Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies, Chocolate | January 13, 2019 | By

Hey everyone! I’ve recently ventured into vegan baking for some chocolate chip cookies and guys, you wouldn’t even know the difference!

I don’t actually know any vegan eaters, but I do have a family friend who has some diet restrictions that, in baking, may as well be vegan. Plus, I find it really intriguing to bake vegan recipes- it kind of turns everything you know about baking upside-down, and it’s fun to experiment with egg and dairy replacements!

Add on top of all that the high-altitude factors, and we’ve got some science up in here this week. So, here’s what I’m swapping out:

  • Egg= chia seeds soaked in water
  • Butter= margarine
  • Milk= almond milk
  • Chocolate chips= non-dairy chocolate chips

I have to say, of anything, the chocolate chips are like. Entirely not noticeable as a substitute. So much so that it makes me wonder why we even need milk in chocolate to begin with- these taste EXACTLY the same as your normal semi-sweet chocolate chips. Also, they’re available in all my normal grocery stores!

And a note on the egg substitute- there are a lot of options for egg subs. Chia seeds just happened to already be in my pantry (instead of applesauce) but it’s really easy to find egg swap charts online!

These cookies are chewy, soft, and chocolatey. I actually really loved them, and I ate plenty on my own- they taste very indulgent, and while the flavors are just slightly different from your classic chocolate chip cookies, the different is minimal to be honest. Score!

So let’s call it a high-altitude-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookie kind of day, shall we? Enjoy!

High Altitude Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs. chia seeds
  • 3 tbs. water
  • 1/2 cup room temperature dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups dairy-free mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chia seeds and water, and set aside. It will thicken while you prepare the rest of the dough. 

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the margarine, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and almond milk until smooth. Add in the soaked chia seed mixture, and stir until combined. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and beat until completely incorporated. The dough will be fairly soft. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. 

  3. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  4. Scoop the batter in two-tablespoonfuls onto your baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just start to become golden brown. Cool and enjoy! 

Chocolate Dipped Toffee Shortbread

Cookies, Chocolate | December 29, 2018 | By

Hey guys! Do you have the after-Christmas-blues a little bit? I definitely do. But I’m trying to push through that with more cookies because listen, it’s still winter, and we’re still wearing leggings and big sweaters so it’s all good tbh.

Toffee Cookies 1

And anyways, I was in the grocery store the other day, and they still had a big display of holiday baking items, and so I was browsing that, and saw all kinds of interesting chip-type-things. So like instead of just chocolate chips, there was a bad of s’mores chips with mini marshmallows and graham cracker pieces too (I bought those). And then also there was a weird mix of cookies & cream stuff, and I don’t know exactly what it is yet, but I bought those too. PLUS though, some little toffee chips, further seen below.

Toffee Cookies 2

So here we are- I feel like this is a deconstructed candy bar cookie of some kind. And I know if you watch cooking competition shows, you’re probs saying “DUDE, don’t use the term ‘deconstructed,’ you know better!” But listen, I’m at home, and it is what it is.

And more importantly, these cookies are good man.

Toffee Cookies 6

So basically I made some shortbread dough, and tossed in a bunch of these little crunchy toffee bits. They get all exploded in the oven, and make craggy edges, and it’s very charming and sweet. Oh as a sidenote, if you can’t find these little bits, I’m of the opinion that it’d be kind of awesome to just like chop up a toffee candy bar and go for it that way.

Toffee Cookies 3

So anyways, I dipped these ones in chocolate to add that well, chocolate factor. I went at an angle, and I think they would be super yummy if you even just drizzled chocolate all over the entire cookie too, idk guys, do you.

Toffee Cookies 5

I’m feeling weird today, and this post sounds weird as I read it, but I’m keeping it as is just as a reminder of this weird after-holiday vibe I’m feeling strongly this year. The point is, cookies will bring us all joy no matter what time of the year it is. JOY IT UP GUYS.

Chocolate Dipped Toffee Shortbread

Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cold butter and powdered sugar until combined. Since the butter is cold, you might need a few more minutes than you are used to for mixing time. Beat in the vanilla extract. 

  3. Add in the flour and salt slowly, beating until the dough forms. It will be slightly crumbly, but should completely combine. Beat in the toffee bits until combined. 

