These soft and gooey teff cookies have a slightly crisp edge and are loaded with chocolate chips. The cookies bake up soft with no need to refrigerate the dough before baking. Eat them all or freeze them for later.
Is Teff Gluten-Free?
Yes, teff is gluten-free. Gluten is found only in grains and teff is really a seed. If you are very sensitive to gluten or have Celiac Disease, I recommend using teff that is manufactured in a dedicated gf facility. Teff from Judee’s Ingredients is a good brand for this.
How to Make Soft Cookies
To make cookies soft and gooey requires a couple of different adjustments. It’s not just about adding more moisture or butter.
Brown sugar has molasses added to it, which gives it a higher moisture content than white sugar. You can use a combination of white and brown sugars, or as I did in this recipe, use all brown sugar. The molasses gives it a wonderful flavor as well as making the cookie soft.
The second adjustment is to use two egg yolks instead of a whole egg. The fat in eggs is in the yolks, which adds more rich yummy moisture to these cookies. The white is more likely to just make the cookies crunchy.
Lastly, baking time is super important. Gluten-free baked goods tend to be much more pale than their conventional counterparts. So it can be difficult to tell when the cookies are done. They will be barely brown on the bottom. If you wait for them to get really brown around the edges they will be overdone and turn crunchy once cooled. So I bake these for 8 to 10 minutes, no more than that. If you take the cookies out too early, the worst that will happen is that they are more ooey gooey and soft! So I recommend erring on the underbaked side.
Note about pans: The darker the color of your pan, the faster the cookies will bake. So if you have a very dark gray or almost black pan, it is likely that your cookies will bake in 8-9 minutes. Silver colored pans will usually require the longer baking time.
Teff flour gives these cookies a wonderful texture and slightly malty, nutty flavor.
A gluten-free flour blend is important to use along with a gluten-free flour. The xanthan gum binder in GF flour blends will keep these cookies from being crumbly. My go-to flour for gluten-free baking is King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour. It is widely available, works well in almost all of my recipes and is the most affordable of the ones I’ve tested. Cup4Cup (contains milk powder) and Pamela’s Artisan Blend are similar and should work in this recipe.
A chocolate chip cookie just wouldn’t be the same without real butter. You could use a vegan butter substitute like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter but my preference is for real butter as far as flavor is concerned.
For soft cookies, the temperature of the butter is super important. If the butter is too soft, the cookies will spread and turn out crunchy. So there’s no need to take the butter out hours before you mix up the recipe. Take it out about 20 minutes before, cut it into five or six pieces and let it sit. If it’s super warm in your kitchen, 10 minutes maybe enough.
The recipe uses only light brown sugar – no white sugar. The light brown sugar has more moisture in the form of molasses and helps to give these cookies their soft texture.
Two egg yolks instead of a whole egg also helps with the softness in these cookies. The yolks have the fat which really add to the rich moistness. Be sure to use room temperature eggs. Otherwise the cold egg yolks will solidify the creamed butter. Place uncracked eggs in a bowl of warm water as your first step. They should be ready by the time you are ready to use them.
There’s just a tablespoon of milk in the recipe. You can use a dairy-free milk substitute if you’re lactose-free.
The rest of the ingredients are just the basics – vanilla, salt and baking soda.
Soft Teff Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free)
- ¾ c teff flour (ivory or brown)
- ½ c gluten-free flour blend, King Arthur Measure for Measure recommended
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 c light brown sugar, packed firmly in the measuring cup
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature*
- 1 tbsp milk or dairy-free milk substitute
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract, powder or bean paste
- 1½ c chocolate chips
- Remove the butter from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before, cut it up into five or six pieces and let it sit. If it's a super warm day in your kitchen, 10 minutes maybe enough. If the butter is too soft, the cookies will spread and turn out crunchy..
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper (parchment optional).
- In a small mixing bowl, mix the flours, salt and baking soda together.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for about 1½ minutes.
- Add the egg yolks and beat until combined.
- Beat in the milk and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Scoop or drop about 2 Tbsp dough per cookie onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough so that they are disk shaped, not domed.
- Bake 8-10 minutes.
- Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store sealed tightly to keep these cookies soft. Or freeze, in a zip top bag.