A totally vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that doesn't lack ANY flavor and invokes all the nostalgic childhood memories you've been missing.
Is there any dessert more classic and beloved than a chocolate chip cookie? So many of us share the collective memory of dunking these beauties into a cold glass of milk. For me, my memory mainly involves either a sleeve of Chips Ahoy Chewy Cookies that I warmed up in the microwave or a tube of ready to bake Nestle Toll House cookie dough - that I undoubtedly snuck little uncooked bits of. I'll believe salmonella comes from cookie dough when I see it. That's a joke y'all. Luckily, this recipe contains 0 eggs - but all the flavor that they bring thanks to Kala Namak or Black Salt.
Before I dive into the specifics of this recipe, I wanna back it up a bit and go back to Nestle Toll House. One of my favorite fun facts about Chocolate Chip Cookies in that they were created right here in the USA by two women named Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Brides. The Toll House name is actually a reference to an Inn owned by Wakefield in Whitman, Massachusetts. The cookie was created to serve to guests in their super popular restaurant within the establishment. This recipe is modeled after theirs because it's the epitome of nostalgia for me. If you didn't grow up with a lot of handmade cookies or if you DID and the secret recipe came from a french woman named "Nesele Toulouse" - it's THE chocolate chip cookie. The one and only that invokes that specific - I'm 6 years old and eating warm cookies and watching Rugrats - feeling. It's the original chocolate chip cookie for Pete's sake. Our recipe here may look very different from the one it's inspired by but dang does it taste just as good.
In order to achieve the classic soft chewy center and crispy caramelized edges along with all the hidden umami that things like eggs and butter bring, we had to add flavor since we took away flavor. Since this recipe is formulated completely without store-bought plant-based butter, you're going to see some ingredients that you might be unfamiliar with. Trust me, they're totally worth buying. You're going to use them a lot both here and, hopefully, at home experimenting with your own favorite recipes.
So let's talk about these specialty ingredients.
Kala Namak or Black Salt - Black Salt is a kiln-fired rock salt that's often used in South Asia for its eggy sulphuric smell & favor. It's truly magical. Before baking, the black salt may have your cookie dough tasting a lil funky but that strength bakes out beautifully.
Nutritional Yeast - Often prised for it's "cheesy" flavor, nutritional yeast ( or nooch) is excellent in replacing the flavor brought by pretty much all dairy products. You'll see me using this a lot in baked goods that call for butter and in literally everything else. This stuff is the bomb.
Sunflower Lecithin - Commonly used as a natural emulsifier, Sunflower Lecithin is essentially healthy fatty acids that have been extracted from the sunflower. Read this next part as the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. "The word Lecithin comes from the Greek word Lekithos meaning Egg Yolk. There you go." We use sunflower lecithin to replace the yolk and all its richness. We prefer the powdered version and use it to make our very own vegan butter.
Xanthan Gum - Xanthan Gum works as one of the best thickeners and binders out there when it comes to replacing eggs. It's also really convenient to have on hand in gluten-free baking to help memic the structure that gluten provides.
Who knew that eggs did so much for a cookie? One thing's for sure - when eggs are present in a recipe - it's for a reason and they carry a lot of weight. If you'd like, you can try subbing the xanthan gum with something like cornstarch or even flax, but it will change the texture and flavor of the cookie. Try these as they are, pretty please? Because they are so damn good.
These cookies have the perfect amount of salt ( which you'll notice is the oddest measurement ever). They're slightly thick and chewy in the very center, but tapper off to a crispy caramelized edge. Though these cookies are best when baked right away, they freeze incredibly well and bake beautifully right out of the freezer - which is a plus because this recipe makes like...a whole lot of cookies. I, personally, like a bigger cookie. Using a 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop I get about 2 dozen cookies out of this recipe. You can get up to 5 dozen with a smaller scoop.
The Best Plant-Based Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: Megan Thompson Aston
Time: 30 min
Oven Temp: 350
Yield: 2 - 5 dozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp sunflower lecithin, powdered
7/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 cups vegan chocolate chips ( I like to do chips and chunks.)
1 cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat.
In a large bowl, mix your wet ingredients together until just combined.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk together all your dry ingredients except chocolate chips.
Once everything is evenly dispersed in your dry mixture - toss in your chocolate chips.
Pour all of your dry flour mixture into the wet mixture.
Fold both your dry mixture into the wet mixture until they come together to form a slightly wet dough.
Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop 1 1/2 tbsp sized rounded mounds of cookie dough onto your lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 or until edges of cookies are turning golden brown
Allow cookies to cool slightly before enjoying.
GET THEM COOKIES