  4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into whatever shapes you like- I did rectangles- and poke holes over the top with a fork. Transfer dough to your prepared cookie sheets. 

  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to become lightly golden. Cool on the cookie sheets completely. Dip into the chocolate or drizzle chocolate on top of cookies. Place the cookies on parchment or wax paper to let the chocolate set. Enjoy! 

Brown Butter Cookie Bars

Cookies, Bars | September 3, 2018 | By

Hey guys!

Today we’re making cookie bars, and if you haven’t tried making cookies in one giant sheet, now is the time to start. I’m not saying all cookies should be baked this way, but man, it’s SO much easier.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 1

Don’t get me wrong, the effect is slightly different when you bake them in one big sheet. You won’t get crisp edges around each cookie, for example, if that’s what you’re into. And sometimes that’s right for a cookie.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 2

But with these, you can bake the whole dang batch at once, with very little work, and without scooping out cookies and switching pans and baking 4 separate times. So that’s a pretty big take away. That being said, you can totally scoop and bake these cookies as well if that’s what you’re feelin.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 6

So, these cookies stem from a simple concept- I wanted chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate. I know, I know. Everyone loves chocolate, and me too, but sometimes you aren’t in the mood for chocolate. So here we are.

The browned butter kind of just kicks up the flavor on these. It’s only barely noticeable, but it’s worth it for the overall effect. It’s a very simple cookie, which means every little step counts. So we brown the butter. And let it cool back down to room temperature, which can take some time- go watch some TV while you wait or whatever.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 3

The espresso powder does not make these taste like coffee, so don’t be afraid of it if you aren’t into coffee flavors. It just pops out the other flavors in here, like the brown butter, and adds to the whole end result flavor, which I promise you’ll love!

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 7

Last, we’re sprinkling coarse salt over the top right when it comes out of the oven, which helps it stick to the cookies without baking in during the actual, well, baking time. The salt is just enough to make these bars totally addicting.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 5

The rest is really simple, so I hope you guys enjoy this one- plus I hope it converts you to making cookie bars occasionally, I think it’s a great trick! Enjoy!

Brown Butter Cookie Bars

Servings 32 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter (plus water, as needed, see instructions)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. coarse salt (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, brown the butter over medium-high heat. This takes me about 10 minutes. Your butter should melt, become frothy and foamy, and eventually will start to brown on the bottom. Transfer to a heat-safe glass measuring cup. Add enough water to the hot butter to make 1 1/2 cups total liquid in the measuring cup. Cover, and let the mixture cool on your counter to room temperature, about an hour. 

  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12 by 18 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside. 

  4. In a large bowl, beat together the browned butter mixture, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients slowly, and beat until completely combined. 

  5. Scoop your dough onto your prepared baking sheet, and spread evenly. It should fill the entire sheet. Bake in your preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until the cookies have set around the edges and are just starting to become golden. Sprinkle the coarse salt over the cookies right after they come out of the oven. Cool in the sheet pan for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy! 

brown butter

Fancier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fancy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies | May 21, 2018 | By

Hey guys!

Still no baby haha!

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. Basically, people do a lot of really interesting things to make chocolate chip cookies extra special, and I rarely ever try any of them. And honestly, this is a really classic cookie, you don’t always need to do it fancy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

Speaking of which, if you aren’t interested in fancy, here’s my traditional recipe for chocolate chip walnut cookies– they are super easy and fantastic too!

So, onto the fancier version. I took many of the tips used here from this video/article by Tasty, and it’s definitely worth a look. I wanted to apply some of these tips to my favorite recipe, and work from there. Here’s the things I tried, some from Tasty, some not:

  • Browned butter- to bring another layer of flavor in.
  • Espresso powder- it won’t taste like coffee, but it’ll make the chocolate pop.
  • Scooping and then chilling the dough before baking- this affects the butter solids.
  • Salt on top- I used coarse salt.
  • Chopping the chocolate- this allows the smaller shreds of chocolate to disperse throughout the dough.
  • Bread flour- to keep the cookies chewy.
  • Cornstarch- again, to keep the cookies chewy.

