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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I consider myself a bit of a chocolate chip cookie aficionado. Once, my friend and I made 7 different chocolate chip cookie recipes in the span of 2 days because we wanted the find The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie (our winner? Serious Eats chocolate chip cookie).

The point is, I’m not speaking lightly when I say these chocolate chip cookies are indistinguishable from their non vegan counterparts. They have the soft, melty centers, crispy edges, and lightly caramelized flavor that I originally thought were inherent to the egg-and-butter cookies.

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This recipe makes 20 massive bakery-style cookies (or approx 4 dozen more reasonably sized cookies), but I’m fully in support of double-batches if your mixer/arms/health can handle it.

The secret to these cookies is aquafaba, otherwise known as the liquid found in cans of garbanzo beans/chickpeas! Aquafaba is actually a fairly recent fad in the food blogging world, because it turns out that aquafaba can imitate egg
whites almost perfectly.  In this recipe, aquafaba is used to replace entire eggs, but it steps up to the job with zero hesitation.

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One tip I have is to cream the shortening and sugar at medium to low speed. I’ve found that creaming butter and sugar until extremely fluffy works well for making light batters, but can make cookies a bit cakey and dry. In my opinion, it’s an absolute tragedy when this happens so I tend to err on the side of gentle creaming.

Besides that, these cookies are very simple to make, and follow the exact same process as most chocolate chip cookies. The dough was a little crumbly, which I was originally worried about, but baked up just fine. For gooey middles I baked the dough for 13-15 minutes, and for more chewy cookies I upped the time to 17 minutes. Both were delicious.

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Anyhow, onto the recipe!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks, 10 ounces, 280 grams) earth balance shortening, slightly colder than room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups (240 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from can of unsalted garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups plus 2 teaspoons (445 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ¼ pounds (565 grams) vegan dark chocolate, chopped into pieces

1) In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

2) Combine the shortening, light brown sugar, and white sugar at medium speed. Cream for 1-2 minutes, but be gentle since over-beating can lead to cakey cookies.

3) Whisk in the aquafaba and vanilla extract.

4) Fold in the flour mixture, and add the chopped chocolate when only streaks of flour remain. Stir the dough until there are no more streaks of flour; the dough might be a bit crumbly, but don’t worry.

5) Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours, but ideally 24-36 hours.

6) Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, divide the dough into ~18 portions. If the dough is a bit crumbly, gently mold the cookie dough balls into compact spheres so that they won’t fall apart. At this point, you can freeze the dough and bake individual portions as desired, or go ahead bake the dough right away.

7) Bake the cookie dough balls at 350 degrees for 13 minutes (15 minutes for frozen dough). They might look a bit underbaked in the middle, but will continue to cook for a bit even after they’re removed from the oven. Enjoy!