Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten-Free

Last weekend, after a gluttonous satisfying dinner for two at our local vegan fast-food joint (“carne asada” street tacos were involved), the hubby and I decided we needed to balance it out with a little something sweet. Specifically, chocolate chip cookies. Boy oh boy, I had not had a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie since I became vegan 8 months ago (save for maybe a cheat or two in the first month… oops). Mr. VP was down for helping me bake some up, so I immediately started looking up recipes on my phone while he drove.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Gluten-Free

Freshly-scooped vegan cookie dough, safe to eat even before baking!

We stopped at the store on the way home to pick up some (vegan) chocolate chips.

And, here came the tricky part… scrutinizing list after list of ingredients. That’s one of the inconvenient aspects of going vegan; you can no longer just pick up any package of food and assume it’s “safe” for you to consume (although it’s a good habit to read labels, regardless). Thankfully, Mr. VP is a good sport, and he helped me check all the friendly-looking packages not explicitly labeled “milk chocolate.”

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten-Free

Fresh out of the oven!

It went a little something like this…

The first few brands of dark chocolate chips we checked contained milk fat. Then I saw one brand over on the next shelf that had the word “Vegan!” in large green letters all over the package. “Look, babe, this one says ‘Vegan’!” I was so excited, I thought it was too good to be true. I checked the back of the package just in case, and there, in small print below the ingredients, was the notice, “This product may contain traces of milk.” Hmmm…

I was about ready to give in, when I came across an unassuming package of Scharffen Berger semiweet chocolate chunks. No milk ingredients and no “milk trace” or shared equipment disclaimers, which I’m pretty sure they would have to disclose since milk is also an allergen. They also happened to be gluten-free.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, made with Scharffen Berger semisweet baking chunks

We promptly picked up two bags and raced home to make some damn blessed cookies, already!

I’ve gotta say, the first vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe I tried was good, but not quite what I expected. I adapted it from a paleo recipe, which included coconut flour and almond butter. Even with extra baking time, the texture was really crumbly and the almond butter flavor was very pronounced.

A few days later I decided to make cookies again to share with my artist friend, Miguel A. Chavez, when I noticed that my bag of coconut flour had a chocolate chip cookie recipe on the bag. This one did not call for almond butter, and I had all the substitutions to make the recipe fully vegan.

Now these cookies, these to me are exactly how vegan chocolate chip cookies are meant to be.

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and warm, melty chocolate all in the same bite.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten-Free

(Okay, so mine had chocolate chunks; it all looks the same after it’s baked!) I also used walnuts for half of my batch, which are optional, but they add a nice toasty flavor that complements the chocolate perfectly.

By the way, I also re-tested these using all coconut sugar instead of the coconut sugar/cane sugar mix, but the resulting cookies were darker and had a noticeable coconut taste. The coconut sugar steps in for brown sugar, and the Zulka Morena cane sugar takes the place of refined white sugar. I recently found out that not all sugars are vegan (some brands filter their sugar through “bone char” to achieve the white appearance, eww), but I checked online, and the Zulka brand doesn’t use bone char. Anyways, for these cookies, I found it’s best to use a mix of coconut sugar and cane sugar.

These vegan chocolate chip cookies would be perfect with a tall glass of coconut milk. Oh, la la!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten-Free

 

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free!)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 24 cookies

Serving Size: 2 cookies

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free!)

Ingredients

  • 1 rounded cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free, if necessary), see notes*
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature (should be solid; otherwise, refrigerate for a few minutes)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan cane sugar (such as Zulka Morena sugar)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks (such as Scharffen Berger semisweet chunks)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together flaxseed meal with 3 Tbsp. water to create a flax "egg". Let sit 5-10 minutes while you prepare other ingredients.
  3. Pulse the rolled oats in a high-speed blender or food processor until you achieve a fine flour texture. You should end up with just under 1 cup of oat flour.
  4. Combine the oat flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. In a large separate bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the coconut oil with the sugars. Beat until crumbly, then mix in the flax "egg" and vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture, then mix well. Use a wooden spoon to gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.
  7. Use a round tablespoon measure to scoop out the cookie dough onto the lined baking sheets, spaced evenly. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before digging in; the cookies will become crispier as they cool.

Notes

*You can instead use 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. oat flour if you already have it on hand, and skip step 3.

Recipe adapted from Let's Do... Organic Coconut Flour bag.

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Nutrition information below is without walnuts, per 2 cookie serving:

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, nutrition information

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