Anyways, there’s even more tips and tricks about this classic recipe out there, but those are the changes I made to my classic recipe. I’ve got thoughts. So basically, I definitely think there’s much to be said about using these tips and making the fancier version. The flavor is SUPER good, and it’s definitely more complex than the original.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

BUT, if you want cookies in a hurry, this just won’t cut it. When you add in the time it takes to brown and cool the butter, and chill the dough before baking, it takes far longer start to finish. Also, things I’m not sure make a big difference include the salt on top (probably a taste thing- if you add more, I bet it’s more noticeable), and the bread flour switch. Since I normally add cornstarch anyways, I’m not sure it really matters to use both.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 5

Here’s what I know for sure; there are a TON of recipes for chocolate chip cookies out there, and A LOT of them are great. It’s such a classic, and there’s so many variations that depending on your taste, you’re likely to find many versions that you truly love. For me, this is definitely a great one, as long as you’ve got the patience to work with it!

Enjoy!

Fancier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, browned and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs. coarse salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, bread flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside. 

  2. To brown the butter, melt and cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown flecks start to appear all over, and then pour into a bowl to cool. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat the cooled browned butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, and water. Slowly add in the flour mixture until completely combined, and fold in the chocolate chunks, including any smaller flecks. 

  4. Scoop the dough into 2 tablespoon-full balls onto a baking sheet. You're going to chill these, so you can put them right next to each other. Sprinkle the coarse salt evenly over the top of all the dough. 

  5. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or longer. When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick sheets. Place the pre-scooped cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, and press down with the bottom of a glass until they are about 1/2 inch thick. 

  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

fancier chocolate chip

Sprinkle Slice and Bake Shortbread

Funfetti Shortbread Cookies | Cookie Recipe

Cookies | April 22, 2018 | By

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope yours is filled with baking and an already-clean house and absolutely no chores whatsoever. That is not what mine looks like, but man, we are gettin close to this baby comin’ around you guys.

Funfetti Shortbread 6

Today I’m sharing one of those recipes that just brings a smile to your face. And I mean, what recipe filled and covered in sprinkles isn’t like that? I have no idea.

Here’s what I love about shortbread cookies; they hold their shape, they don’t have any eggs so you can munch away on that cookie dough to your hearts content, and they are SUPER easy to make. There’s only 7 ingredients in the whole recipe you guys, and while you DO have to chill them for a bit, the rest requires minimal effort.

Funfetti Shortbread 5

We’re starting by beating up softened butter and powdered sugar until smooth, and then adding in vanilla and almond extracts for that flaaaavor. Beat in the flour, salt, and sprinkles, and you’ve got yourself a happy little bowl of cookie dough.

Funfetti Shortbread 1

Next, divide your dough into four even-ish sections, and roll each into a log that’s about 1 1/2-2 inches thick. Have some sprinkles poured into a baking sheet on hand, and roll the whole dang log in it. It’ll look something like this:

Funfetti Shortbread 2

Then comes the hard part- you have to wrap each log in plastic, and chill them for about an hour. I know it’s hard to wait guys, I get it, and I apologize. but it’s worth it, I promise.

Funfetti Shortbread 3

Plus, when the wait is over, you just have to slice up the logs and place each little disc onto a lined baking sheet. Bake ’em up, try not to eat them all, fail, and eat them all.

Funfetti Shortbread 4

P.S. If you’ve got someone who needs a little cheering up, this is where it starts you guys. Cookies. Sprinkle cookies that taste like cake and go down easy. It’s the real road to recovery. Enjoy!

Funfetti Shortbread 8

Sprinkle Slice and Bake Shortbread

Servings 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles, for dough
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles, for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the vanilla and almond extract, flour, and salt, and beat together until a dough forms. Fold in the 2/3 cup sprinkles. 

  2. Pour your remaining sprinkles onto a clean baking sheet. Set aside. 

  3. Divide your dough into 4 even-ish sections, and roll each section into a log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. This does not have to be perfect. 

  4. Roll each log into your remaining sprinkles on the baking sheet, pressing the sprinkles into the dough. Then, wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

  5. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  6. Slice each log into cookies about 1/2 inch thick. Work through one log at a time, keeping the others chilled while you work, and place the cookies onto your baking sheet. They will not spread while baking, so they can be pretty close together. 

  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges have just barely started to become golden brown. Cool completely, and enjoy! 

Sprinkle Shortbread Cookies

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