What’s your favorite kind of cookie? I love a crisp and melty shortbread, but my favorite is a buttery, caramelly, dark and moody cookie with a chewy center and crisp edges.
If you’re gluten-free, however, those options are hard to find in a cookie, let alone a good one. Most gluten-free recipes are too crumbly, too chewy, too grainy, taste terrible, and never deliver what they promise. And that stinks when all you want is a good cookie.
I’ve been experimenting a lot with cassava flour lately, which you can read more about in my Gluten-Free Rosemary Cheese Cracker post, and found this magical combination of cassava, grass-fed butter, and molasses that makes me say, every single time, “I can’t believe these are gluten free cookies!”
The recipe calls for organic cane sugar as well, but homemade (very smooth, no chunks!) date paste or date sugar can be substituted.
The cookies will puff and spread, but using the pan-banging technique from Sarah Keiffer’s chocolate chip cookie recipe will tame the puff and produce a thin, coin-style drop cookie with the crispy outside and chewy inside you crave.
Gluten-Free Chewy Molasses (Pan-Banging) Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. gray sea salt
- 6 tbsp. room temperature salted butter
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar + 1/2 cup for rolling
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup dark, unsulfured molasses
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer, cream butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg until fully incorporated; beat in molasses.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; mix on medium speed until just incorporated. Add remaining dry ingredients; mix on medium speed until well combined. Cover dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. On a small plate, add the ½ cup of remaining sugar; set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator.
- Using hands, form 1/2-inch balls of dough. Roll dough balls in sugar to coat. Place six dough balls, 2-inches apart, on baking sheet.
- Place pan in oven. Bake 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, lightly bang pan once on stovetop to remove any rise on cookies. Return pan to oven; bake an additional 6 minutes or until edges are browned and middle is set.
- Remove pan from oven. Let cookies cool on pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
Things to consider:
- Place only one pan in the oven at a time or it will affect the baking time and crispness of the cookie’s edges.
- Do not load the pan with more than 6 cookies at a time – they spread, and you’ll end up with one giant cookie if they’re too close together.
- This dough is not ideal for slice-and-bake or cut-out cookies. Drop and roll is the best method for this slightly sticky dough.
- I don’t recommend Stevia or similar artificial sweeteners. I’ve never bought them. I’ve never worked with them. And I never will.
- Maple syrup or coconut sugar can be substituted as a “free of processed sugar” alternative, though I’ve never tried either in this recipe. Predictably, the maple syrup will add more moisture, so you may have to adjust the flour, and I find the coconut sugar to be too bitter to compliment the molasses.