In the spirit of full disclosure, I would call myself a spontaneous baker and cook. Most days I don’t have a plan, letting my internal cravings forge my path in the kitchen. Perhaps it’s human nature, but I often seem to crave things that require ingredients that I’m missing. Luckily, baking for a family with food allergies and celiac disease, I’ve learned to be flexible. I bend and flow like a willow, substituting and testing, forever trying to adapt. Ingredients that used to be my foundation: butter, flour, and cream, are replaced with worthy impostors. Some days there are disappointments, but often there are successes that are worth sharing.
These cookies are for sharing. Their impetus was a desire to sink my teeth into a thick, soft cookie that had all the flavor of one that is loaded with butter, eggs and flour. Although it is a necessity for me to avoid wheat flour and butter, I don’t typically avoid eggs. Today though, I peered into our fridge, only to find our egg carrier empty. Since we live in a rural area, a quick trip to the store isn’t an option, so I headed down to our chicken coop to see if the hens were cooperating…..Nope (In their defense, it has been unseasonably cold here). As I trudged up the hill I realized that these would need to be vegan cookies. Thick, soft, vegan cookies that had large chocolate chunks, and a richness that you typically associate with cookies that contain butter.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
- 2 1/4 cups (320 grams) all-purpose gluten free flour mix
- 3 tablespoons (20 grams) ground flax (golden or regular)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground espresso powder (optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (I use a corn-free variety from Authentic Foods) or guar gum
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup (160 grams) organic light or dark brown sugar, packed* (for the cookies in the picture I used light brown)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) organic sugar*
- 1/2 cup light olive oil, melted coconut oil or canola oil
- 1/3 cup rice milk or milk substitute (you may need to add 1-3 more tablespoons if the dough is dry)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use homemade if you need to avoid corn) or the scrapings of one vanilla bean
• 8-10 ounces vegan chocolate chips/chunks** (I used Guittard Super Cookie Chips which are seriously mind-blowing. I’m not sure if they truly qualify as vegan.)
—> Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
—> In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients to evenly distribute.
—> Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly on low speed for 1-2 minutes. The dough will be thick, but if it seems dry or crumbly, add some of the additional milk substitute.
—> When the dough is thoroughly mixed, add in the chocolate chunks.
—> Drop rounded scoops of dough (approximately 1.5 tablespoons at a time) onto lined baking sheets.
—> Bake for 11-13 minutes in oven on center rack. When done, the cookies will have firm edges and soft puffy centers. Don’t worry as they firm up as they cool.
—> Cool on the sheet pan completely (or you can wait a couple of minutes and carefully transfer them to a cutting board or counter to cool. Store in freezer in a heavy duty plastic container or bag.
Makes 18-24 Large cookies (maybe more if you don’t sample the raw dough) Indulge, there aren’t any eggs!
* Not all sugars are considered vegan (it’s a long story…), so if you are on a vegan diet, see my above sugar links!
** I use 10 ounce of chips, but this may be overkill for some. If you use the full amount, you may find yourself tucking and pressing the chips into the dough as they want to fall out. The cookies in the pictures were made with the full 10 ounces!