I’ve had a huge sweet tooth lately. HUGE. Recently I’ve been just going to Pinterest, typing in “Desserts,” and seeing what happens.
Note: I do NOT recommend doing this.
Per usual, my sweet tooth hones in on two things: chocolate and peanut butter. I don’t even care what the context is; if the party includes chocolate and peanut butter, I’m there.
Take these cookies, for instance, which were the result of a few rounds of kitchen experimentation and dumb luck. I’ve been wanting to make vegan cookies for a while, but felt a bit intimidated by the idea, because there are many things to consider. To help you navigate vegan baking, here are the usual non-vegan ingredients, and their vegan solutions.
- Butter: Since butter is a dairy product, it’s clearly not vegan. Vegan cookies require a different source of fat and moisture. Solution: Earth Balance (or other buttery spread) and avocado*.
- Sugar: White sugar is often not vegan-friendly, because many US cane sugar refineries use animal bone char in the manufacturing process. Solution: Sucanat (stands for Sugar Cane Natural) is a great substitute for white sugar. It is a bit sweeter than regular sugar, so in these cookies I added extra salt to balance out the sweetness.
- Eggs: In non-vegan cookies, eggs bind the ingredients, add moisture, and add some leavening. Solution: Flax eggs for moisture and binding, and a touch of baking powder to help the cookies rise.
- Chocolate chips: Most chocolate chips are made with milk or non-vegan sugar. Solution: Buy vegan chocolate chips! Simple.
*After using avocado as a partial butter substitute for cookies last year, I knew it could do the job, but you’re probably looking at me like I’m a crazy person right now, so let’s break it down. Most importantly, these cookies do NOT taste like avocado. The avocado simply takes the place of half the butter/margarine, adds good fats, and fills the cookies with moisture and richness.
Now that we’re done with all the explanations, let’s get to the good stuff; I love a fat cookie, and these fit the bill. They’re super soft, thick, fluffy, cakey, packed with dark chocolate and peanut butter. Prrrrrfection.
I suspect that these cookies can make a believer out of anyone who is wary of vegan baked goods. The Beast, my very non-vegan coworkers, and The Beast’s mom all devoured these cookies, despite their vegan-ness. Whether you are vegan, have a friend who is vegan, or just want a slightly healthier option for your dessert cravings, you must, MUST try these.