Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie You've Had in Ages
In my many adventures in vegan baking, I've made a crap ton of cookies. Seriously, who doesn't love a cookie? I used to use other people's recipes that I found online, and you know what? Some of them were terrible. I'm sure all of us can say we've ate some bad cookies. If they didn't just taste funky, they were too dry, or crumbly, or even sticky or overtly sweet. Even nowadays when I'm browsing recipes in the blog world I see cookie recipes that make me shudder (there's no way you can add a crap ton of maple syrup to flour and toss in some nuts and magically make a good cookie).
So, like the good little vegan I am, I didn't criticize it, I veganized it! And what resulted was the most SERIOUSLY AWESOME vegan cookie I've ever had the pleasure of eating. This cookie tastes exactly like you used to eat (only better) and there's no funky tastes of compromises in texture. Pure deliciousness. And I'm not gonna lie... it's pure dessert. Just the way a cookie should be!
Note: When making these cookies I use no-sugar-added applesauce as the egg substitute. A lot of people use bananas, which is awesome if you want a banana-flavored cookie, but I wanted no hint of fruit flavor whatsoever and applesauce is perfect for that. I also like to use the Enjoy Life brand of chocolate chips for two reasons: (1) they're tiny and cute (who doesn't love mini chocolate chips??) and (2) there's only three ingredients in them and for me, less is more! (Did I also mention that they're delicious and not ridiculously expensive?).
These cookies are an awesome basic recipe, so feel free to create with it to your heart's content. I foresee oatmeal-chocolate chip ones in my near future. Now if only there were some vegan butterscotch chips...
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(Better than your Mom's... and definitely not healthy!)
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional, but it gives a nice hint o' flavor)
1/2 c. vegan margarine, softened
1/2 c. non-hydrogenated shortening
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated white sugar (gasp!)
1/3 c. no-sugar-added applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or your favorite)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, optional
1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon (I stir it up with a whisk, does almost the same thing).
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and shortening until creamed. Add the brown and white sugars and beat until fluffy.
3. Add the applesauce and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the beaten mixture, beating until well-combined.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
6. Drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet by the tablespoonful and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. If you take them out while they're still wet-looking on top (but set), they will remain chewy. Let cool on sheet for about a minute then place on a wire rack (or dinner plate!). Enjoy!
This makes about 3 dozen cookies, but we all know cookie sizes are subjective!
Sometimes vegan batters taste funny, and it's not until the finished product comes out of the oven that they taste good. THIS BATTER ISN'T LIKE THAT!!! It's sooo freaking delicious you can eat it raw. The best part about vegan baking is licking the beaters and not getting salmonella!
You're probably also wondering why I used both shortening and margarine, and not oil. For starters, oil is okay in some recipes, but generally I don't like to use it because I just don't like the consistency of the batter. I didn't use just shortening because I craved that buttery delicious flavor and I didn't use just margarine because I needed the texture that shortening offers. So, like many cookie recipes from the days of yore, I used a little of both! It really makes a difference. Try it!
Look how nice they set up! They're not crumbly or hard (unless you bake them too long, ahem. Remember they continue to cook on the baking sheet even if you've removed them from the oven). I had a house full of non-vegans and they gobbled these babies up. They're perfect right out of the oven with some ricemilk. Man, with food like this, I have no reason to leave the vegan world! I love it!