Leite’s Loves…Tate’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tate’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I moved to Manhattan several years ago, I jotted down a laundry list of things to experience before I’d consider myself a proper New Yorker. Like the congee burbling away in ginormous woks big enough to bathe in down Chinatown way. The sedate satisfaction of sipping a cocktail while staring at Central Park from a settee at Per Se. The achingly tender beef cheek carbonnade at Resto that rendered ordinary folks hapless fools for pudgy bovine facial parts. Suffice it to say, the curiously ubiquitous cellophane bags of chocolate chip cookies, the ones with the lovely turquoise label and the word “Tate’s” in tall block letters, were toward the bottom of my list. They were, after all, packaged cookies.

Also a factor was the fact that I was encumbered with gluten intolerance, so it was, admittedly, something of a calculated procrastination. But after months of witnessing all manner of snitching from crumpled bags of Tate’s on the streets of the city, I finally caved. Feeling infallible one day, I took a nibble. And another. And then another. Until I’d inhaled three  squat, saucer-like cookies turned out by the little bake shop with the big following. Or was it four? Maybe more. Curiously crisp, the cookies shattered at the merest touch and didn’t so much melt in the mouth as disintegrate into a complex caramel essence of sorts that enveloped chunks of chocolate that melted oh so smoothly and slowly into nothingness. Sigh.

It was an intrepid indulgence, an arguably stupid splurge, and it had its consequences, impressing upon me not just an understanding of why New Yorkers hold their Tate’s close, but a lingering, lasting, all-consuming craving, one made all the stronger by the knowing that I ought not indulge.

So I waited impatiently for the day when I got the go-ahead to gorge on gluten again. And waited. And waited. I’m actually still waiting for that pronouncement. But I’m a lot less anxious about it now that the kind folks at Tate’s Bake Shop have given us a gluten-free version of their ridiculously indulgent cookies. Bless them, the Tate’s folks didn’t just make a gluten-free version of their chocolate chip cookies. They conjured a gluten-free replica of their chocolate chip cookies. They look the same. They crumble the same. They taste the same. Yet there remains that one crucial no-longer-double-over-in-pain distinction in which they’re not the same. And for that I’m unspeakably grateful.

I’m not the only one. When the gluten-free cookies were introduced at the Tate’s Bake Shop in the Hamptons earlier this year, folks nabbed them by the armloads, professing their gratitude as they rushed out the door to surprise husbands, kids, cousins, best friends, babysitters, and whomever else has had chocolate-chip cookies cruelly yanked away. Tate’s Bake Shop founder Kathleen King didn’t have to rely on fancy-sounding flours or chemical-tasting gums whose names she couldn’t pronounce (well, save for xanthum gum, but that’s in everything these days, it seems…plus it’s relatively easy to enunciate). She simply tied on her apron one day and tried swapping rice flour for all-purpose. That was it. Rarely is gluten-free alchemy achieved so simply, but given the original recipe’s penchant for squatness and flatness–traits that don’t necessitate gluten–King sort of lucked out. So did we, for that matter. So did we.

Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are $5.99 for a pack of a dozen or so heartbreakingly crisp cookies. They’re available at some Whole Foods Markets as well as at many specialty purveyors nationwide. If you don’t know where to look locally, you can email the kind folks at Tate’s and they’ll divulge the closest store. Or anticipate your cravings and buy in bulk at Tate’s Bake Shop online, where you’ll find a Sweet Six Pack of the cookies–a bargain at any price.

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  1. I just bought Kathleen’s cookbook when a friend told me that she’d made Kathleen’s chocolate chip cookies. I had asked her how she had gotten the recipe and she told me about Kathleen’s cookbook. I immediately bought the book, knowing how much I love her gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. I completely forgot that the recipes might not even include that recipe. Got the book today, and, looking through it, I can’t find any word about gluten-free ingredients. Do you, does anyone, know if it’s possible to substitute gluten free flour for any/all of her recipes?

    1. Kathi, when I interviewed Kathleen, she told me that when she first had the idea to make a gluten-free version of their chocolate chip cookie, she simply swapped rice flour for the all-purpose flour and it worked perfectly. Which makes sense because rice flour would bring that characteristic crumbly crispness that the Tate’s cookies possess. I don’t know if it was brown rice flour or white rice flour, but I came away with the understanding that was the only change she made. Kindly let me know if you try it!

