Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

At Thanksgiving about a decade ago, my friend's 3-year-old nephew was "helping" with the meal. After the dessert plates had been set out, he carefully began laying out a cookie on each plate. An elderly relative tried to halt him, gently explaining that not everyone wanted a cookie. This was mind-blowing information for a 3-year-old to incorporate. "Why don't they want a tookie?" he asked incredulously. "It's just a tookie. It's just sweet."

Even though I've got something of a grown-ups palate these days (i.e. I no longer dream about purchasing a can of frosting for a birthday meal), I feel the same way about these cookies. Some other desserts, sure. There are desserts for particular palates, or suited to particular meals or seasons. But these cookies are always perfect. Always. They've got a thin crisp outer covering which cracks in crags, letting you see the moistness inside. I can't think of the last time I baked cookies that weren't these.

Amazingly, this recipe is vegan, missing the eggs and butter which normally give cookies body and flavor. But you would never know. They're soft and chocolaty, deeply-flavored and studded with chips. If you know a vegan, or someone who has to avoid dairy, make them these cookies. And if you have friends who do indulge in dairy, they won't know the difference. I know, I know: many vegan and dairy-free recipes make similar claims, but leave you with cookies that crumble, don't spread, or feature a distracting soy or margarine flavor. I promise, these cookies just taste like great cookies. And who doesn't want a cookie?

Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Isa Moskowitz,
The Post-Punk Kitchen
makes 4 dozen cookies

In order for you to have nice chewy cookies, you'll need to make sure these cookies don't cook beyond 10 minutes. They'll seem a bit under-done at first, but they'll continue to set outside of the oven. This recipe is easily halved if you don't want the full yield. But you know what's a better idea? Bake the full amount, then freeze any leftovers for a secret stash. We thaw ours in the microwave, but I've been known to gnaw still-frozen cookies.

4 tsp ground flax seeds (ground to a mealy powder in a spice grinder)
1/2 cup milk or soymilk
2 cups all purpose flour (or finely-milled whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup neutral oil (like canola)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flax seeds and soymilk, and let sit at least ten minutes (IMPORTANT: this allows the flax seeds to release whatever it is they release into the milk, which binds the cookies into a nice chewy consistency. If they don't sit long enough, you'll have disappointingly flat cookies).

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Whisk together oil, sugar and vanilla. Add the flax mixture, and mix well. Fold in the dry ingredients in a few additions, being careful not to overmix. Add chocolate chips.

Form the dough into cookies, either by forming 1" balls with your hands, or scooping them out with a tiny ice cream scoop. Place on a cookie sheet (no need to grease), leaving 1" between cookies. Bake 10 minutes -- no longer! Let set on the sheets for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack or plate to cook completely.


  1. I've just read 3 or 4 of your recipes, after clicking a link for the zucchini bundt at foodinjars... They all are begging to be made! Especially cookies. I intentionally freeze them too, but these look like they would disappear too fast.

  2. Aw thanks! It's lovely to share my favorites.

    A freezer full of these cookies is a wonderful thing. If they last that long...

  3. so.... I finally got around to making these, and they are terrific! The last batch is in the oven just now. I got 5 1/2 dozen with my little scoop, and not one will go to waste I'm sure. I also used King Arthur Flour's white whole wheat flour instead of the ww pastry flour, worked great! I'll be sharing this recipe and your blog!

  4. does anyone have healthier substitutions for the neutral oil (like canola) & sugar? I was thinking maybe applesauce and agave syrup?

  5. I tried and it taste more like chocolate cake than cookies.