Last week, Michael and I were out for a stroll with the pup in our fabulous new city. I can’t recall how we got onto the topic, but for some reason, Michael off-handedly said, “My ex-girlfriend used to make the best chocolate chip cookies”.
I immediately – truly, within 10 minutes of arriving home from the walk – set about my task of making chocolate chip cookies that might claim the title of “best ever”. The only challenge was that the ex-girlfriend (who I know and like a lot!) is not vegan and was definitely using regular wheat flour, butter, eggs and traditional chocolate chips in her recipe. Totally cool… I just don’t buy any of those things and didn’t have them in the house. (I also had no interest in just making a recipe off the internet using standard cookie ingredients. If I was going to win this self-imposed challenge, I was going to do it using healthy ingredients, Amy-style.)
And that, kids, is how this recipe happened. I will admit that they didn’t turn out exactly as I’d expected, and Michael’s enthusiastic noshing was a little less firework-packed than I’d hoped, but they’re still pretty darn excellent… especially considering they’re vegan, gluten-free and made without any sugar. Plus, they were a great excuse to try making my own cheater chocolate chunks -- just coconut oil, cocoa powder and a bit of almond milk. See the recipe below for the how-to.
(Really, though, Michael is such a good sport – I’m pretty grateful for his acting training sometimes, even if I can tell he’s exaggerating a little about how much he likes something.)
If you’re expecting uber-sweet, these cookies are not that. If your tastebuds are already acclimated to an I Quit Sugar lifestyle, or you just generally don’t dig the sweet stuff, these will be a great desserty option. (I’ve started using plain pumpkin puree as a barometer for sweetness when I’m talking with clients about sugar and taste preferences. I think plain pumpkin is SUPER sweet (like a 9/10) because of how my tastes have changed after two years sans sugar, but if you’re used to agave, honey, etc, pumpkin might be more like a 2 or 3/10. Something to experiment with for yourself!)
So, here we go. The answer to the “my ex-girlfriend was a better baker than you” proposition. Whatever. Baking isn’t usually my thing anyways. I’ll be over here with my taco bowls and savory soups.
Happy baking, chocolate fiend,
- Chocolately Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Makes 18
- Prep time: 20 minutes + 45 minutes in the freezer for chocolate chunks
- Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 ¾ cups gluten-free oats, divided
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2/3 cup coconut oil, divided*
- 7 tbsp cocoa powder, divided*
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp almond milk*
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp flax meal
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- *If you’re using packaged chocolate chips instead of making your own, you’ll only need 1/3 cup coconut oil, 4 tbsp cocoa powder and ¼ cup almond milk.
- 1. Heat 1/3 cup coconut oil over medium heat until liquid. Add 3 tbsp cocoa powder and 2 tbsp almond milk, stirring to combine.
- 2. Heat these together for about a minute until smooth and even, then transfer to a shallow dish (I used an 8”x8” baking tray with 1” sides and tilted it around so the mixture covered the bottom in an even ¼” layer). Place in the freezer to set (about 45 minutes). After this period, the mixture should be hardened into a solid mass and you can break it into coarse chunks using the tip of a knife.
- 3. Preheat oven to 375F.
- 4. Blend ½ cup of your oats in the food processor until they form a fine flour.
- 5. Combine oat flour, remaining whole oats, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to blend evenly.
- 6. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together remaining coconut oil, remaining cocoa powder, remaining almond milk, shredded coconut, flax and vanilla.
- 7. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir thoroughly to form an even batter.
- 8. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chunks.
- 9. Drop batter by 1 tbsp spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake 30 minutes, turning cookies over after 15 minutes.
- 10. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool 5-10 minutes before removing from the tray.
- Store in the fridge in a sealed container.