Vegan Truffle Brownie Crackle Cookies

Guys, I’ve used up all the chocolate trying to get this recipe right. That magical crackle crust combined with a silky, fudgy brownie interior was what I was after. And Oh. My. Goodness. I finally got it right and I’m so happy to share the recipe with you! There’s plenty of recipes out there for this type of cookie with egg because the meringue is what gives the cookies that nice crackle crust but I’m loving the plant-based life so I had to put my thinking cap on. I played with the magic of aquafaba, and low and behold, plants do just as an amazing job!

What is Aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the water leftover from cooking legumes. Most often, the aquafaba from chickpeas is used as tends to give better results and is a lighter color than that of, say, black beans. Aquafaba is an excellent egg replacer and can be used to make vegan meringues, macarons, other baked goods, mayonnaise, mousse…the list goes on!

The trick to getting the most out of your aquafaba is to reduce the volume of it. First strain it through a fine mesh sieve, measure its volume and then reduce it by half by simmering it on the stove. Once cooled, it should have the consistency of egg whites. Don’t be put off by the smell while it cooks, or the color as it darkens a bit – it’ll all work out! One of the magical things about aquafaba is the way it becomes a light creamy color once it’s whipped and how the flavor is undetectable once it’s added to a recipe.

Tips for Perfect Truffle Brownie Crackle Cookies

  • Chill your dough! It will be very sticky and not possible to roll the batter into balls when it’s first mixed. Covered tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes to an hour before scooping and baking the cookies. This is for 2 reasons: 1) it’s way easier to work with the chilled dough, and 2) your cookies won’t spread too much. Stick the dough in the fridge in between baking batches.
  • Reduce your aquafaba – measure your aquafaba, simmer it in a pan and bring the volume down by half. There’s a huge variation on how thick the aquafaba is right out of the can – this variation happens between brands but also even between cans of the exact same brand. Many recipes suggest reducing aquafaba by 1/3 but I have had better results reducing the liquid by half. Simply keep a measuring cup by the stove while the aquafaba is simmering and occasionally pour it back into the measuring cup to keep an eye on how the volume is reducing. You can always add a bit of water back in. Getting the aquafaba thick enough is important so you don’t have a cookie with too much moisture but has enough density to help with the crackle.
  • For aquafaba made from chickpeas cooked at home, things get a bit trickier. You may need to reduce things even more than 50% if you used a lot of water during cooking and/or you slightly under-cook your chickpeas (and so less protein makes its way into the cooking water) for falafels, for example. Under-cooked legumes means that less of the contents of the beans end up in the water, so the aquafaba will be much thinner. As long as you get an egg white thickness once the aquafaba has cooled completely, you should be good to go.
  • If you use salted chickpeas, you may want to reduce the salt by half in the recipe.
  • As you would with any cookie, be careful not to over bake these. Over baking will cause the cookies to lose some of the chewiness, and the bottom will become a bit crunchy. Check the cookies at 9-10 minutes.
  • Strain aquafaba using a fine mesh sieve when you’re opening a can of chickpeas and freeze the aquafaba for recipes like this.

Truffle Brownie Crackle Cookies

Under a classic crackle brownie crust of these vegan cookies, lies a silky smooth, super chocolatey interior. Thanks to aquafaba, we're able to get that sought after crackle without eggs! These cookies are a chocolate lovers favorite, and no one would guess they're vegan!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time (Chilling): 45 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 Cookies
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips (use a chocolate you enjoy eating on it's own)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba, reduced by 50% *see notes and blog post
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt*
  • coarse or flaked salt, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a small pot over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Stir in the chocolate and cocoa powder, whisking just until melted. Set aside so it can come to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a stand-mixer with a bubble whisk attachment, or in a medium-sized bowl with electric beaters, beat the aquafaba until it has thickened and holds a sloped bird beak shape when the whisk is dipped into the aquafaba and lifted, about 5-8 minutes. Add in the sugar and vanilla, beating until well combined, another minute or so. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture, beating for another minute.
  • In a small bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the rest of the ingredients and beat until well blended. Place the batter in the fridge for 45 minutes to let it firm up a bit and not be sticky. It will not be like regular cookie dough, but will resemble very thick chocolate fudge.
  • To form the cookies, take 2 tbsp worth of dough (use a cookie scoop if you have one), and roll into a ball. Place the balls on the cookie tray leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Using a measuring cup or the palm of your hand, press down each ball until it is about 1/2" thick (they will spread during baking).
  • Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes, checking at 9 minutes to make sure you aren't over baking them. Sprinkle lightly with the coarse salt, if desired, part way through baking. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie tray before moving to a cooling rack (they will be fragile when they first come out of the oven.) Enjoy!

Notes:

*Aquafaba is the strained liquid chickpeas are cooked in. For this recipe, I used aquafaba from canned chickpeas; aquafaba from chickpeas cooked at home may give different results.  Measure 1 cup aquafaba into a small pot over low heat. Bring to a simmer until it measures 1/2 cup (have a measuring cup by the stove to pour it into) then cool to room temperature.
**Use 1/4 tsp salt if you plan to sprinkle the cookies with salt. Use 1/2 tsp salt if you don't want to sprinkle the cookies with additional salt.
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2 thoughts on “Vegan Truffle Brownie Crackle Cookies

  1. These were amazing! My cookies spread a bit more than it looks like your cookie did. Any thoughts on why this may have happened? I’d like them to be a bit thicker. Also, my salt sort of melted into the cookie when I sprinkled it on top prior to baking and does not look like your cookies in that respect. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Taylor! I’m so happy you enjoyed the cookies! Sorry the thickness and salt issues came up. Some thoughts on the spreading: 1) Aquafaba thickness: during testing, I found unreduced aquafaba caused a lot more spreading b/c of a higher water content. I reduce mine by 50%. Once chilled it’s a bit thicker than egg whites would be. 2) The dough is very soft, and benefits from chilling to reduce spread. Next time, I’d suggest forming fewer cookies at a time and chilling the formed cookies until your oven is completely preheated. Doing too many at once means some of them may be at room temp once they hit the oven so they will spread more. 3) checking oven temperature. My oven is a liar, so I bought a small oven thermometer so I can get a better idea of where to set it to get the temp I need (e.g. to get 350ºF, I set it for 385ºF). For the salt disappearing, next time try sprinkling it near the end of baking – if you wait til they’re cool the salt won’t stick. My salt might be a lot coarser than yours which is why it didn’t dissolve. I’ll update the recipe in case! Let me know if this helps and how the next batch goes! Thanks for reaching out 🙂

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