While I’ve enjoyed summer immensely this year (I know, it’s technically still summer, but the UK has thrown a hissy fit and the temperature plummeted at the start of August), I have missed being able to bake with abandon… So as soon as it got colder, I put my oven on and it has pretty much stayed on.
This week, I’ve been working on two sweet recipes. The one I am not yet ready to share is a biggie, as traditionally, it has butter, milk and eggs at its core and I was dubious as to whether I will be able to successfully veganise it. However, after 4 almost-there attempts, I am really happy with the results and I only need to make one more tweak before I am ready to share the recipe with you. Stay tuned!!
My neighbour was in raptures about the test versions, I cannot wait to present him with the final product. It is funny as he thinks I am doing him a favour bringing him all these cakes, cookies and tarts. Sure, I am super happy to see that he is enjoying my vegan wares despite the fact that he cannot wrap his head around the fact that none of these things contain eggs or dairy (he keeps on asking me about that), but I also really appreciate his help in eating them. I am hopeless when left with a mountain of sweet treats. On Tuesday, as something was coming out of the oven literally every hour, I managed to eat 3 cookies and 2 mini tarts in total. I need to taste test to know if I’m close to the intended result, but why oh why can’t I stop at one bite. I frustrate myself sometimes…
So I am not ready to share my big recipe, but I do have something to sweeten your waiting time – a popular crowd pleaser – the chocolate chip cookie – made vegan and no worse for it. These cookies are delicious, soft and chewy with pools of dark chocolate and a sprinkling of salt (if you are so inclined).
They are also really easy to make. One bowl, no gimmickry or tricky ingredients involved so I want to hear no excuses! Get your baking hats on. And if you want to preserve a shadow of your dignity, get a cookie tin with a padlock and give your partner / neighbour the key for safe keeping. Trust me, I know what I am talking about 😛 .
- 45 ml / 3 tbsp mild tasting oil (if using coconut oil, melted but cooled!)
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp / 6 tsp chickpea brine / aquafaba*, divided
- 72 g / 1/3 cup sugar**
- 96 g / ¾ cup all purpose white wheat flour or all purpose GF flour mix
- 2 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 35 g / 1.25 oz vegan chocolate chips or vegan chocolate, diced small
- coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
- Place the oil, vanilla essence and 4 tsp of aquafaba (save the remaining 2 tsp) in a large bowl in that exact order. Add the sugar and whisk with an electric whisk for a minute or two, until you get a thick, caramel-like mixture.
- Place a sieve over the bowl and sift the flour, cornstarch and baking soda.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet with a spatula and then, when the dough becomes thick, with your hands. If the mixture is too dry (it should be soft and pliable but not sticky soft), add a teaspoon of the aquafaba you have saved – I find that depending on the flour used, sometimes it needs an extra teaspoon.
- Fold in the vegan chocolate chips, saving a few for decoration.
- Split the dough into 6 equal size portions (about 40 g each), roll them into balls and refrigerate them for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190° C / 375° F (or 170° C fan / 340° F fan) and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
- Place the cookie balls on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a fair amount of space around each. Press them down with the palm of your hand and stud the surface with the choc chips you have saved. If you want these cookies to be crispy rather than soft and chewy, flatten them more and extend the baking time.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes. 8 minutes keeps them soft and chewy in the middle, 10 minutes renders them crispier. Allow the cookies to cool down completely and sprinkle them with sea salt (it enhances the chocolate flavour) if you wish. Keep in a padlocked 😛 container.
**I used a mixture of caster sugar (12 g / 1 tbsp ), light brown sugar (24 g / 2 tsbp) and coconut sugar (36 g / 3 tbsp). I don’t recommend replacing all of the sugar with coconut sugar as it affects the texture of these cookies negatively. Traditionally a mixture of caster sugar and light brown sugar is used.