I’ve been working on a chocolate chip recipe for a long time. My mom’s original recipe was easily veganized, although I didn’t realize it immediately. I held onto it when I went vegetarian, because eggs were fine by me, but after going vegan and not really knowing how baking worked (seriously, there was a time when I thought I’d have to give it up; the horror!), I thought I would basically need to add flax to everything.
And seriously, who wants to actually DO that?!
Don’t get me wrong, supposedly flax seed is very good for you, and it really does work as a thickener if correctly implemented (you only have to look at my old breakfast smoothies for proof; yikes), but I don’t want to go through all the hassle of figuring out how much to use. Plus, in order to use it (and digest it) it needs to be ground up, and for some reason truly ground flax is hard to find in my area, so if I DO need it I end up buying a bag of whole ones and grinding it myself.
And that’s too much trouble for me.
And so, one time after giving up completely, I decided I’d just make her recipe without eggs. And it worked! But they were a bit lackluster. And then I found the thing I needed, and a process that worked.
Cornstarch, and letting them sit in the fridge overnight. So simple, and so easy (well, except maybe the waiting). I also stopped using coconut oil instead of vegan butter. The oil just doesn’t work the same way, and I found it also dulls their color a bit, and there are so many vegan butters these days, that I don’t think it qualifies as a “weird” ingredient. If you do struggle with finding it, check the packaging on whatever margarine your store carries. Most of it is probably vegetable based anyhow, and it tends to be cheaper than the stuff that’s marketed towards us plant-eating types. Ah, capitalism.
The cornstarch makes the cookies a bit softer, and putting them in the fridge helps to solidify the butter a bit, which helps them keep their shape and not spread as much. It also gives the sugar and flour time to absorb the liquid in the cookie, resulting in a cookie with a chewy center and crispy edges. On top of that, letting the flour sit will cause some of the proteins to break down, so you get a more “carmelized” cookie once it’s baked.
Basically what I’m saying is, they’re better.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Whenever I make them, my partner and I basically devour the entire batch in a day. Being stuck inside with nothing better to do but eat has not helped this situation. Bake at your own risk!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 100g softened butter
- 160g brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (replace one of the teaspoons with a teaspoon of vanilla powder if you want to be fancy and have the cash)
- 1 tbsp almond milk (soy also works!)
- 240g all purpose flour, divided
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g chocolate chips
In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy (you can do this by hand or with a mixer). Then add in the sugar and mix until fluffed. Add the vanilla and almond milk.
Add in half the flour and the cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. Add the rest of the flour and repeat, then fold in chocolate chips. Dough should be thick, and can be a bit crumbly as long as it holds its shape when pressed together.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to a day (the longer the better!). When ready to bake, set on counter for 15 and preheat the oven to 175C.
Using a tablespoon measure, roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake for about 10 minutes, then let cool on the sheet for another 5 minutes.