Finally! A chocolate chip cookie that is Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free, and uses only a touch of maple syrup and stevia as sweeteners. Just like the classic but way healthier for you, these are Chocolate Chip Cookies that you can feel good about eating.
The simplest recipes are always the hardest, and cookies are, in my opinion, the trickiest to convert to Sugar Free. How to get that wonderful spread and the perfect chewiness? How to make a Gluten Free cookie that is not crumbly and gritty? How to get everything to hold together without turning stodgy and dense?
These are just a few of the questions that drove my many days of experimenting and adjusting and tweaking as I developed this recipe. I have a fantastic Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that is completely Sugar Free. That one works very well with only stevia, because almond flour has a natural sweetness and it also has more moisture than most of the Gluten Free flours.
Plus, I really wanted a Chocolate Chip Cookie that is Nut Free.
And, here it is!
I’m so proud of this recipe. I tried so many different variations before finally figuring out the right ingredients to make these cookies awesome. When I eat these cookies, they taste like REAL chocolate chip cookies. And when I swipe my finger on the mixer paddle to taste the batter, I have this taste memory of being a kid and making the traditional Toll House chocolate chip cookies.
3 Secrets for the Best Gluten Free and Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Let me share the secrets I discovered that make these cookies work so well.
First, just a small amount of maple syrup helps a lot. Gluten Free Flours can be very bland and even a little bitter, and that touch of added sweetness goes a long way when combined with stevia. Plus, the maple syrup helps to make the shortening fluffy and to help the cookies bake up well.
Second, using only egg yolks adds more tenderness and moisture so that these cookies aren’t dry and crumbly. Save those egg whites for other recipes like my Pavlova or these amazing Gluten Free Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes.
Third, even with the above adjustments, the cookies were still too crumbly and dry. But when I experimented with adding more shortening or using coconut oil, the cookies became greasy and too soft. I tried adding coconut cream, but that wasn’t enough.
Then I thought about how Rugelach cookies are made with cream cheese in the dough, and I decided to try adding some cream cheese to my Chocolate Chip Cookies. It worked like a charm. You could use regular cream cheese if you eat dairy, but since I can’t eat dairy, I used a Vegan Cream Cheese with excellent results.
Let's Talk about Chocolate Chips
One of the trickiest parts of making delicious Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies is getting the right chocolate chips that are also Sugar Free. Luckily, there are many good options on the market nowadays.
For years, my go-to Sugar Free Chocolate Chip choice has been Lily's Dark Chocolate Baking Chips. They're easy to find not only in Whole Foods but also in regular supermarket chains. I often find them on sale and stock up when they are.
However, Lily's Dark Chocolate Baking Chips do use sugar alcohols like erythritol, and while these are fine for most people in moderate consumption, they can be troublesome for those of us with IBS. Why? Erythritol (and anything that ends in -ol) is High in FODMAPs. Personally, I can eat a very small amount of sugar alcohols, but if I eat too much, it gets a bit, er, windy around here.
So I was absolutely thrilled to discover that my regular supermarket chain just 5 minutes from home carries Hu No Added Sugar Chocolate Chips. They're a little expensive, but they taste terrific, and my gut is very happy with them. I'm impressed, and I'm happy to have a chocolate option that is gentle on my tummy.
Another Low FODMAP option is using these Pascha Chocolate Chips. They’re completely unsweetened, so they're quite bitter.
If you can tolerate sugar alcohols and ingredients like inulin, they you can use Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Chips or the Bake Believe Dark Chocolate Chips from Costco. Both have a good taste. Lily’s chips tend to be smaller in size, but they are sold in most supermarkets nowadays. The Bake Believe chips are larger, but they’re only sold in Costco.
And finally, if you’re trying to simply cut down your sugar intake but you don’t actually have a sugar intolerance, using regular chocolate chips sweetened with cane sugar would obviously work just fine. They're the cheapest option and the easiest to find. Your cookies will have a bit more added sugars but still way less than a regular chocolate chip cookie made with the usual 1.5 to 2 cups of sugar.
The Bottom Line Is...
