ChiVeg’s Experience with the Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
I had the wonderful opportunity to bake vegan chocolate chip cookies with my friend and baking guru, Julie Williams. While I have a passion for plant-based cooking and have been cooking savory vegetarian meals for over 10 years, vegan baking has felt intimidating. Well, I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a fan of baking in general.
However, with cooking I love how creative I can be and if something doesn’t taste quite right, I can add more of a spice or liquid. Cooking feels intuitive for me. But with baking, I don’t have the luxury of being as creative and spontaneous because of how precise one has to be. If you add too much or too little of an ingredient, then your bread, cake, cookies, etc. are ruined!
While I had perfected basic chocolate chip cookies, making vegan chocolate cookies was an uncharted territory for me. I failed terribly at making them when I was in college and firmly closed the door to trying again. After having many years to recover and regain my sense of adventure, I told myself that I would embark on this adventure but only with an expert who embodies a scientific precision and wisdom with baking that I lack.
Veganizing a Classic
Given our intersectional interests, Julie and I decided to chart new territory with baking a favorite, the chocolate chip cookie without eggs and butter. I was quite impressed with Julie’s meticulous measurements, her knowledge of the saturated fat content of animal-based ingredients and how they would compare with plant-based products. She also had an extremely precise scale to make sure that we were adding the perfect amount of ingredients to make this comforting staple a vegan success.
I found this experience to be inspiring and fascinating with such a knowledgeable baker. I was also elated when our cookies turned out to be absolutely wonderful. They were soft and gooey with the chocolate chips melting in our mouths. I always fear that coconut oil can dominate the flavor but it didn’t dominate even though we used unrefined coconut oil. You could definitely taste the coconut flavor but the flavors were overall quite balanced.
It was especially wonderful knowing that we made something so tasty without using animal products that came from tortured animals. It’s not hard cooking vegetarian but baking vegan is on a whole other level. We have to be innovative and precise with substituting for the fat content and flavors that we are used to having with animal products.
Overall, I thought we did pretty well with our first vegan chocolate chip cookie iteration and will continue to persist! See below for Julie’s experience and her hand-crafted recipe!
A Little Bit About Julie, the Baking Guru
“I’ve had a lot of jobs, but one of my favorites was a baker. In 2013, I opened a small business called Nibbles and began selling my goods at Chicago farmer’s markets. Between the markets and special orders, I would often bake over a thousand cookies a week! That’s a lot of dough!
As a night owl, baker’s hours were painful for me, but the pain of waking up at 3 am was rewarded by the warm glow of the summer sunrise and sweet smells of cookies right out of the oven. I still savor the peace of those early morning hours and quiet anticipation just before the markets opened. I have moved on as far as jobs go, but my heart is still filled with the joyful memories of that time in my life.
While operating my business, I also worked part-time at a Chicago bakery called Bittersweet Pastry Shop. Bittersweet is a gloriously bustling workplace, and I was given a glimpse into the operations of a high-volume, high-energy bakery. I decorated sugar cookies with intricate details alongside others who I can only describe as artists. The atmosphere at Bittersweet was a huge contrast to my solo endeavor, and I was grateful to work with such enormously talented bakers and artists who took their crafts to the next level.
Throughout my baking journey, I think I consumed and attempted to make most baked goods and pastries that exist in America! Through it all, the cookie remains one of my favorites to make and eat. In particular, the CCC, the mother of them all – the moist, tender, chewy and gooey favorite – Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Bringing the Comfort and Joy of the Chocolate Chip Cookie to Everyone
Butter is a wonderful ingredient that is so difficult to replicate in vegan baking. There are numerous alternatives and substitutes available, and while they are all fantastic in their own way, they produce something other than a chocolate chip cookie, in my opinion, without the flavors and textures that are crucial to a great cookie experience.
That’s why I asked my friend Shanti, vegan/vegetarian cuisine aficionado and superb cook, to experiment with me! With her knowledge and my baking experience, I figured we could create something close to the original. While our first attempt can certainly be improved, I think we came close. Our sophomore attempt will surely bring us close to perfection.”
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- 2 oz coconut oil (Refined is what we used but unrefined will have less of the coconut flavor.)
- 2 oz Earth Balance soy butter
- 1 tbsp Arrowroot flour (Mixed with 1.5 tbsp of water.)
- 1 oz Apple Sauce
- 6.5 oz flour
- 2.5 oz white sugar
- 3.5 oz brown sugar
- 5 g baking soda
- 4 g kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 bag chocolate chips (non dairy)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You can use an oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is at the right temperature.
- Mix the arrowroot mixture into the butter/oil/sugar mixture.
- Whisk together all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips). Gently fold dry ingredients into moist ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Freeze your dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Bake for about 8-12 minutes until desired doneness. If your cookies are golden brown at the top, they are ready!
See the recipe below:
– 2 oz coconut oil (we used unrefined but refined will have less of a coconut flavor)
– 2 oz Earth Balance soy butter
– 1 tbsp of Arrowroot flour mixed with 1.5 tbsp of water
– 1 oz apple sauce
– 6.5 oz flour
– 2.5 oz white sugar
– 3.5 oz brown sugar
– 5 g of baking soda
– 4 g of kosher salt
– 1 tsp of vanilla extract
– ½ bag of chocolate chips
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a small bowl, gently whisk arrowroot powder and water to create a liquidy paste.
3) Stir the applesauce and vanilla extract into your arrowroot mixture.
4) In a large bowl, blend the soy butter, coconut oil and sugar.
5) Mix the arrowroot mixture into the butter/oil/sugar mixture.
6) Whisk together all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips). Gently fold dry ingredients into moist ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.
7) Freeze your dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
8) Using hands, mold frozen dough into balls and place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
9) Bake for about 8-12 minutes until desired doneness. If your cookies are golden brown at the top, they are ready!
Check out more of my recipes here!