Since going vegan, I’ve had to rethink my approach to chocolate chip cookies. My favorite recipes all included butter and eggs. I have a few traditional favorites. One is from a 1970’s copy of Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, that has been my go-to recipe for years. Cooks Illustrated has a wicked version that requires browning butter on the stove top.
So far, I have found two vegan recipes that are both just as good, if not better. The first uses some ingenious, albeit expensive ingredients. The second is a more refined and adult favorite. No, it doesn’t contain alcohol, but espresso. Not to say that kids don’t like coffee, but the caffeine kick along with the sugar may be a monster in the making.
Vegan Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies
I found this recipe doing a Google search for vegan recipes. There is even a YouTube video demonstrating how to make them. It’s from a cookbook called “Vive le Vegan“! Dreena Burton, the cookbook author, generously posts the recipe so you can try it yourself.
I like this recipe for many reasons. First of all, it is easy to mix with a bowl and a wooden spoon. I don’t need to use a mixer, which can be a big plus for someone who has a small kitchen or doesn’t bake enough to justify the expense. The cookies also keep well for a few days. Generally, chocolate chip cookies are not my favorite unless they come right out of the oven. These stay moist and delicious for a few days (if they last that long). I even store a few extras in the freezer and pop them in the toaster oven when I need a cookie fix.
The only downside to these cookies is the expense of pure maple syrup. We always buy organic and I usually double the recipe, so it can get a bit pricey. However, the maple syrup is what gives it that buttery flavor without the butter. The last time I made them I sprinkled a bit of sea salt on the tops to offset the sweet.
Update January 2013 – I made these twice over the holidays. The first time was for a holiday potluck and I had quadrupled the recipe. I decided to use my KitchenAid mixer to mix the dough. They were still delicious, but a little tough. The second time I was baking a double batch to take up north to visit friends. This time I folded the dry ingredients into the wet and gently mixed until just combined. This worked so much better. So from now on, I will only mix by hand with a light touch. It makes a difference. They were a big hit with my non-vegan friends up north who devoured them and asked for the recipe.
Espresso-cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
I made these cookies for the first time this week. The recipe comes from Chloe Coscarelli a.k.a. Chef Chloe. She’s the young, bubbly chef who was the first vegan to win Cupcake Wars. I’ve made her macaroni and cheese and her gravy at Thanksgiving. Both recipes are quite good. She recently came out with her first cookbook, “Chloe’s Kitchen“. It’s a beautiful book with some tantalizing recipes.
She has a recipe for a espresso-cinnamon chocolate chip cookie I wanted to try. The mixing method is more traditional in creaming the fat with the sugar. However, she uses powdered sugar instead of granulated. The recipe also calls for powdered espresso, which luckily I had in the pantry from another baking experiment.
I have to say that I think this version is my all time favorite. The espresso pairs very well with the semi-sweet chocolate chips. The cinnamon also adds a nice note without being overpowering. I also find that one cookie satisfies me. It’s similar to how a really good piece of dark chocolate is more satisfying than an inexpensive mass-market milk chocolate.
My only complaint was that they spread too much in the oven. She notes that the dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. I’ll try that next time. I’ve had the same issue with oatmeal cookies and have found that by chilling the dough ahead of time, I alleviate that problem.
Unfortunately, Chef Chloe doesn’t have this recipe available online at this time. She does have many others that you can try, including many desserts. The book should be available in many bookstores or online. I would recommend giving it a try. The recipes are easy to follow and do not have a lot of exotic ingredients. They may not be the healthiest “plant strong” recipes, but they are delicious and a good way to introduce non-vegans to the rich and delicious world of plant-based eating.