I wasn’t looking for a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. All I wanted was a decent-looking ingredient list that I could tweak and muck up into a fun Halloween treat for a party we were attending back in October. I started with this recipe and, at first, I did just that—turning out a spirulina-tinted, ghoulishly green treat speckled with vegan white chocolate chips. The result was downright delicious. I could tell from the fab taste and texture, however, that if I backed out my spooktacular additions, I might just have a really awesome, straight-up chocolate chip cookie on my hands.
So I took two steps forward and one step back in adapting and arriving at this recipe, but it was totally worth it.
First things first: these are not healthified treats. I used slightly less sugar and mostly whole grain flours in my adaptation, but, unlike many of the baked goods I turn out, these are not oil-free or refined sugar-free or particularly nutrient dense. These are just really tasty, buttery, sugar-crackle-crispy-edged, chewy-middled, chocolate-chipped cookies, meant to be a delightful indulgence.
These are the kind of cookies that belong on the dessert table at your next gathering, the kind that can hold their own at a bake sale or cookie swap, completely unassuming, not giving off even the slightest hint of being anything other than a mighty fine treat. If you’re planning to share, though, you may want to make a second batch, because they also happen to be the kind that you’ll want to keep selfishly stashed away for post-dinner nibbles. Nobody will know or care that they’re gluten-free and vegan—plus, shouldn’t we all know by now that neither of these labels is synonymous with “less tasty”? (And hey, if you don’t need them to be GF, just swap in some AP flour and call it a day.)
The biggest argument in their favor from my standpoint: I’m not much of a cookie person and I couldn’t stop myself from going back for seconds…and thirds. This in turn meant that Chris—decidedly a cookie person—nearly killed the whole batch in one night. Actually, having said that, maybe you really should bring them to a gathering of many, many people. Just to be safe.
I feel like chocolate chip cookies are so classic that they can tend to go overlooked. I’ve never had a go-to recipe for precisely that reason, but this one is now it. I’ll probably mix things up from time to time, adding nuts, specialty chips, or other festive ingredients, and I invite you to do the same. But if you remix the recipe on the first go, be forewarned that doing so might actually compel you to go back and try the traditional version. Apparently that kind of thing happens sometimes.
And P.S. for those with a weakness for The Dough: you can go ahead and halve the yield on this one. 😉
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free Option*, Gluten Option**
These chocolate chip cookies are buttery and crispy-edged with a delightful chewy middle. They're classic in all the right ways, but so delicious you won't be able to help going back for more.
- ½ cup millet flour
- ½ cup cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup potato starch
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup Earth Balance buttery spread
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
- 3 tablespoons aquafaba***
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Optionally, line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper for easier cookie removal.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the millet and brown rice flours, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream together the Earth Balance, sugar, and sucanat. Add the aquafaba and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Drop tablespoon-sized amounts of dough onto a baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each to allow the cookies to spread. Bake for 13-15 minutes (13 minutes for a softer, chewier cookie; 15 for a crispier cookie). Allow to stand on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
**Gluten Option: Swap in 1¼ cups all purpose flour in place of the gluten-free flours and xanthan gum.
***Aquafaba is the liquid that is found in canned chickpeas or white beans. Cooking liquid from home-cooked beans will work as well.