Don’t stop be-vegan.
Okay, yeah. That was lame. I’ll be the first person to admit that. If you come up with a better play on words for “vegan” you get a cookie. What kind of cookie, you ask? A vegan one. Duh.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve noticed that I already dive a bit into gluten-free baking. What’s spectacular is that even those of us without a known gluten intolerance can benefit from minimizing our intake of gluten. Yes, it’s what makes your dough doughy and holds things together (the word gluten is literally latin for “glue”) but with a little creativity and patience, you can make foods just as good, if not better, by using substitutions for products that contain gluten, as well as a lot of other things.
Which is why I decided to try some vegan recipes. It’s interesting to cook without using animal products, but it’s oddly liberating. I’ve never been a huge meat eater, but I’ve just recently started taking strides toward living a completely meat-free lifestyle. I’ve always had some issues digesting red meat, but after finding out that I have high cholesterol, on top of learning way too much about animal cruelty in my Ethics class, well, let’s just say I can’t look beef the same way I used to. And just because your chicken says “free-range,” that doesn’t mean they’re happily clucking their way around a sunshiny farm, if you know what I mean.
Going completely vegan is a big pool I don’t particularly feel compelled to dive into, but I definitely appreciate the challenges it presents in the baking world. So without further ado, I present:
Vegan (and gluten free!) Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies!
(Thank you to Lisa Wolterman for introducing me to the original recipe!)
To make the chocolate dough:
-1/2 cup coconut oil
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-3 tablespoons almond milk (or other non-dairy milk substitute.)
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 cup pure maple sugar
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
-2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For peanut butter filling:
-3/4 cup natural salted peanut butter (doesn’t matter if it’s crunchy or smooth.)
-2/3 cup powdered sugar (if you’re gluten-free, read the label. Some brands of powdered sugar use wheat starch.)
-2 1/2 tablespoons almond milk (or other non-dairy milk substitute.)
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/3 cup mini-chocolate chips
-1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Instructions for chocolaty success!
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. For chocolate dough: In a mixing bowl, combine coconut oil, white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
3. Add in flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Beat together. The dough should be firm, but moist.
4. For peanut butter filling: In a mixing bowl, beat together peanut butter, powdered sugar, almond milk, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, and ground cinnamon. (If too dry, add a bit more almond milk. If too wet, add more powdered sugar.)
5. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
6. To form cookies, take a generous ball of chocolate dough and roll it into a ball in the palm of your hand. Smash it until it’s relatively flat. Take a small ball of peanut butter filling (should be firm enough to just pull off with your hands) and place it in the middle of the flattened dough. Like this:
7. Curl up edges of dough so that they completely cover peanut butter. Roll into a ball, then place on your wax paper.
8. Repeat until cookie sheet is full, making sure that the dough is spaced about two inches apart.
9. Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes.
10. Immediately remove from baking sheet and place on a plate to cool. For some added flair, sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar over the top.
11. Repeat steps 6-10 until all cookies are prepared.
12. Enjoy! (these taste super duper tasty dipped into a glass of that tasty almond milk!)