I was told that my month of cookies was severely lacking – no chocolate chip cookies. To remedy that I found a recipe that may not have been easy, but the scent that wafted out of the kitchen took me back in time.
Vanilla, chocolate, mmm…oh, sorry, I got distracted. I started with an elaborate recipe and then made many changes to it. It called for coconut oil as the fat. I tried it that way the first time and they were almost too rich and very oily. In the second trial I substituted vegan margarine for most of the coconut oil. I kept a little for that wonderful fatty mouthfeel that makes a delectable chocolate chip cookie.
The other ingredient changes were standard: less baking soda and sugar; more flour and applesauce. I also used less vanilla because I realized the amount required was to sweeten the bland taste of the coconut oil. The original recipe was gluten free, so I substituted that flour with all-purpose flour and removed the xanthan gum to make my high-altitude life easier. Finally, I added extra chocolate chips because more chocolate is always good.
In my first attempt the cookies flattened out and ran into each other. So, the second time I put the dough in the fridge for five minutes before scooping onto the cookie sheets, and then rotated them halfway through baking time. Third try was a charm when I baked one sheet at a time.
Imagine a vegan chocolate chip cookie that tastes like the Toll House version from childhood. I tried not to inhale the first four that came out of the oven. I really did. Alas, I failed. They were that yummy.
Amazing Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Babycakes by Erin McKenna
3/4 cup vegan margarine
1 1/8 cups organic sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 TBS + 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups + 2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1 scant tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F. In a stand mixer bowl, cream margarine and sugar. Add oil, applesauce and vanilla, and combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, flax meal, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Put the dough in the fridge for 5 minutes to harden. Use a 2-inch ice cream scoop to make evenly sized dough pieces and place onto baking sheets. Gently press down on each cookie with the heel of your hand. Bake cookies one sheet at a time, for 18-20 minutes, rotating baking sheet midway through. Cookie should still be soft in the center with crisp edges. Let cookies stand on baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 32 cookies
Until next time, happy baking!