Again, a wide array of factors can influence the moisture level of a gluten-free baked good. And naturally, the moisture level of a baked product is a key to its texture. If the baked good lacks moisture, poor texture will follow. If the moisture level is good, the baked good will hold together better and just have a nicer feel in your mouth. Many of the latest gluten-free cookbooks have recipes that can help steer you clear of moisture-deprived baking, but it’s interesting to watch a sweet evolution taking place as more cookbook authors, bakers, and chefs are taking another look at sugar and its moisture holding properties.
The days of strictly using white granulated sugar in recipes are numbered, more and more bakers are looking to other sugars and natural sweeteners that hold in moisture. For example, sugars that have more color are less refined and stickier, which can be a good thing for making cookies. The stickiness in moisture-holding sweeteners can help with the binding factor of ingredients in addition to the protein in your flour blend. Today, in lieu of traditional white sugar, more attention is being given to sweeteners such as Agave nectar, honey, gluten-free brown rice syrup, molasses, pure brown cane sugar crystals, and turbinado sugar.
Also, the fats used in a recipe have an impact on the moisture and chewy factor of a baked good. Healthy vegetable oils such as safflower oil have moisture-holding properties and are becoming more widely used in lieu of butter.
Tip: Slightly undercooking your cookies can help hold in moisture.