This is an old recipe that has been tweaked and changed many, many times at this point. Along with the occasional peanut butter cookies, these were a regular in our house while I was growing up. These are also the first cookies that I ever learned how to make. From start to finish, they don’t disappoint. I have always been one of those weird people who almost enjoys the dough more than the finished product, and these cookies are no exception. On more than one occasion, I have made a whole batch of this cookie dough just for the sake of eating.

I could be wrong, but it’s possible that this recipe originally started from the back of a Nestle’s chocolate chip bag. Since then, it has been tweaked with the addition of oats, an adjustment of sugar and a combination of butter and shortening. Aside from replacing the eggs along with general veganizing, I have also switched the flour from white to whole-wheat.

Most surprisingly of all, these cookies taste just as good as I remember them. I might think I was crazy if it weren’t for the rave reviews they have been receiving from even the non-vegan testers. They are thin and crispy, with the perfect balance of chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. They’re buttery, but not too oily, and just sweet enough without overdoing it. Even Peter’s definitely-non-vegan, somewhat-skeptical dad couldn’t help himself from having more than one when he came to visit. Now, if you ask me, that’s saying something.  :)

Plain and simple, these cookies are a hit. A recipe has to be pretty good for me to stick to it and keep making it again, and these cookies pass the test.

Enjoy!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan Earthbalance butter, 1/2 cup vegan shortening
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 smashed banana OR 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tablespoons water (equivalent of 2 eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or a little more!)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or a mix of nuts)
  • 1 16-oz package vegan chocolate chips

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir/beat together the butters, sugars, vanilla, baking soda and salt until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg replacer. Stir in flour and then oats.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and the nuts last.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an un-greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 9-10 minutes (mine were done closer to 12-15 minutes when using the banana).

Warning! This recipe makes about four dozen good-sized cookies. Making a half-recipe yields a pretty good amount, especially if you like your cookies on the smaller side.

This page from the Post Punk Kitchen offers some great tips for vegan baking and for replacing things like eggs, milk and butter. The next time you’re trying to veganize something, check it out!

This recipe was inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’a Vegan with Vengeance cookbook. About three years ago now, when I first decided to become vegan, this was one of the first cookbooks that I got, and it’s been a go-to ever since. Along with The Joy of Vegan Baking, Isa’s cookbook taught me that being vegan did not have to mean giving up delicious tasting food, or delicious tasting baked goods, for that matter. At this point, I’ve learned how to veganize just about anything. Another valuable trick that I learned from Isa is how to make healthy, low-fat, delicious tasting baked goods. Using the skills I’ve learned, I attempted to turn this recipe into a slightly more healthy, low-fat version of the original. Surprisingly, these cookies not only turned out great, but I might even argue that they are better than the original recipe. They are soft, chewy, and even somewhat light and fluffy. They are plenty sweet, and pretty, too! Here’s my recipe:

Sparkled Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fresh, minced ginger
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • about 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, for rolling cookies in before baking

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the the wet ingredients: applesauce, canola oil, sugars, molasses and almond milk.
  3. Add the fresh ginger and the crystallized ginger.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, powdered ginger and cinnamon.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix well.
  6. Form cookie dough into one-inch balls, and roll in the turbinado sugar before placing on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Surprise!  Peter made cookies again. I have to say, I am still somewhat amazed that he is able to just throw ingredients together and come up with something edible. While this has worked well for him in terms of cooking, I warned him about the chemistry involved in baking, and of the dangers of deviating too much from original recipes. So far, he has pretty much completely ignored my advice. We’ll see…  I still have my doubts as to how long he can keep it up.  While normally I might be worried that I was starting to lose my place as Supreme Baking Queen of the house, my fears were calmed when I realized that while Peter may have a talent for making recipe-less cookies, he lacks confidence in baking anything with an already established recipe. I discovered this about a week ago:

“You should make snicker-doodles!” I suggested when he offered to make cookies.

“But I don’t know how to make those,” he replied, a little sheepishly.

“Oh, that’s okay,” I said. “Make whatever you want then.”

As long as I know that I’m still the true baker of the house, I can enjoy Peter’s cookie-making skills without fear.  With that being said, these most recent cookies of his are probably my favorite ones to date.  :)

Oh, and of course, for everyone’s enjoyment, I’ve posted the recipe as it was written in Peter’s own words. It just wouldn’t be the same otherwise.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Sandwich Cookie Recipe

Dry Ingredients

  • 1+ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash of salt (this wasn’t part of the original recipe, but Peter thinks it needs some for next time)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1-inch slab vegan butter (warmed)
  • < 1/4 cup peanut oil (that means “less than 1/4 cup”)
  • < 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1+ tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water
  • a good, 1-second squeeze of agave nectar
  • 1/2-second squeeze of maple syrup