  2. We are gluten-free and, for desserts especially, try to do mostly raw. However, my family LOVES Tate’s gluten-free choc chip cookies (we are lucky to live near a Whole Foods & just stumbled upon them one day) so our compromise is to use them to make ice cream sandwiches with raw chocolate ‘ice cream’ (we use Mimi Kirk’s recipe from Live Raw…it’s a labor of love but totally worth it…if you decide to make it, def do the option that includes almond milk rather than coconut water). I have been trying to figure out how to make these simple cookies at home and you have helped immensely; now I think I have a plan! Thanks for the great info! Beth Ann (aka Mrs Goodstuff) 🙂

    1. My pleasure, Beth! They are ridiculously compelling, these cookies, are they not? Lovely to hear how you’ve made them part of your life. Love of sweets has a way of inspiring these little compromises…

        1. Hahaha….That is just what I replied to someone else. We don’t need to call them! The answer is in the buttery melt-in-your-mouth sensation of the cookies!!

        2. Sharon, thanks for letting us know. It’s tricky to say whether Tate’s does indeed provide their inimitable little lovelies to Trader Joe’s. If you’re curious whether you’re getting the real deal or not, it may be worth a call to Tate’s…?

  3. These are amazing. In the DC area, I couldn’t find the GF cookies at Whole Foods (they claim to stock them, but at three different stores it turned out they only had the regular, gluteny kind and refused to do a special order). After ordering a ton online (the smallest quantity you can get online is 6 packages–hah! good thing they freeze well!) I stumbled upon the GF kind at Yes!. Pretty sure it was just luck, because I’m in that Yes a lot and hadn’t seen them before. Anyway, I’m not even GF myself (bought them for my mom) but I and all the other wheat-eaters in my household loved these anyway.

    As the other commenters have said, it’s amazing that these cookies have the texture that they do but are GF. All the other GF cookies I have tried have been cakey, which is fine, but not necessarily how I like my chocolate chip cookies!

    1. I just bought these cookies at a local market in my small town in Virginia because they looked just like my favorite Trader Joe’s GF chocolate chip cookies that are not local to me. I swear that Tate’s makes the ones for Trader Joe’s! The packaging is the same, with the exception of the words. The taste is exactly the same!! I know they have a TJ’s in centreville area, and I imagine there are more closer to you! (I found this blog, BTW, after searching “Does Tates Bake Shop make Trader Joe’s GF choco chip cookies? – LOL)

  4. Renee, I wanted to share with you that after I read your post I immediately went to Tate’s website and ordered the GF cookies; I also ordered the GF Brownies. My husband has Celiac disease, so I’m always looking for great tasting products. For the past five years I have made him a variety of chocolate chip cookies and never once did he share that he preferred them crispy, so I was anxious, hoping that I he would like them. And that he wouldn’t have a reaction, since they’re made in plant that also uses flour and he is sensitive to contaminatiion. So you can image my surprise when, after he ate two cookies, I asked how he liked them and he said they were really good AND this is how he liked his cookies. What a revelation!!! He never shared his preference for “crispy” cookies with me before. Just that he loved his cookies. Well, maybe he just never found a crispy cookie that he liked so much as he did the cookies from Tate’s. Great suggestion – I really appreciate it. We also tried the Tate’s GF Brownie – it was too sweet for us, but most of the GF Brownies on the market are too, too sweet. We did crumble a little of the GF Brownie over our Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and thought it was EXCELLENT, though. It didn’t need chocolate syrup at all. Thank you so much for your article on Tate’s, my husband lovessss the cookies. Thank you again E!

    1. Evelyn, it’s my pleasure to hear that someone else found a little happiness through Tate’s. My pleasure. I thought Tate’s was way too phenomenal to keep to myself, but it’s always reassuring to hear that from someone else. Many thanks for letting me know it made a difference.

  5. It seems like Tate’s cookies are everywhere this week. I didn’t know of these delectable crisps prior to having dinner at friends’ last weekend who were ecstatic at finding them in a local Cheshire market. The friends have relatives in Southhampton and have been Tate’s fans for a long time, gobbling up the chocolate chip variety whenever they visited. AND THEN TODAY in the New Haven Register food section was an article all about Tate’s Cookies and Kathleen King, as well as a recipe for “Irene Cookies” that she made prior to losing power during the hurricane — they look yummy too. AND THEN I open my email and find my favorite food blog with lead story about Tate’s Cookies. That’s it – I’ll have to stop in Cheshire on my way home and pick some up. YUM!!!

    1. Marilyn, that is uncanny! Or, dare I say, just meant to be…? Do let us know what you think after ripping open that bag tonight. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed…

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