I have been on a quest for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe since I was in high school (okay, middle school). When we traveled, I would collect recipes wherever we went. I became really comfortable asking chefs and restaurants if they might be willing to share their recipes. Crazy, probably, but then so was my collection of Australian Vogue Food magazines pilled high next to Gourmet and Bon Appetit. This is what every teenager has stashed in their room, right? Forget drugs, I was all about food!
But my true chocolate chip cookie obsession started with a sweet little inn in San Francisco (called The White Swan Inn). My aunt had taken me there for the weekend, and I became obsessed with their chocolate chip cookies (left warm in your room every afternoon). They graciously shared the recipe with me, which I made sure to bake every week thereafter.
Fast forward to 2019, where I still have my immense love of chocolate chip cookies, but they are now enjoyed in a new way. Since I can’t eat gluten (and cook without eggs or dairy), I make these with a little melted coconut oil (way less than the traditional 1 cup of butter). In place of flour, I make use a box of my Julie’s Original White Cake Mix, which is totally gluten-free. It also already has the leavening in the mix, so you only need coconut oil, non-dairy milk, a box of mix, your favorite chocolate chips, and a really good vanilla (I love Nielsen-Massey in these)! So in only a few minutes time, you’ve got yourself a big pan (9 x 13-inch) of chocolate chip goodness. Plus, these taste like salted caramel bars!
These bars also freeze really well, so cut or break them into pieces and store in the freezer for whenever the mood strikes. Now, go bake yourself some cookies stat! I promise to share more chocolate chip cookie recipes too. I mean really, can you ever have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes? I think not!
The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars!
These are my favorite chocolate chip cookie bars! They taste like shortbread, but packed with chocolate chip goodness! You can also customize them with chopped nuts of choice or cacao nibs. A little sprinkle of coarse salt on the top is a nice touch too.
1 bag Julie’s Original White Cake Mix
1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup plain soy or almond milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla (I love Nielsen-Massey vanilla in these!)
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses (like Grandma’s brand)
1 cup dairy-free (and gluten-free!) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup cacao nibs, optional
Coarse flaked sea salt, for topping, optional
In a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, melted coconut oil, soy milk, vanilla and molasses, beating until the dough is completely mixed. This takes a minute or two to do, which is why I like the stand mixer. If it just doesn’t come together, you can add an additional 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir in the chocolate chips and cacao nibs. I find that I have to stir in the chocolate chips and nibs by hand to get them mixed in well.
Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. I find that a piece of plastic wrap placed on top makes it easier to press into the pan without it sticking to your hand. A plastic or rubber glove works well too. If desired, sprinkle a little coarse salt on top.
Bake the bars in the preheated oven for about 20 to25 minutes (depending on your oven). The bars will be lightly golden and may be slightly darker on a few of the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes. Using a knife, cut into bars (without removing them). You’re basically scoring them all the way through, so that it’s easier to break or cut into bars when they are cool. You can use a butter knife for this.
When cool, separate into bars and serve (or freeze and enjoy later).
These cookie bars freeze really well. They will also keep well in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.
Gluten-Free + Vegan