Indulgent vegan chocolate chip cookies
Indulgent vegan chocolate chip cookies
Happy September, guys or, as Greeks tend to wish each other at the beginning of each new month, kalo mina! – meaning happy (new) month. It’s a charming custom, I find. I bring it up cos we are just over a week away from going to Greece and we cannot wait, we both need this holiday, badly. It should still be nice and hot, but not oppressively so and since we are going at the end of the season, it will also be far less busy and much more chilled. Just the way we like it!
This year, we will tour the East side of Crete (we did the West side last year), moving to a new place every 2-4 days. This way we get to see much more of the island and we never get bored. As usual, we plan to self-cater for most of the trip, apart from a few meals in the places that inspire confidence when it comes to their vegan offering. I don’t really mind as the produce is amazing and I always go for really easy stuff with just a few basic ingredients, so it’s not too taxing – I find that scarcity of kitchen equipment and ingredients forces you to be more creative so it’s fun in a way. And there is always watermelon if it’s hot and I’m feeling uninspired…
I am bringing my trusted chilli flakes to season our mains and a bag of ground up chia seeds as our plan for breakfast is to have a version of this cold porridge with beautiful Greek fruit – peaches, nectarines, plums and figs. It really hits the spot in the heat. Other than that it’s pastas, stews and giant salads with typical late summer Greek produce: peppers, tomatoes, olives, capers, zucchini, eggplants, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano and thyme.
While I am slowly packing my suitcase with summer gear, the weather in the UK has taken a bit of a chilly turn and you can feel autumn is here. On the one hand, I am like yay! Cos pumpkins! And on the other hand I am sad that summer, this highly anticipated and treasured British commodity, has been so brief again. Oh well. England does do cosy very well so I am excited about the joys of autumn, rustling leaves underfoot, cat being less of a stranger (curled up in a pretzel and happy to receive cuddles) and baking! I love baking and autumn feels like cookies so that’s what I have made for today.
This recipe goes a little against my grain as I naturally tend to gravitate towards healthier options and I am a bit uneasy about using lots of fat and sugar in my recipes. Well, Duncan – who is so devoted to leading an active lifestyle that there is not an ounce of fat on him – could not care less and while he happily puts away huge veggie-packed bowls that I set in front of him daily, he is also quite excited about having something indulgent and not healthy now and again.
He gave me a thumbs up and a ‘hell yeah!!’ when I said that I’m working on an unapologetically naughty cookie recipe and he urged me not to try and make it healthier this time. So here it is, an indulgent chocolate chip cookie that is oozing with melted pools of chocolate, the flavour of which gets reinforced with salt and a touch of cardamom and packed with crunchy nuts. The cookie is crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside and if I hadn’t just told you, you would have no idea that it is vegan. There! I did it and I’d better sign off now before I change my mind 😛 . Enjoy!
- 100 g / packed ½ cup softened vegan block (like Naturli) or coconut oil (I use refined coconut oil as it has no coconut flavour)
- 90 g / scant ½ cup caster sugar (sub for coconut sugar, see notes)
- 50 g / ¼ cup light brown (demerara) sugar (sub for coconut sugar, see notes)
- 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds, mixed with 45 ml / 3 tbsp water, chilled for 15 minutes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180 g / 1½ cups all purpose flour or GF plain flour mix)
- ½ tsp baking soda (GF certified if needed)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
- 75 g / scant ½ cup vegan chocolate chips or chocolate, diced small
- 50 g / scant ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- In a large and tall mixing bowl, place softened coconut oil and both sugars.
- Whisk using an electric hand whisk or a standing mixer until well combined.
- Add thickened flax or chia gel and vanilla essence and whisk until homogenous.
- Add all of the dry ingredients (apart from the chocolate and nuts) in 3 batches. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones using a silicone spatula first and later your hands. If using gluten flour, be gentle and do not overwork the dough as you do not want the gluten to develop.
- Add chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) and chopped nuts and mix them into the dough with your hands. The dough should be soft and pliable.
