When we were little, my dad would grab a stack of six Chips Ahoy cookies after dinner, and lie sideways on the floor in front of the TV with us. He would eat the cookies, methodically, one at a time as we watched Family Ties or The Wonder Years, and I loved the unspoken evening ritual. (I wonder if he even remembers!) Well, food blogger and author Nicole Hunn has a great recipe for baking your own—and they’re gluten free…

The Best Homemade Chips Ahoy Cookies You’ll Ever Have
by Nicole Hunn of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, and author of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy and Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

I have a real penchant for the packaged cookies and treats of way-back-when. Think Ritz crackers, Ho-Hos and Nilla wafers; I dream of them all. But since my son has celiac disease—and I’m entirely gluten-free out of solidarity—a hankering for those brand-name treats can be satisfied only in my very own kitchen. With my two gluten-eating daughters nearby to keep me honest, nothing short of a dead ringer for the real thing will do. And what I really carry a torch for is…Chips Ahoy! cookies.

Chips Ahoy cookies are thick and perfectly round, and they crumble in big chunks when you break them apart. Just the right amount of brown sugar give them their trademark aroma, and just the right amount of regular granulated sugar keeps them crisp. The chips get tossed with cornstarch before they’re added to the thick dough, so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cookies during baking.

The raw cookie dough is so stiff that you might be tempted to add another egg. Resist the urge! Just knead the dough with your hands before adding the chips until it comes together properly. And be sure to freeze it in a log before slicing and baking so the cookies don’t spread in the oven. The minute you smell them baking, you’ll know these really are the very best.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Chips Ahoy!-Style Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

You’ll need:

2 cups (280 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I used a blend of 187 g superfine brown rice flour, 62 g potato starch, and 31 g tapioca flour, which is also called tapioca starch)
1 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. (125 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp. (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tbsp. (48 g) vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat your oven to 325F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

In a large bowl, add the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk, working out any lumps. Add the butter and shortening, then the vanilla and egg, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick, and even a bit crumbly. Knead the dough with your hands if necessary for it to hold together well.

In a separate small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with the cornstarch to coat. Then add the chips and cornstarch to the cookie dough in the large bowl. Mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Scrape the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Shape it into a cylinder about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, close the plastic wrap tightly over the dough, and rock it back and forth on a flat surface to form the dough into a log. Place the tightly-wrapped dough log in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. (At this point, you could also just keep the dough in the freezer for late-night cookie emergencies. Even though, of course, that never happens to you. Just to me.)

Remove the cookie dough from the freezer, unwrap, and slice into 3/4-inch thick rounds using a large serrated knife, or a very sharp chef’s knife. Place the rounds about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake, rotating once, until the cookies are lightly golden brown and set, about 12 minutes. Be sure not to take them out until they’re lightly golden brown all over, and maybe a bit more around the edges.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet until firm. Don’t move them off the baking sheet until they’re truly set (wait at least 10 minutes), or they won’t have that familiar thick and crumbly texture. Store any leftovers in the freezer, in a freezer-safe container or wrap.

What a flashback! Thank you so much, Nicole.

P.S. More best recipes, including the best hot chocolate and the best lemon cake.

(Photos and recipe by Nicole Hunn of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)