three-pound bag cost $19.99.
I decided to test it out on my mom’s chocolate chip recipe, which is quite similar to the one on the bag of Cup 4 Cup flour.
- ¾ cup shortening (I always use Crisco)
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 ½ cups flour (I used Cup 4 Cup without adding anything else to the pre-blended mix)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cream shortening and brown sugar together until well-mixed.
- Add egg, milk, and vanilla into the wet mixture. Blend well.
- In separate bowl, blend flour, salt, and baking soda together.
- Put half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Blend for a minute, and then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix just until blended, particularly if using regular wheat flour. (The more you mix, the more the gluten gets activated, and the drier your cookies will be. Luckily, if you’re using gluten-free flour, you don’t have to worry about this!) If you find that the dough is dry, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop dough by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for regular cookies, 10 to 14 minutes for gluten-free cookies.
- Cool and enjoy!
While I was making the cookies, I tasted the dough (which has always been my favourite part). It was not great – very rice-y and weird tasting. I added another teaspoon of vanilla extract and some more chocolate chips, which was probably unnecessary. Then I baked the cookies and hoped for the best.
Some sort of magical transformation happened in the oven. The wonderful smell of “real” cookies filled the house and they cooked up just like a regular cookie. I ate one as soon as it came out of the oven and it was like heaven – warm, gooey, and delicious. I couldn’t believe how incredible they tasted. Here is a picture of a few of the cookies after they had been cooked and cooled. I broke one open so that you can see the gooey, chewy texture.
I don’t think that these cookies tasted exactly like the ones my mom used to make, but I’d say they are pretty close. The batch of 20 cookies lasted just three days. It was worth every penny that I spent on the flour, and I would definitely buy this product again. In fact, I’m already planning a trip to Moncton to buy a bag of Cup 4 Cup pizza crust mix!