- Rest the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour before baking, overnight chilling renders even better results. If using coconut oil, rest the dough on the kitchen counter until pliable again.
- Set the oven to 200° C / 390° F.
- Divide the dough into 14 equal portions. I recommend baking these cookies in two batches to get nicely browned edges and a slightly chewy middle. Leave plenty of space between each cookie when placing them on the baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes or a little longer (14-16 minutes) if you want the cookies crispy throughout. Allow them to cool on the tray for 5 minutes after removing from the oven and then transfer to a wire rack for them to cool off completely before eating. Keep in an air-tight container.
Thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed them! When it comes to baking duration, it could be down to so many things: chilling time, size of your cookies, type of baking tray - some are more conducive to others - and how hot and evenly your oven runs so timings given in recipes are only there to give you a close enough idea and using your senses is the best way to judge when to finish baking. Glad you adjusted based on your judgement and that they went down well. x Ania
I made those cookies yesterday and they are delicious! I had a similar problem than the previous poster that they were a tiny bit dry, so I would add a bit of plant milk next time. The cookies didn't spread at all during the baking - is that normal? Should i have flattened them before baking (I just made little balls)? Either way, will make them again because they are so delicious and I usually have all the ingredients at hand :)
I'm glad you enjoyed these enough to make again. I am sorry to hear that you found the dough a little dry, I will retest them when I have a chance but I don't think there is an error there. Perhaps different flours have different absorbency levels - I certainly found that to be the case between Greek (I used to live there) and UK brands. The lack of spread would be due to the same issue (the dough being too dry). I have been living away from home for almost a month now and have no decent kitchen or any equipment, but when I return and get things under control I will re-test and see if I get the same issue. Ania
I always weigh (engineer and from Germany... how else is there to bake, haha). Maybe the flour is thirstier than the type you used.
This is my other vegan cookie recipe and I use sourdough for gooeyness. Maybe I‘ll try a variation of the two as I loved the cardamom flavour
Just to let you know that I retested this recipe finally and found no issues with the dry-wet ingredients ratio. The dough ended up soft and pliable. I hope you will give it another go. Ania
thanks for the recipe :) I made them for the first time yesterday and ran into an issue with their moisture after mixing everything. It was very crumbly and I couldn‘t form such a nice ball like you did. I added more oil (nearly 25%) and just about got the cookies shaped but not great though. Any pointers what might have gone wrong / how to get everything sticking better? They taste good but a little oily now :(
I'm sorry to hear that you have had issues with this recipe. My gut feeling is that you might have been too generous with your flour - did you weigh it or use cup measurement? The best way to remedy the situation would be to add a touch plant milk rather than oil to get the dough to be the correct consistency. I do hope you'll try again with better success. Ania
I used the exact same ingredients as mentioned and left the dough only for an hour in the fridge.
I suspect it could be inaccurate measuring, if they spread out too much it means that the dough either had too much liquid ingredients or too little flour. It tends to happen when people use measuring cups to measure out dry ingredients - was that the case? It's hard for me to know what else could have gone wrong without much detail. Ania
They came out pretty great for a first attempt, they are really tasty. They were just a bit salty (I blame the chocolate) and too crispy. So I wanted to know if you have a tip for them not to be too crispy. In which form you put them on the tray? (Like a ball, or thinner?)
Hope I didn't annoy you with this anecdote and hope you're doing well during this time.
I'm glad you enjoyed the cookies. Puzzled about the saltiness, did you use chocolate with added salt? To make them less crispy, simply bake them for less (and check that your oven doesn't run warmer than what the dial says, if it does - lower the temperature a touch)! I flattened them a little but you certainly don't have too, this will make them less crispy too. Hope that helps! Ania
This is the second gluten free sweet recipe I’ve tried from this site and they are both marvellous (I‘ve also made the gluten free raspberry brownies). What I love is that they are good recipes, producing beautiful sweet goodies in their own right. These aren’t just ‘good for vegan’ or ‘good for gluten free’. They’re just good! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.