These cookies taste like as close to the real thing as any I have ever tasted and with way less sugar than any regular Chocolate Chip Cookie. With the amount of maple syrup in this recipe, each cookie has just 1 gram of added sugars.
That’s something I can definitely feel good about treating myself and my loved ones to. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. Let me know how the cookies turn out in the comments below.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- 1 g of added sugar per cookie
- Gluten Free
- Sugar Free
- Nut Free
- Dairy Free
- Easy and quick to make
Ingredients for Gluten Free Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
- maple syrup
- liquid stevia
- egg yolks
- vegan cream cheese
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- kosher salt
- baking soda
- chocolate chips
Notes on Ingredients:
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks – Make sure the Earth Balance is softened before you begin to cream it in the mixer. You can let this happen slowly by just leaving the sticks out at room temperature until softened. I like to speed up the process a bit by putting them in the microwave (remove the wrapper first, please!) for 10-15 seconds.
Vegan cream cheese – I like the taste of the brand Violife for vegan cream cheese. You can try different brands, but I have found that each one has a different taste. If you can handle dairy, feel free to use a regular cream cheese.
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour – This is my go-to Gluten Free Baking Flour. It’s easy to find and usually works for most of my recipes. It already has xanthan gum in the mix which is very helpful. Most Gluten Free cookies need some extra help with binding and making the dough tender through the use of xanthan gum. If you use a different flour blend, I can’t guarantee that your cookies will turn out the same as mine.
How to Make Gluten Free Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies From Scratch
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. I actually did a comparison test to see if using parchment paper would give these cookies a better, firmer bottom. As you can see in the photo below, there is no discernible difference between baking these cookies on parchment paper versus Silpat mats. So, use what you have. I always love it when I can use the Silpat mats, because 1) they’re reusable, 2) they’re easy to clean, and 3) they lay completely flat on the baking sheet.
Soften the Earth Balance. Look, I’m going to be honest here, and say that I’m a home baker with a kid and a million things to do each day and never enough sleep, and I almost never get the timing right to get my shortening softened on its own just sitting on the kitchen counter. So, I just force the softening part by using the microwave. When I’m baking, I always think, “Is this step really necessary?” I’m a lover of efficiency, and I like to streamline recipes as much as I can. But, yes, it is really truly necessary to soften the shortening. Otherwise, it won’t cream and aerate. So, please be sure to soften the Earth Balance. Put the Earth Balance in the microwave together with the maple syrup (please make sure to take the Earth Balance out of the wrapper first and put it in a microwave-safe bowl!), and heat for 10-15 seconds.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the softened Earth Balance and the maple syrup. Add the liquid stevia, vanilla, egg yolks, and cream cheese. Mix on medium until combined and fluffy.
Add the Gluten Free Baking Flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix on medium until completely combined. The cookie dough might start out crumbly like wet sand. If that’s the case, crank up the mixer speed to medium and mix it until the dough comes together and is nice and thick and smooth.
Add the chocolate chips. Mix on low until incorporated.
Use your hands to form the cookie dough into small balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Dampen your hand with water and press each cookie flat with the heel of your hand. Cookies without gluten, sugar, or dairy don’t spread, so you have to press them into the shape that you want them to be.
Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy warm or allow to cool completely. Either way, enjoy them.
More Sugar Free Nut Free Recipes:
- Gluten Free Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- Classic Scones
- Belgian Waffles with Yeast
- Cinnamon Thins Cookies
- Peach Pie
Gluten Free Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookies – Sugar Free Dairy Free
- 1 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, 2 sticks, softened
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 2 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup vegan cream cheese
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
- Soften the Earth Balance. Put it in the microwave together with the maple syrup (please make sure to take the Earth Balance out of the wrapper first and put it in a microwave-safe bowl!), and heat for 10-15 seconds.
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the softened Earth Balance and the maple syrup.
- Add the liquid stevia, vanilla, egg yolks, and cream cheese. Mix on medium until combined.
- Add the Gluten Free Baking Flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix on medium until smooth.
- Add the chocolate chips. Mix on low until incorporated.
- Use your hands to form the cookie dough into golf ball sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Dampen your hand with water and press each cookie flat with the heel of your hand.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
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