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I used to have a fantastic recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It was absolutely perfect as long as you remembered to chill the dough.
Unfortunately it also involved an egg, another egg yolk, unsalted butter and milk so these days, that recipe is gathering dust at the back of a drawer. Which, honestly, kinda sucks because the cookies it makes are awesome. Not just as a yummy treat – I also used to use them as a great ‘filler’ for bake sales because they:
- Don’t take forever to mix
- Don’t take forever in the oven
- Don’t need any decorating
So I can whip up a big batch to take in alongside some more fancy looking cupcakes. But alas, since giving up eggs and dairy, I’ve not managed to make a decent cookie worthy of a bake sale. I’ve taken experiments into work, but not all. No, some were reserved for the bin (we’ve all been there, right? Well, I hope so. Otherwise I have just admitted to something very bad…)
But, finally, when I was beginning to give up hope of ever being able to bake a decent cookie ever again I just stopped. I stopped making it complicated. I stopped over-thinking things. I stopped adding egg substitutes – no banana, no flaxseed, no chia seed, no apple puree or mashed sweet potato. No oil. I just went with my gut and decided to let the dough tell me what it needed.
No, obviously dough can’t talk. I know that. I’m not about to pretend I’m some sort of bloody dough whisperer for goodness sake, but I remember what the dough from the old recipe felt like, how it handled and tasted.
So I sort of thought to myself “well sod it” and just… kept it simple. Ok, so I also crossed my toes (fingers were covered in dough, obviously) and let out a small prayer to any Vegan baking deities that might have been watching on with amusement but… wonder of wonders, it worked!
Trust me, I think I was more shocked that anybody else, deities included.
I tried one after they’d cooled down: it was awesome. I warmed one up for about 20 seconds in the microwave (too impatient to wait the full 30 seconds!) and it was epic. I had one with some almond milk… guys, they’re good! I fully tested, just to be sure. I took the (remaining…) batch into work and, because this particular batch was gluten free, one of my gluten-free colleagues ate five. He was going to eat six, but he gave up claim on the last remaining cookie to someone who hadn’t had a single one yet. He assures me that they are also very good dunkers when having with a cup of tea, too (I don’t personally drink tea, but he was very chuffed with them being dunkable).
Gluten free, or not to be?
They don’t have to be gluten free – you can use regular self-raising flour and baking powder too, just reduce the water by 2-3 tbsp (some flours are more thirsty than others, so use your judgement).
Vanilla and the cookies
Also – the vanilla. I admit here I’ve gone heavy on the vanilla: I blame my OH. It’s one of his favourite flavours and it’s rubbing off on me! But I wanted to give the chocolate chip cookies some added breadth of flavour and to really set off the chocolate, especially given they would be missing the egg and also all substitutes. If you don’t have vanilla sugar, just use regular caster sugar: I just make my own every now and then, rather than buy it in “special”. If you don’t have sugar free vanilla syrup, just add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract and two teaspoons of water: they will still be epic, tasty, vegan chocolate chip cookies.
Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Luci Rebecca, Made by Luci
- Prep: 15 minutes
- Cook: 20 minutes
- Total: 35 minutes
- Yield 18-20
- Calories 151
- 125g vegetable margarine
- 125g vanilla caster sugar
- 210g gluten free self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp water or dairy free milk
- 1 tbsp sugar free vanilla syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g dairy-free chocolate, cut into chunks (or just use chips)
- Cream together the margarine and sugar until it's light and fluffy. For ease, I sometimes do this in a food processor, but you can use a regular bowl and spoon, hand whisk or stand mixer too.
- Add the water/milk, vanilla extract and sugar free syrup. Add the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan) and line two baking sheets. Put the mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Get about a tablespoon of batter at a time, form it into a ball and squish it slightly. Place onto the baking sheet. These will spread a little in the oven so give them a bit of space, don't crowd them.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then check on them. If they're all getting a good golden brown colouring around the edge, remove them from the oven. If not, leave them in and check every three minutes until they are.
- Leave to cook for five minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.