Chocolate Chip Cookies
There is no one-recipe-fits-all when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, and I really love it this way. With variables spanning from how chewy, crispy, soft, sturdy, melty, etc, a cookie can be - it's really no wonder there are a zillion recipes in books and online for this one special treat. I'm not claiming to have made the perfect chocolate chip cookie, because I don't think it exists. I think there is always a perfect one for each craving in time. Which is so wonderful, because it means there will always be a cookie recipe to test/enjoy/freeze/share.
I have a very small sweet tooth that hits me once or twice a season, whereas Scott needs something for dessert every night. Which is really fun because it means I get to make desserts every week! Even if I'm doing fine with all of my smoothies and savory things, my baking muscles can never get cold living with this guy. And when my cookie craving hits, I'll have this recipe in my back pocket.
This recipe uses the most common staples we have on hand, without any particularly weird ingredients (I'm looking at you potato starch and aquafaba) while being vegan, gluten free, naturally sweetened, and using whole-food-fats (i.e. no oil). I think the most magical part is when you put them in the freezer, they end up tasting similar to Chips Ahoy cookies - which makes me happy. They are firm on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The flavor is one of my favorites I've ever made! Plus they take maybe 15 minutes from start to finish (baking time included) and require one bowl. They are almost too easy/tempting/dangerous/awesome.
I have more info below on measuring that I think it pretty important when you give this page a scroll, and touch on flours and nut butters in the notes of the recipe too. Are you preheating your oven yet? Good work :).
Why is it that it seems as if no two people can make a recipe turn out exactly the same? Partially it depends on the variations between brands of ingredients, but mostly it's in the measuring equipment. I can scoop a half a cup of flour with my measuring device, and it will mostly likely be a different amount than yours. Sometimes by just a smidge, but others times it can be by a recipe-altering amount. How packed the flour is in the bag and how forcefully it is shoved into the measuring cup can also make for variations that effect the end result. This is why it makes the most sense to bake using a scale for measurements of weight - these are consistent!
For example: I found that between making batches of cookies using the same measuring cups throughout, I still had different weight measurements. This yielded variations in how dry or wet my dough was, and altered the texture of the baked cookie. Even though I was using the same measuring cups and spoons!
So what can we do? Measure by weight. But what if you don't have a scale, or don't care to own one? Other than trying to be accurate in your measuring of the wet ingredients and sugars, there is a trick I learned from Dana in regards to measuring flour. Take a fork and fluff your flour before scooping with a spoon to fill your measuring device (don't press your measuring cup into the flour). Then level the measuring cup with a knife. This is what I did when making these cookies, and do throughout my baking. So if you do it as well, we can be on better track with one another! Is it okay to not do this? Sure, I do it sometimes too because I'm lazy and want things to be quick. But if my cookies turn out a little sturdier or a little chewier I don't get mad at the recipe, I know it was my doing, and accept whatever I get - because it is still delicious.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 1 dozen cookies, easily doubled.
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup/130g creamy almond butter (see note)
1/2 cup/75g coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup/90g oat flour (see note)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup/45g chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and water. Mix and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
Add the almond butter, coconut sugar, and vanilla to the flax mixture and beat with a spoon until creamy.
Fluff the oat flour (see note) before scooping and leveling. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the batter and mix until the dough begins to come together - then add the chopped chocolate and finish mixing. The dough should be pretty thick, use your muscles!
Line a baking sheet with parchment, and scoop the sticky dough into 12 equal-ish cookie dough mounds. Roll into balls, and press down gently to form into thick disks. If you need, you can use a square bit of parchment to give them a press.
Bake for 9 minutes, for a soft and chewy cookie.
Slide the parchment sheet of cookies to a cooling rack to fully set (they will be soft out of the oven). Enjoy a few warm and store any leftover cookies that have fully cooled in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer (we usually freeze on the sheet of parchment first and then transfer to a container, so they don't stick together). They will keep longer than you can withstand eating them, so enjoy!
Flour: We have tested these cookies multiple times using each a sifted red spring wheat flour, a sifted spelt flour, and an oat flour for a gluten free option. I decided on recommending oat flour because it was the most consistent from batch to batch, and we were able to use 3/4 cup of the flour, compared to only 1/2 cup for the spelt and wheat varieties (the latter soak up more moisture and thicken the dough quickly). If you decide to use a white wheat or spelt, start with 1/2 cup and only add more if needed. Enjoy no matter which way you choose - because in the end you still get a really delicious cookie! (Pssst. If you want an extra rich cookie, use only a 1/2 cup of oat flour. The dough will be much stickier but they come out super rich and chewy.)
Nut Butter: I make a roasted almond butter to use in these cookies and love the taste of homemade, however, you can use a store-bought all the same. Just make sure it only has one ingredient, roasted almonds (salt is okay too). I've tested these with creamy peanut butter, and they came out denser than the almond version (and very rich tasting) but still tasty if thats what you'd prefer to use. I haven't tested these yet with any seed butters, such as sesame or sunflower. I'd love to know if you give either a try, a hazelnut butter could be delicious too.