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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

vegan chocolate chocolate chip cookies.

The vegan world is mysterious to me.

It may seem like they are missing out on a lot due to their dietary restrictions, but... apparently they're not. Because they have awesome cookies, like these.

Made with applesauce and oil instead of butter, which binds together with cocoa powder and flour and the usual leavening ingredients to create a stiff dough, these cookies are like a cakey cookie, but denser and crumbly too. I didn't have flaxseed so I just left that out. Flaxseed is used to substitute eggs in the recipe so I don't know how the actual texture should be. Oh yeah, and rolling in sugar before baking? Delicious crunch.

I made mine bigger than the original. I'm greedy like that. See, I quartered the recipe, which should give me 6, maximum. But I got 5... on purpose.

Joy, whom I got the recipe from, recommended adding instant coffee powder and cinnamon to the mix as well. I did as she said, and I found the cinnamon to be undetectable. I predicted that the coffee taste would be missing as little amounts of coffee powder in chocolate recipes are only used to boost the chocolate flavour instead of showing up alongside. These cookies are definitely chocolaty.

As always with chocolate recipes, I can't resist substituting the white sugar for brown. I do that with almost anything! Cake, chocolate sauce, cookies... I think brown sugar adds a deeper flavour than just plain old white but I held back this time for a crunchier exterior on the cookies. You know, because white sugar makes a cookie crisper than brown sugar due to its lower moisture level.

I also tried them chilled. I don't think it made much of a difference except that you could see the denser, underbaked parts versus the lighter cakey parts. Since they are made with oil and applesauce instead of a solid fat (butter), they don't turn into a brick-like fudge. They remain in their cakey-brownie-sort-of dimension whether stored room temperature or cold. These cookies are decisive. I like that.

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Joy the Baker 
Yields 24 to 28 cookies (You know what, I think yields are restrictive.)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar (vegan)
2 tablespoons flax seed meal (I left that out)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chocolate coated sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or 1 cup vegan chocolate chips) 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional: 1 teaspoon instant coffee and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, mixed in with dry ingredients

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, carefully whisk together sugar, flax seed meal, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients, all at once, into the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chunks (and sunflower seeds, if using) and stir together with a spatula. The dough will be fairly thick. Stir until all of the dry ingredients are just moistened. You can even use your hands if necessary, but try not to knead and overwork the dough. Dump dough out onto a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap.
Form into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate for one hour (or overnight).
Once chilled, scoop dough by the tablespoonful into balls. Roll in coarse sugar, place on prepared cookie sheets, and press them down, just slightly with the heel of your hand. These cookies won't spread much.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Cookies should still be slightly soft in the middle. Remove from the oven. 
Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Cookies will keep, in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

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