Monday, October 25, 2010

Welcome Jessica Faust!

A very special welcome to Jessica Faust!

Those of you who are not writers probably don't know that Jessica is a highly sought-after literary agent. Her agency represents a number of us who blog at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. She is the owner of BookEnds Literary Agency where she represents a number of award-winning and bestselling authors in the areas of romance, mystery, women’s fiction, fantasy and nonfiction.

She has been a regular columnist with Romantic Times magazine, taught at New York University's Continuing Education Program, been recognized as Agent of the Year by the NYC Romance Writers of America chapter, and is asked regularly to speak at writers' conferences throughout the world. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

In addition to her work as an agent, Jessica maintains daily blog posts on the BookEnds Lit Agency blog where she regularly dispenses advice on publishing and can be followed on Twitter at

We are honored to have Jessica here today!

When Krista Davis asked if I’d write a post and include a recipe in this blog I actually jumped up and down in my chair (and realized that I should probably cut down on the cookies when screws started falling). I always say that the best part of my job is that I get to do what I love every single day. I’m passionate about books and can’t say enough how I really believe I have the greatest job in the world. What few know however is that my second great love is cooking. It’s probably why I insist that all of my cozy authors include lots of recipes in their books. It’s the best of both of my worlds.

This summer I was dealt a cooking blow when my 4-year-old was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. For those who don’t know, Celiac is an auto-immune disorder in which gluten, found in wheat barley and rye, attacks the small intestine preventing nutrients from properly absorbing into the body. Ultimately the disease can be managed very effectively through diet so in the grand scheme of what life can hand you, this really isn’t that big of a deal. Unless you spend all of your spare time in the kitchen, cooking with your children, and making things like cookies, waffles, pancakes, and any other flour (gluten)-filled item you can think of.

Once we had confirmed the diagnosis I immediately got to work to create the best gluten-free chocolate chip recipe I could make. I’ll be honest, I think it still needs a bit of work, but here’s what I’ve come up with and so far, if the contents of the cookie jar are any indication, I think I’m pretty successful.

Brown Rice Flour Mix

I haven’t had the guts yet to fiddle with the flour part of a gluten free recipe. This comes from Annalise G. Roberts author of Gluten Free Classics.
2 cups extra fine brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour

Mix all of the ingredients together very well. I either use a whisk or mix it in a stand mixture.

Okay, now on to the cookies...

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 ounces unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp brown rice flour mix
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
12 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Brown 8 ounces butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook until butter is browned and smells nutty, but not burnt. Stir often.

Pour butter into mixing bowl with remaining 2 ounces butter and stir until all butter is melted. Add both sugars. Stir briskly until mixed well and there are no lumps. Let set for three minutes, stir again for 30 seconds. Continue this two more times. When the sugar mixture is ready add eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix well. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture and chocolate chips until thoroughly combined.

Chill the dough until firm, about 1 hour. Using your hands and/or a cookie scoop, form dough into 2-ounch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 14 minutes.

**Note: without gluten you’ll probably find the dough is much more crumbly then what you’ve cooked with before. Just use your hands to mash it back together. In this case a tight ball is okay.

Pour up a glass of milk and enjoy.

Thanks for letting me be a part of the blog for a day.

Thanks so much for joining us, Jessica!


  1. Hey Jessica... Great to have this recipe. I have family visiting for Thanksgiving and I am collecting all this fabulous Glutton free gems. Must be so difficult.

    Hope to see you back!

  2. Thanks so much for visiting us at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today, Jessica!

    I know a couple of children who are on Gluten-free diets and can't wait to share your recipe with their moms. :) Thanks for posting it!

  3. You know - if it has chocolate in it, it's just gonna be good! thanks, Jessica!!

  4. Jessica, thanks so much for joining us today! One of my dear friends eats gluten-free, and I'm thrilled to have a recipe for cookies that she can eat.

    ~ Krista

  5. Thanks everyone. We make these about three times a week (and no that's not a typo). Right now I'm working on a chocolate chip ginger cookie recipe for this time of year.


  6. These sound great. The best agent in the world, and she bakes cookies!

  7. Thanks for visiting Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, Jessica. Sounds like a winning recipe. I'm finding more and more friends who are on gluten-free diets and I plan to share this one with them!

  8. Jessica, it's great to know that you love to read--and cook! So do I. I've also heard of more and more people who are on gluten-free diets so I appreciate the recipe as well.

    Love those cozy mysteries with recipes. So far, I've written women's fiction and picture books but I plan to write a cozy mystery next! All the covers on this site are adorable.

  9. Jessica, chiming in from my vacation. Thank you for taking a Monday post. I'm not sure you know, but I'm celiac. I find the trick to the flours is using sweet rice flour for the major portion of flour. It's got more moisture than brown rice flour. Give it a try. I find it at Whole Foods. Any other tips, ask me. I've been celiac for over 10 years and probably misdiagnosed most of my life. Again, thanks for chiming in today. Back to vacation! Hugs,


  10. An inspiring post and a helpful recipe - great to see you in our Kitchen today, Jessica! I hope you'll visit again.

    ~ Cleo

  11. Thanks for the recipe, Jessica! I've been gluten-free (not Celiac, just gluten sensitive) since July and am in desperate need of baking recipes. Can't wait to try these cookies.

  12. Seems so many people are finding out they need the gluten-free recipes. I went to a family reunion this weekend where one of the elders needed gluten-free. He asked if our enchiladas were made with flour or corn tortillas. Luckily they were corn. But we knew about this and planned it. Thanks for the recipe, Jessica! Sounds dee-lish!