The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookie. What does this mean to you? If it means, bakery-style, slightly chewy with crispy edges, toffee undertones and pools of melty chocolate, you’ve come across THE recipe for you. I’ve been hunting for a recipe like this for years. No exaggeration. Well before I went vegan, I found a lot of cookie recipes resulted in cakey cookies, or if the texture was nice and chewy, the cookie would have an eggy taste to it which was always a big turn-off for me. Once I went vegan, I never found that egg replacer was very good in egg-free cookies. I found it to make things a bit gummy and, as long as there was enough sugar and the moisture from any eggs in the original recipe were replaced with plant-based milk or water, I never found it necessary for binding.
A few months ago I came across an article entitled The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies on Serious Eats and it really spoke to me. The author, had experienced and overcame the same obsession with perfecting the chocolate chip cookie. I thought it was fascinating to read about his extensive trials and errors in the kitchen from a scientific perspective. It was enlightening, entertaining and invaluable to me as I continued on my mission to develop such a perfect vegan cookie. His wasn’t vegan and so I had a bit of work to do. The process was delicious (my kids certainly had no complaints as the cookies kept coming out of the oven) and the reward was a recipe I’m excited to share with you!
These vegan cookies are really out of this world with a sprinkle of coarse salt on top, but I find if I’m going to have a whole batch around, the salt can be a bit strong. That said, you do you and garnish each one with salt if you like. You really can’t go wrong either way, it’s just a matter of personal preference and your salt loving levels.
While it isn’t absolutely necessary to age the cookie dough in the fridge overnight, I recommend doing so. The cookies have an even better flavor, but if you’re short on time, the cookies are still mouth-watering if baked straight away.
Ultimate Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 cup neutral vegetable oil (e.g. avocado, canola, etc)
- 4 tbsp room temperature water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 ounces roughly chopped semi-sweet vegan chocolate (use delicious chocolate you'd snack on)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F if baking straight away (read through for why you may want to prepare the dough the day before you bake the cookies). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Whisk together.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand-mixer (using paddle attachment), mix the oil, granulated sugar, and water. Blend on medium for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is creamy and homogeneous. Add the brown sugar and vanilla, mixing to combine.
- Add in the flour mixture, mix on a low setting just until most of it is blended in. Add the chocolate, mixing just until the combined. Do not over-mix.
- For the best flavor, age the dough in the refrigerator over night in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. Let the dough sit on the counter while your oven completely preheats. I am not always patient and these cookies are amazing baked straight away as well.
- Using a medium (3-4 tbsp capacity) cookie scoop, scoop the dough, packing it, and place flat side down on the baking tray. Leave about 2 inches between the cookies as they spread during baking. Press each cookie down so they are flat discs about 3/4" thick, reshaping the sides if necessary.
- Bake them for 10-14 minutes or until they just start to brown along the edges but still appear soft (they continue to cook a bit once you remove them from the oven.) When it's time to remove the tray from the oven, hold it about 4 inches over the oven rack or a heat-safe surface and drop it. The cookies will deflate a bit. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the tray, then use a spatula to carefully move them to a wire rack until completely cool. Store in an airtight container.