It’s Vegan MoFo III, the Vegan Month of Food, Day 30.
Will you look at the crumb of that cookie?
Chocolate chip cookies are a very personal thing I find. Some like them crispy, others like them soft. Some like them huge, others prefer them to be more dainty. Some like them loaded up with chocolate, others prefer restraint in that area. You get the picture. Truth be told, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like. I’m a cookie monster and I’m not afraid to admit it.
What is it about chocolate-chip cookies that brings out the perfectionist in bakers? I’ll admit, I’ve made my fair share of them in an attempt to attain that elusive perfect cookie. I’ve never been completely satisfied with what I’ve made so far. There was always something not quite perfect – the texture, the sweetness, the crumb.
So when I whipped up these delicious cookie specimens from Hello Veggie blog a while back, I knew I was close – oh so close. In fact, those cookies are amazing, and it was quite by accident that I altered the recipe.
I was low on all-purpose flour and so I lessened that and increased the whole wheat pastry flour component. I also used golden sugar in place of dark brown, and reduced the amount. I did not have almond butter on hand (as with my previous attempt) but I did have almonds, so I processed a cup in the food processor until they stuck together when pressed. The almond definitely did not turn into butter but rather a very fine, moist powder. As I discovered later (when I re-made the cookies using almond butter) this makes a significant difference to the crumb of the finished cookie. It adds a lightness that I love and a truly perfect crumb.
This cookie is heavenly.
While the almond paste appears to be the magic ingredient in achieving the awesome texture of this cookie, it does not impart an almond taste – so, to keep the flavour neutral I ran with that idea and made another change: I omitted the almond extract that the original recipe calls for. I chose unsweetened almond milk as my non-dairy milk of choice.
Best Chocolate-Chip Cookies
(recipe adapted from Hello Veggie)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached organic
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached organic
- 1 cup almonds (whole raw, with skin on)
- 1/4 cup non-dairy margarine
- 3 Tbsp almond milk , unsweetened (or soy or oat milk)
- 1/2 cup golden sugar, packed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375ºF
Add almonds to food processor and process to a very fine grind – stop just short of allowing the almonds to turn into butter. You should get a very fine paste that sticks together when pressed but that will still crumble apart if disturbed. It might take upwards of 5-10 minutes depending on your processor. Be sure to stop the processor occasionally to stir the paste up from the bottom and get the drier top bits down there.
In a medium bowl, cream together almond paste, almond milk, vanilla, and non-dairy margarine until smooth.
In a larger bowl, add both flours, baking powder and salt. Whisk lightly to ensure dry ingredients are combined – do not over beat.
Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Once dough is combined, fold in chocolate chips.
Spoon dough onto ungreased baking sheets. I used a modest-sized ice-cream scoop to measure the dough (I got 22 cookies one time and 24 the next).
Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies should just slightly turn golden at some edges or rough corners that might be poking up, otherwise they should stay fairly white. Do not over bake.
Allow cookies to remain on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes 22 to 24 cookies depending on how big you make them.
Try not to eat them all in one go. It’s not easy.
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