Chocolate Filling Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
  • 2+ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3+ tablespoons soymilk

Preparation (makes both cookies and filling at the same time)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients for cookies in a bowl.
  3. Put chocolate chips into a small pot with 1+ tablespoon soymilk. Turn on stove burner to low/very-low heat, and let chocolate chips sit for about 2 minutes, then begin to stir lightly for about 10 seconds.
  4. Mix wet ingredients for cookies in a separate bowl.
  5. Check the chocolate chips.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla; stir. You want the melting process to be very slow and gradual so that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  6. Mix wet and dry ingredients.  Check chocolate chips again; stir.
  7. Spoon dough onto cookie sheets.  Put both sheets into oven for 6 minutes.  Rotate cookie sheets after 6 minutes from top to bottom to ensure that cookies bake evenly.
  8. Right after sheet rotation, add 2 tablespoons soymilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla to chocolate chips; stir. The chocolate chip filling should be a “frosting” consistency.
  9. Take out cookies after 6 more minutes (12 minutes total baking time); let cool on cookie sheets.
  10. Spread chocolate chip filling onto one cookie and sandwich with another.

Makes 12 giant sandwich cookies, which Peter recommends cutting in half once they’re done.

After doing a quick Google search for “vegan sandwich cookies”, the first thing that popped up was The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur.  I’ve never heard of her before, bit it looks like this Kelly Peloza girl might know a thing or two about quality vegan baking.  Check her out! I’ve got my eye on her recipe for Bakery Style Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (with A Hint of Maple). Best of all, she even managed to shape each cookie into a heart.  :)

Once again, I was unable to take a photo before Peter ate the majority of the batch. Oh well!

There’s been a big tub of frosting in the fridge for awhile now, way back from when I made a birthday cake for one of Peter’s friends a few weeks ago.  While Peter has slowly been eating the frosting straight out of the container, I have been thinking of the perfect recipe to use it in.  I have never made sandwich cookies before, and this was just the excuse I needed to give them a try.  Plus, there’s a vegan sugar cookie recipe that I’ve been determined to get right.  The first time I made the cookies, they came out way too crispy.  I have a tendency to over-bake things, mostly just out of fear of under-baking them.  I also had used whole wheat flour, and this is one of those times when white flour really does make a difference.  In the end, they turned out more like tooth-breaking biscuits that soft, tasty sugar cookies.

I wasn’t going to make the same mistakes again — at least, I thought I wouldn’t.  I dutifully used all-white flour  instead of whole wheat, and I kept a close eye on the cookies while in the oven.  Sadly, my over-baking tendencies still won over, and the cookies were significantly more crispy than they needed to be.  Overall though, they were still good, and I would definitely use the recipe again.  NEXT TIME, I will not over-bake them.  WILL NOT!  Please help me, god.

Both the cookie and the frosting recipe originally came from The Joy of Vegan Baking Cookbook.

 

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (this is a time NOT to use whole wheat!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, room temperature (I used Earthbalance)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (equals 1 egg)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder, and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the egg replacer, water, and vanilla extract.  Beat for at least 1 minute, then add the flour mixture and beat until the dough is smooth.
  4. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm enough to roll.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Take out half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.  It should be about 1/4 inch thick (thicker is better than thinner here).
  6. Cut out the cookies using cookie cutters (or a glass turned upside-down) and place on the prepared baking sheets.  To prevent cookies from spreading and losing their shape, put the baking sheets in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes (probably closer to 12), or until they begin to brown around the edges (seriously, RIGHT when you see brown, TAKE THEM OUT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!).
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 20 cookies

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I used 1/4 cup Earthbalance butter, and 1/4 cup Earthbalance shortening)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water or nondairy milk, or more as needed.

Preparation:

  1. Cream the butter until smooth (an electric mixer really helps here).
  2. On low speed, add powdered sugar, and cream for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and milk, and turn mixer on high once all ingredients are relatively well-combined.
  4. Beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons more milk if it’s too dry, and cover with plastic warp until ready to use (so it doesn’t try out).

This should be more than enough for sandwich cookies – it makes enough for an entire 9-inch cake.
Enjoy!  :)

By the time I could take a picture, there were only four cookies left. They're that good!

When I got home from Washington D.C. Tuesday night from the PRSSA 2010 National Conference, I was greeted with a multitude of surprises.  Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend, the kitchen was clean, there were fresh flowers on the table, and a matching set of green and yellow gloves, scarf and hat – all individually wrapped in the previous day’s Oregon Daily Emerald newspaper.  On top of all that, there was a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies on the counter.  I could not have been more happy to come home.

Before I get to the recipe, I should say that this is the first batch of vegan cookies that Peter has ever made – and possibly the first batch of cookies in general that he has ever made.  Not only are they vegan, but I was told that they are healthy too.  Not only did he make up the recipe by himself, but the cookies actually turned out good.  They are giant and crispy, with flavors of toasted hazelnut coming together with cinnamon and nutmeg that are just perfect for fall.

