Since I last blogged about my quest to find the perfect vegan chocolate chip cookie, I have had at least one other rather pitiful attempt. Thankfully, I was able to salvage the dough by transforming them into a sort of bar cookie. Still…they were fair from spectacular and definitely not the real cookie I was looking for. I began to secretly doubt my ability to concoct an authentic vegan chocolate chip cookie without complicated ingredients. I was far from giving up, though, and the other night I decided to rekindle the quest. This time I decided to actually search for a recipe online instead of modifying a conventional recipe or making up my own. I doubted I would find one that didn’t call for Earth Balance—as that seemed to be the common denominator among successful recipes I had found thus far—or some other ingredient that was not already in my cupboard.
But lo and behold, I stumbled across this wonderful recipe for Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies from VegWeb.com (btw, this looks like a very cool site. I look forward to exploring it further). I think these cookies are very aptly named, too, because they certainly made me a happy vegan. :)
There are several things I loved about this recipe:
- It used oil—not costly vegan margarine
- It appeared to be very easy to make
- It used water instead of soymilk or another non-dairy milk (again, makes them cheaper…and I usually don’t have those on hand)
- It didn’t use egg replacer—which I have no problem with, but for simplicity’s sake it was delightful to see that it wasn’t necessary
Still, I had my doubts. This recipe sounded almost too good to be true. Yet the photos, comments, and ratings of people who had made these sounded very promising. So without further ado I scribbled down the recipe and got to work.
Considering my faulty history, this time through I wanted to follow the recipe very closely…and then if they turned out I would make modifications later. By doing this I hoped to avoid the problems I had previously encountered with similar recipes. Still, I couldn’t quite resist subbing half of the all-purpose flour (which I rarely bake with, but did this time for the reasons outlined above) with oat flour. I also omitted the cinnamon, because that seemed like a funky ingredient for chocolate chip cookies anyway.
And guess what? THEY TURNED OUT! I was a little worried since the dough seemed runnier than traditional cookie dough, but I trusted the recipe and resisted the urge to add more flour. This resulted in, yes, a slightly thinner cookie. But they were no less delicious.
By the way, I’m sorry about the poor photo quality. At the time I was taking these pictures it was dark out so I had to use artificial light—which doesn’t always work out well for me because I don’t have any fancy camera equipment. That is also why some of these pictures have a yellow cast (normal light) and some have a blue cast (florescent light). I was trying to experiment with getting the best quality. Alas, neither are that great, so just use your imagination—they looked better than this. :)
What my family thought: I think it always helps to have a few non-vegan reviewers since my tastes may have adapted or be different than theirs. My dad raved about these…and that is saying a lot since he is a pretty tough
cookie critic. He can usually tell when something is different or meant to be healthy and his opinion of such things is generally negative. However, he LOVED these. He even asked me if there was anything “different” about these or if they were just the normal recipe. Meaning, of course, that he couldn’t tell! My mom gave cookies up for Lent but she said they looked perfect…and all that stuff. Sure, they could’ve just been being nice but as I said, my dad is usually pretty honest when it comes to this stuff.
What I thought: They were really good! The second tray probably could’ve used less time baking since they got a little hard—crispy—once they cooled. It is kind of hard to tell when they are done because you have to be very careful not to overcook them, yet no one wants a cookie that’s too raw inside. Everyone’s oven varies, but I found I needed to leave them in a little longer than the recipe stated. Just make sure you watch them like a hawk! It’s a good rule of thumb to take them out a bit before they look perfectly done because they will set more as they cool on the tray. The flavor was terrific and I didn’t taste the oat flour in them at all. As I said earlier, they were a little too thin…but the fact that they spread out while they baked did make them nice and big, which was fun. Next time I would like to experiment with adding more whole grain flour and trying to make them a little thicker. Other than that, I’d say we have a winner!
Speaking of winner, here’s a random fun fact: my mom once won the award for best chocolate chip cookie in our county at a local contest. Not that anyone really cares…but it’s kind of fun. :)
Another random fact: “25% of all cookies baked in the United States are chocolate chip cookies.” [Source]
I should be back with my usual depressing rants soon. :P
P.S. Giveaways here and here.
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” ~Erma Bombeck [Hehe. You gotta love that. :D]