“What the heck is Teff?” I wondered when I first read about it in a gluten-free cookbook. It sounded strange and not very appealing. Well, let me tell you, one taste will make a Teff lover out of you. I have been searching for ways to bring whole grains back into my diet since going gluten-free. Being somewhat sensitive to brown rice made it difficult. Amaranth is ok, but to me it has a bit of a bitter taste. Not so with Teff. This African grain is gluten-free and smooth tasting, even caramel-like when you add brown sugar and vanilla to it. I made these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with it yesterday and I think they may be the best tasting oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. I modified a recipe from Annalise Roberts’ Gluten-Free Baking Classics to make them. I wanted to try Teff in a cookie and I wanted to use agave nectar for half the sugar. Then I realized I was out of potato starch, so I substituted sweet rice flour and used chocolate chips instead of raisins. (*Teff flour mix: 2 cups teff flour, 2/3 cup sweet rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca starch)
Teff Oatmeal Cookies
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup Crisco (sans trans fats version)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup Teff flour mix*
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. guar gum
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup Rolled Oats (Gifts of Nature, Inc. is certified GF)
1/2 cup Dagoba Organic Chocolate Chocodrops (GF)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven. You can grease a cookie sheet lightly or use silpat, as I did.
Beat butter and shortening and sugar and agave nectar in large bowl of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. Stir dry ingredients (except oats and chocolate) together with a whisk. Add to butter and sugar mixture. Mix. Stir oats and chocolate drops in by hand with a wooden spoon.
Drop teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly on pan, then remove to wire rack. Wrap in wax paper and put in freezer container. Freeze leftovers. Thaw on counter if you can wait that long. Otherwise use microwave!
Makes 20-30 cookies, depending on how large you like them.