I know what you’re thinking – more vegan baking? Already? Don’t worry, as soon as I finish this post I’m going downstairs for some more traditional lacto-ovo-vegetarian baking, but yes. I made some vegan cookies. And they were amazing, although weirdly my new coworkers here in Australia did not eat all of them. I brought a whole box and only about half went. Quite a change from bringing literally 100+ cookies into work and having people tell me I hadn’t made enough. I’m a little relieved, to be honest.
These are not actually all that outrageous. I still used refined sugar and wheat flour, because at the end of the day I just love my chocolate chip cookie recipe too much as it is. So if, like me, you’re more of a health fan than a health freak, or if, like me, you just have a couple vegan friends and you want to give them some cookies, this is perfect. And they taste amazing. The cacao nibs (broken-up bits of raw cacao beans, and definitely part of what makes these hippie cookies) add a nice intensity of flavor and a bit of crunch. And the coconut butter adds just the right amount of coconut flavor – it’s not overwhelming, but it’s there. Equally important is the texture, which is not all that different from your standard chocolate chip cookie, though perhaps a bit softer.
I do have a few bits of advice for you, though. In order of importance:
- Chill your dough. The flavor is better, and they bake better. But also make sure to give it some time to come back to room temperature, because that coconut butter gets hard.
- Chill your flaxseed egg. And ideally don’t try to make it without a proper spice grinder, because let me tell you, grinding it with a mortar and pestle was not fun.
- Eat these quickly. Not that I got the chance to find out, but I’m told the lack of butter and egg makes these go stale by about day two. Maybe, maybe not, but how’s that for an excuse to eat them all straight out of the oven?
(This is what hand-ground flaxseed looks like. And this is after about fifteen minutes of work, too.)
Vegan Hippie Cookies
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil, slightly softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder + a pinch for flax eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
300 grams coarsely chopped, very dark chocolate (if you want these to be vegan, make sure you get the good dark stuff! I used 72% Whittaker’s.)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1. Make the flaxseed egg: Grind 1 tablespoon flaxseeds in a spice grinder or (if you must) with a mortar and pestle. Stir in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Put in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably 30.
2. Whisk together the salt, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and flour. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together coconut oil and sugars until light and fluffy. Stir a pinch of baking powder into the egg mixture, then add the “egg” and the vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
4. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Fold in the chocolate and cacao nibs. When they are (more or less) evenly distributed, cover your dough with cling film and chill at least two hours, preferably longer. I let mine sit for roughly 24 hours before baking and usually I like to wait even longer than that, up to 36.
6. When nearly ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge to thaw slightly. I let mine sit for about fifteen minutes, although it’s very hot here, so yours might need longer.
7. Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius) and line a cookie sheet or two with baking parchment.
8. Form the dough into 1-inch balls (or, of course, whatever size you want) and arrange on cookie sheets with 2 inches of space for spreading. Sprinkle with sea salt, if you like, and bake for 8-11 minutes, until they are set in the middle and just starting to brown around the edges. Cool for 2-5 minutes, then move to a rack to cool completely.