I have to say though, the best part the cookies was reading Peter’s recipe after I had him write it down for safe-keeping.  In Peter’s words, here it is:

Lil’ Bits O’Errrthing Cookies

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1+ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 30-40 hazelnuts, shelled, crushed (by hand) –> then toasted/baked in toaster oven for 2 1/2 minutes.
  • 2 handfuls chocolate chips
  • some sprinkles, to taste
  • some oatmeal, to taste
  • little bit of baking powder
  • little pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 little pinches of cinnamon
  • 1+ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 to 1-inch slab of vegan butter (EarthBalance)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg from happy chicken (not in original recipe, but recommended for next time to make cookies less dry)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1+ teaspoons molasses

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients, form depression in the center once mixed.
  3. Mix wet ingredients; egg last.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into depression in dry ingredients; mix.
  5. Mold into ‘spheres’, place on cookie sheet.
  6. Put into oven, flip cookies AND trays (top-to-bottom) after 5 minutes.  Take out after 4-ish more minutes.  (I wanted to clarify this – basically, after 5 minutes, rotate the two cookie sheets, and yes, flip over each individual cookie).

Makes 24 decent-sized cookies.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

February 20, 2010

This recipe originally came from the 101 cookbooks blog, under the name ‘Mexican Wedding Cookies”.  They are DELICIOUS!  I was looking for a way to use up some whole wheat pastry flour, and this seemed like a good recipe to try.  They’re not too sweet, and are super light and buttery tasting.  They’re also fun to make.

Mine didn’t turn out to be the prettiest cookies in the world, but I didn’t have a lot to work with.  If I made them again I might make them thicker, and use smaller shapes.  I also had problems with the dough getting too warm because I used SmartBalance Light butter, which stays very soft even in the fridge.  Luckily, this didn’t have any negative effects on the taste though. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. pecans, toasted and cooled to room temperature (I forgot to toast mine.   The cookies were still good, but you couldn’t taste the pecans that well.  Don’t forget to toast them!)
  • 1 c. vegan butter (I used 1/2 c. vegan SmartBalance Light since I ran out of normal Earthbalance)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • a “splash” of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 1/2 t. fine grain sea salt (yes, I actually did use fine grain sea salt, from my lovely sea salt grinder. :) )
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Puree the toasted pecans in a food processor until they become a fine meal, but not a paste.

In a mixer (I used WAY too big of a bowl!) beat the butter until it’s creamy, add the sugar and mix until everything is creamy and lighter in color.  The vanilla goes in next, and then the nut meal.  Slowly add the flours and salt and mix until a stiff dough forms (mine was not stiff, but it was fine).  On a piece of plastic wrap (I had to use parchment paper) pat the dough into a disk, about 3/4-inch thick.  Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  The makes it easier to use the cookie cutters.

Use a 1-inch cookie cutter to shape the cookies and place them on a lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies begin to brown just a bit.  Dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen small cookies.


Note: Next time, I would try adding almond extract, and I would try a variation with lemon.  The original recipe also suggests adding a splash of bourbon, but I didn’t have any (But I could buy some if I wanted because I’m 21 now!!!).  :)

Peanut-Ginger-Sesame Cookies

January 30, 2010

I loved these cookies.  They’re pretty and they taste good.  There’s a lot of strong flavors, but I thought they were great.  Think of your usual ginger molasses cookies, but with a twist.  I took a plate of these to a girls’ get-together recently, and they all got eaten!

The original recipe came from Veganomicon.  It called for brown rice syrup, but since I didn’t have any, I substituted it with molasses.  As usual, I made a half recipe, which is what’s posted here.

By the time I got around to taking picture of these, there were two left. This is the prettiest one. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. plus 2 T. flour.  (I used 1 c. all-purpose whole wheat flour, and 2 T. whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. vegan shortening, softened (Spectrum organic shortening works great)
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 1/2 c. sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 c. soy milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. almond extract (could use more though)
  • 1/3 c. candied ginger, finely diced
  • 1/3 c. sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon, and set aside.

In a small bowl, use electric beaters to cream the shortening until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.  Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, sugar, soy milk, and extracts, and continue to beat until creamy, 4 to 5 mins.  Stir in the flour mixture using a wooden spoon or a spatula, then add the chopped candied ginger and stir until a firm dough forms (mine was much wetter and stickier than I thought it should be, but the cookies turned out fine).

Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, and roll each in sesame seeds, then in sugar.  Place on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving a good amount of room between each cookie.

Bake for 10 to 11 mins. for chewy cookies, and up to 14 mins. for harder, crunchier cookies (The ones I made were chewy).

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.  Enjoy!  :)