Hard on the heels of trying Ovenly's peanut butter cookies (wonderful, by the way), I read about their "secretly vegan" chocolate chip cookies from Food52! Now, you probably know that the photography over at Food52 is amazing so yes, the cookies looked incredible but, more importantly, the description really intrigued me.
Vegan chocolate chip cookies? Not being vegan, I never gave the idea much thought. What happens in this case is eggs have been removed from the equation and the typical butter is likewise replaced with oil and water. How crazy does that sound? And how neat if, in fact, you can make delectable chocolate chip cookies this way because how often do you drop the idea of making cookies when you realize you haven't the time to wait for butter to soften?
So I entered this little experiment both excited but a little skeptical as well. However, I held on tight to the promise that these cookies would be good, regardless of the ingredient list and whether or not they were vegan (*note: not being any expert on the topic, you should make sure the sugar and chocolate you use are vegan if that's important to you).
Another thing going for these cookies...they're so easy to make! As with the peanut butter cookies, you don't even need a mixer. The only thing you need is a little patience to let the cookie dough sit in the fridge 12-24 hours before baking.
So in case you also saw these cookies from Food52 and wondered about them like I did, I can tell you they are indeed "genius"! Had I just been tasting them, I would not think they were anything other than a very good chocolate chip cookie (my son and husband agree). Once baked, they look and feel everything like your "regular" chocolate chip cookie. If you want to nitpick, I would say you might miss the butter flavor some but these cookies still have plenty of caramel notes and flavor from the brown sugar (I used dark brown).
In the vain of keeping things simple, I used 60% dark chocolate chips (instead of chopping up a bar of chocolate) and these cookies turned out the way I like them. Texturally, they're crisp along the edges and soft and chewy in the center. There's the caramel flavor I mentioned and plenty of dark chocolate in every bite. It's really good stuff and a great chocolate chip cookie to add to your rotation. My family and I polished our little batch of these cookies off in no time.
I halved the recipe, which made 11 cookies in my case. It's really hard to beat, or resist, a recipe that just takes 2 bowls and a whisk. Since I used chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60%), there was no additional chopping to do and I had my cookie dough made in no time.
This is how the dough looks once the wet ingredients (oil, water, brown sugar...plus, I added a splash of vanilla extract, which wasn't called for in the recipe) are combined with the dry. Since there's no egg involved, the dough doesn't bind together as well as you'd normally expect and is a bit more wet. You must let the dough chill for 12-24 hours for the best flavor and texture. So whip it up and set it in the fridge for a treat the next day!
The following day, I scoop the dough using my new #40 scoop. I noticed the dough is a little greasier than the norm but they did not bake up greasy.
For the cookies to retain their shape better, set the cookie dough rounds in the freezer for 10 minutes (while the oven preheats). You can also save a few and freeze to bake another day...because we all know having goodies in the freezer is a very good thing!
Sprinkle the tops of the cookie dough with some coarse salt and bake for about 12-13 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden.
This way, they should be slightly crisp around the edges and soft, slightly chewy, in the center, once cooled.
My family and I often start eating things like cookies and cakes and I can't resist getting up and trying to take a picture of the center. Here's my shot of the center of one of these delicious cookies we were munching on.
Cookies are a beautiful thing! What would we do without these humble yet very special little treats? Are you ready for "cookie season"? I can hardly wait to whip up our family favorites and to stock the freezer with cookie dough for the holidays!
Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Ovenly via Food52
- Makes about 22 cookies, using a #40, 1 2/3 tablespoon measure, scoop -
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking power
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips (60% cacao or higher recommended; check ingredient list to make sure it's vegan)
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/2 cup (110g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I used dark)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil (or other neutral oil)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (not in original recipe but I added)
Coarse-grained or flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Toss in the chocolate chips and combine.
In another large bowl, whisk the sugars with the oil, water, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Make sure the brown sugar is soft and clump-free; otherwise, break up any clumps before whisking. Add dry ingredients to the wet and stir together with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Do not skip this step.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from the refrigerator and scoop mounds onto the baking sheets, spaced about 2-inches apart. To help the cookies retain their best shape, freeze the dough balls for 10 minutes before baking.
Sprinkle with coarse salt, then bake for approximately 12-13 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden. Do not overbake if you want a crisp edge and a soft center to the cookies once cooled. Let cookies cool to room temperature on a wire rack.