Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

We need time to hear our own thoughts, to pray, to ponder, to read, to breathe.

During this time we become acquainted with ourselves again, and often learn things about ourselves and about God and others that we would have never otherwise learned.

Do you know what I discovered about myself during my recent alone time?

I experience fear each time I approach a new recipe. This fear, I think, is common. When a human being is told to change, or is faced with the unknown, we experience fear.

Do you experience these fears in your efforts to eat better, and expand your eating choices?

Generally, families in America stick to about 6-7 dinners a month, and repeat these same meals over and over. Once we find a handful of favorite recipes that we know work, we find our comfort zone, and are careful not to stray from it.

During my most recent alone time, I found myself in deep thought about the relationship I have with food preparation. As I blended up double batches of the same green smoothie recipe that I have been making for the last 4 months, I thought about what would be the best use of my precious time that I have to myself. Read a book? Clean house?

...Attempt a new recipe?

Eating a whole foods, plant based diet would never be a fearful thing for anyone if we had all grown up eating this way. This way of eating, in and of itself is not scary. The change is scary. We fear failure, and we fear hunger.

If I can see someone make a recipe, then I am much more likely to try it. It takes the fear out of the equation when a recipe becomes a visual picture.

This link increased my confidence in attempting these chocolate chip cookies. It is with Dreena Burton on a vegan show called, The Everyday Dish. After watching it I felt ready to try them, and I was NOT dissapointed. It's very short, and will increase your confidence in trying out this new recipe, too.

You also help me overcome fears by encouraging me to try new things, and to branch out. I am grateful for you, your thoughts and questions; for the interactions we share. Knowing that I am not alone on this journey to better health.

Just as I am able to overcome my personal fears in the kitchen, I encourage you to do the same. Be bold. Develop a "come what may, and love it!" attitude in your kitchen.

Eventually you will have stored up a new handful of recipes that you know work for your family, and your fears in eating a whole foods, plant based diet will lessen. My challenge to you is to keep trying a few new recipes each week to shake things up a bit. Keep adding to your repertoire, and experience a little excitement in anticipating the new to counterbalance those common fears.

These chocolate chip cookies can be recommended to vegans and non-vegans alike without hesitation. Start by mixing your wet, then mix your dry.

Just as a warning, don't make these on an empty stomach. You'll eat the whole batch. Notice the green drink? Yeah, I was chugging that to make sure I was plant infused before I took a bite of my first cookie and then got addicted. Because they are. Addicting.

To make them oil free I used almond butter and applesauce. I used to make them with Chia Seed gel, but found applesauce to be preferable because it was much easier and lower in fat. If you choose to try out chia seed gel, this is how the chia seed gel should look:

If you are making the oil free version, resist the temptation to bake the cookies any longer than 11 minutes. They may come out of the oven a little gooey in the middle, but if allowed time to cool, they will set nicely.

Using the correct proportions of almond butter and chia seed gel (or applesauce) together in this recipe gives these cookies a very nice texture. They do not come out cakey, but chewy and slightly crunchy, as if they were made with oil.

These are the chocolate chips I used. A tiny bit goes a long way, and they are so yummy! Sunflower market (also called Sprouts) also carries a dairy free "Sprouts" brand that is also delicious and at a good price.

This is Dreena's secret ingredient. (Regular molasses would also work.) Don't skip it. It adds just that little buttery flavor that makes your tongue sing sweetly. I found this at Sunflower, but I am sure you could get it at most health foods stores.

Then mix your wet into your dry, and plop it out onto your cookie sheet. Make sure you have parchment paper because not using oil makes these cookies stick to the pan.

Enjoy! And make sure you've got a full tummy, cuz you are in for a real sweet treat!

Dreena Burton says, "Any vegans missing that classic home-made chocolate chip cookie indulgence? Well, now you can indulge without need for the dairy, eggs, white sugar, or even refined flour if you choose. One other bonus - these are super-easy to make!"

[9/13/2012 Update: I used to make these with oil for my kids to get the proper texture. Then I ate too many of them myself! Katie inspired me to improve the oil free texture, and by so doing, my kids LOVE the oil free version. I have updated the pictures on this post; the oil free version used to be a bit cakey. Now that they have improved in texture, the pictures needed to be changed out, also. You can see the posts that inspired these changes, here, and here in the comments section.

Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Dreena Burton

1 cup all purpose flour (see note below for wheat-free version)
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 - 1 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup organic neutral flavored oil
1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Oil Free Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies
Modifications by Ashlee Crozier

1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄3 cup unrefined sugar
1⁄4 tsp scant sea salt
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 - 1 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. Chia Seed Gel or applesauce (applesauce works really well, too, and is so much easier!)
1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil (or oil replacements; almond butter and chia seed gel/applesauce) until well combined.

Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little.

Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the cookie sheet for about ten minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 8-10 large cookies.

Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour or Spelt flour produces a cookie with a very classic taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still have delicious cookies!

Oil note (Update 1/10/2014): Just adding 2 scant teaspoons of canola or coconut oil to the oil free version makes these cookies taste very rich. I love both versions; it's up to you!

Idea: Make a really special dessert treat... ice cream cookie sandwiches! Using two cookies, spread some softened soy ice cream on the underside of one cookie, then place the other cookie on top. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until firm!


  1. I love that you used chia seed puree. That is a great way to get rancid oils out of your diet! Chia seeds are a powerhouse in nutrition as well. I really want to try these cookies :)

    1. You'll love'em! I have no self control when it comes to these...

  2. lol I have another request... can you post your vegan lasagna? You had mentioned you had one that was really good! I want to make the one featured on the Engine 2 website because it looks so good! Is that the one you like?

  3. I found the Engine 2 lasagna to be VERY time consuming, and not worth the effort. My family ate it, but then after we finished the huge pan, we vowed to never make or eat the stuff again. Not because it tasted bad, it was just pungent. The taste sticks with your tongue forever.

    My vegan lasagna is just our old lasagna married to Rips lasagna. In a twisted way. It was already a meatless one, but instead of cheese I just used wet mashed potatoes. It turned out awesome. I will post!

    1. Ha ha! That is funny :) I would love love your recipe!

  4. I am so excited to try these! Do I need to use pastry flour, or is any whole wheat flour okay?

  5. Katie, Hello!

    I have never tried these with regular whole wheat flour, but they would probably turn out well. As mentioned above, if you use a denser flour the dough may be quite thick, and you could just add 1-2 tsp. of oil or maple syrup until they reached the consistency you are looking for.

    Oat flour (whole oats ground in your blender) would also work really well, although you may need to add a couple extra tablespoons of flour than called for in the recipe.

    I personally don't like whole wheat pastry flour; it doesn't seem to agree with me. I love spelt and oat flour the most.

    Hope this helps!


  6. Oh, those cookies! I need to make these, like, right now. I think I'm responsible for the majority of the "adult" cookie eating during game night. Nomnomnom.

    1. Seriously. Cookies were meant to be eaten! Love it!

      And these cookies are a total family fave. I'm fairly confident they will work out well for you!