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Willing Cook-A-Long: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 18, 2011
gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

This week’s cook-a-long was to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from I’m not one of those bloggers that’s crazy about pumpkin, but I thought I’d try these out anyway.

What I Changed

I was excited to see that I didn’t need to substitute for butter or shortening in this recipe. To make it Joseph-safe, I substituted King Arthur’s gluten-free flour and xanthan gum for the regular flour and rice milk for the regular milk. I also made some changes to the methodology. I couldn’t figure out why the vanilla was added to the batter after the flour, or why the baking soda was added to the milk, which was then added to the flour, which was then added to the wet ingredients. So, I just followed the traditional “mix all the wet ingredients together, mix all the dry ingredients together, combine them, then add any mix-ins” method.

canola oil, sugar, gf flour, rice milk, pumpkin, vanilla, baking powder, xanthan gum, egg, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, chocolate chips

The Method

First step – mix wet ingredients. Ok, sugar’s not really a wet ingredient, but for some reason, it’s best to cream it with the fat (oil) and egg. Pumpkin, vanilla and milk also went into the bowl, and I let it beat constantly in my Kitchenaid on a speed of 2 while I did the next step. Oddly enough, while I was mixing the dry ingredients together, the bolt that holds the head of the Kitchen Aid to the base came out in the middle of mixing, so I had to stop and fix that. Trickiest thing was lining everything up again.

Quick side note. When I got my kitchenaid, I was disappointed that the beaters didn’t reach the sides or into the dimple at the bottom very well. Then I discovered the Beater Blade. It worked like a charm to reach into all those areas of the bowl, so I didn’t have to scrape it. It does squeak as it turns until it gets enough batter on the sides of the bowl to smooth it out. *Disclaimer, I do earn a commission if you order through the link, but I bought the Beater Blade with our own money, and the opinion is completely my own, formed over years of use.

Next, mix the dry ingredients, which is everything else except for the chocolate chips. (flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon). My daughter didn’t want to let me stir at all, but I finally convinced her to let me have a turn to make sure it was all evenly distributed.

Next, add the flour a little at a time to the wet ingredients. This is to prevent the flour from flying up in your face as it mixes, especially since I broke my flour shield this week. (That’s what I get for storing it on the top shelf) Also, once the flour was in, I didn’t mix it more than was needed, as a carry over from baking with gluten. I don’t know if gluten-free flour would have the same problem (becoming tough when baked because the gluten was activated) if it was over-mixed. Anyone know?

Add the chocolate chips, and stir enough to incorporate.

Spoon onto cookie sheets. It’s quite sticky, so I wasn’t able to make them look smooth and pretty. And while my daughter was happy to scoop it onto the spoon, she refused to touch it with her finger to put the batter on the sheet after one attempt.

I was afraid that they would spread a lot while baking (350 for slightly over 10 minutes), but they didn’t spread at all. They just puffed up slightly. Also directions says that they’ll be firm when done cooking. Mine were more spongy, but definitely browned on top.

gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together pumpkin, sugar, oil, egg, rice milk, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer running on low, add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture a little at a time. Add in the chocolate chips

Spoon batter onto cookie sheets, keeping them 1″ apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned, and they provide some resistance when pressed with your finger (feels a little like a sponge)

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen small cookies.

*To make your own flour mix, follow these instructions from King Arthur: Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature.

What I Thought

These cookies are cake-like in texture. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, and the chocolate chips are plenteous, which is the way I like it. I found that after I swallowed, I felt like I still had fine grit in my mouth, but it wasn’t as noticeable as other gluten-free foods I’ve baked. The grittiness did diminish over the next couple days. My daughter kept trying to steal more cookies. Joseph devoured any placed in front of him. My husband said they were all right (he doesn’t care too much for pumpkin either). And this week I had more guinea pigs! My dad was visiting, and said “Yum yum” as he split a cookie with Joseph. And we had the missionaries over for dinner and had some of these cookies for dessert, and they said they were good. I can see myself doing these again.

Shared on Allergy Friendly Friday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, and Gluten-free Wednesdays

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2011 9:12 am

    I agree with you, I couldn’t figure out why the recipe called for the vanilla, baking soda, & milk in weird steps. Like you, I just threw those ingredients in at the typical step. My gluten-free cookies weren’t gritty like they often can be with brown rice flour, so I wonder why your version ended gritty. My GF version seems like it was a lot thinner than your version. It probably had something to do with our difference in flours. I’m so glad your family enjoyed these! It is such an easy recipe and I’ll definitely make them again. They worked pretty well frozen too! See you back in a couple weeks for the next challenge.

  2. November 18, 2011 9:57 am

    I’ve been looking for a good pumpkin cookie recipe that’s already GF. I’ve just adapted a non-GF one and it’s always tricky. Have you tried the pumpkin marble cake recipe on all-recipes? I think that one requires a ginger-snap cookie crust and it’s scrumptious. I use Mid-Del’s GF ginger snaps for the crust and I LOVE it. I need to follow your site. Your recipes are so helpful.

  3. November 18, 2011 11:31 am

    Michelle – I’ve had grittiness issues with this flour with other recipes as well. I’ve just not felt like experimenting with different flours yet. I probably will eventually though.

    J – you’re talking about the pumpkin marble CHEESEcake, right? I’ve avoided any cheesecakes, as I can’t make those dairy, soy, and nut free (nuts may be fine for Joseph eventually, but right now he seems to react to them, so I avoid them). Other than that, they look good. I’m glad you’re liking these recipes.

    • November 19, 2011 4:46 pm

      Rats. I didn’t think about that, but I bet the ginger snap crust would work really well with a plain pumpkin pie too. I’ll to try it this Thanksgiving and I’ll let you know.

      • November 19, 2011 5:16 pm

        That would be great. Thanks! I do like crumb crusts better than pastry crusts.

  4. November 29, 2011 6:57 am

    Okay. So I tried the ginger-snap (GF) crust with a regular pumpkin pie–it was scrumptious! However, the pie recipe I used had evaporated milk, so I’m not sure what the sub would be for dairy free and one other caveat–the crust recipe told me to cook the crust 7 minutes before putting in the filling. I did. The problem is I used a pie recipe with regular crust and not a crumb crust, so the filling took far longer than the crust could handle and burned on the edges. I’m sure there’s a way to remedy the problem, but I’m really not a cook so I don’t know. Regardless, the inside part that didn’t get crispied was delish and my kids gobbled it up. Hope you had a good holiday.

    • November 29, 2011 8:44 am

      Thanks for the report. I’ve seen a couple vegan pumpkin pie recipes floating around, so I’m sure I could find something to sub for the evaporated milk. That definitely is one of the harder things to sub though.

      We did have a good holiday. I made Joseph-safe rice krispy treats for Joseph’s dessert, which he enjoyed.


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