Kitchen Korner: A vegan twist on classic chocolate chip cookies

The best part of making vegan cookies is that the raw cookie dough can be enjoyed without concern about salmonella-infected eggs.

People choose to live a vegan lifestyle for a variety of reasons. The decision may be ethical, based on concern for animal welfare — as an attempt to mitigate personal environmental impact — it might simply be for health reasons. Those in the latter group might want to avoid making these cookies; the purpose of this recipe is to stay true to the chocolate chip cookies people know and love and to show that veganism does not eliminate classic sweets.

Many chocolate chip bags feature a recipe on the back, and the recipe can be made vegan by simple modifications. Start by selecting dairy-free chocolate chips. Many brands of dark and semi-sweet chocolate contain no animal products — just be sure to read the label, as some brands add milkfat or butterfat to their dark chocolate. Town and Country Foods carries a brand called Guittard; their semi-sweet chocolate chips contain only 5 plant-based ingredients: sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sunflower lechetin and real vanilla.

The recipe on the bag only requires two substitutions: for butter and for eggs. There are several plant-based butter substitutes available at most grocery stores, notably the Earth Balance brand. Another option is to use coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so it mixes much like butter and yields cookies with a similar texture.

Eggs can be replaced by mixing ground flaxseeds and water and letting the mixture sit for a few minutes until it congeals. Add one tablespoon of flaxseed and three tablespoons of water per egg.

A note about sugar: often cane sugar is processed using animal bone char, so if trying to completely eliminate animal byproducts, look for cane sugar brands that are labelled “vegan.” Unfortunately, these brands are usually more expensive, so another option is to buy beet sugar rather than cane sugar, as beet sugar is never processed with bone char. Honestly, though, just use whatever sugar you already have at home. This is just a good thing to keep in mind when buying sugar in the future.

Other than these substitutes, this recipe contains typical ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients, mix the dry ingredients, combine them and add chocolate chips, then bake the cookies for eight to ten minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy with a glass of almond milk!

Recipe:

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut oil (or plant-based butter alternative)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, mixed with 6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt.
Combine coconut oil, sugar and brown sugar. Add flax eggs and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients until combined. Add chocolate chips.
Place cookie dough balls (about an inch in diameter) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes.