Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies aka Kelly’s “Perfect Cookie”

Yield: 1 dozen large cookies

Everyone thinks their chocolate chip cookie recipe is the “perfect” one, and that is because ideas about the ideal chocolate chip cookie vary so widely.

I like a couple of different kinds, including this one which is flatter and chewier. Recipes for non-vegan versions abound, but a vegan one proved to be elusive.

It took me several tries, but when my dear friend Kelly tasted this morning’s experiment and asked if we could just call it “the perfect cookie,” I knew I had achieved my goal, though the rapturous look on her face said it all.

Three of the secrets are melted better, no baking powder, and no egg substitute. Three more are a thorough beating of the butter with both granulated and brown sugars, a hint of molasses and water, and a higher ratio of butter to flour.

The final two are the seemingly odd techniques of 1) forming the cookie by placing one ball of dough on top of and pressed into another, and 2) lifting and dropping the sides of the baking sheet onto the cooling rack several times after baking which causes their slight puff to deflate in stages, creating concentric bakery-style ripples.

1/2 vegan butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat together butter and both sugars for 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla, molasses, water, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, mix in flour, 1/3 at a time. Avoid overbeating. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts by hand. Using a 1 tablespoon scoop, place six balls of dough, widely spaced, on each of the two baking sheets. Then place a second scoop on top of each one pressing down very firmly. You should have what roughly looks like a hat, i.e. a dome in the middle of a disk. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until fairly flat, with a slight puff, and golden brown. Pull out oven rack and, with a hot pot holder, lift up one side of the baking sheet about 4 inches and let it drop. Do this about 3 times, alternating sides. Remove to a cooling rack and repeat a few more times. This will cause the cookies to deflate in stages and create attractive bakery-style concentric ripples on the surface. Enjoy cookies warm, or cool completely and store covered.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganchocolatechipcookies #plantbasedchocolatechipcookies

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M&M Cookies (vegan and plant-based)

Yield: 3 dozen small or 1.5 dozen large cookies

For some reason, probably all Pinterest’s fault, I was craving M&Ms cookies and bars. Pinterest can ignite an obsession like nothing else.

But I learned the hard way not to order Unreal brand chocolate-covered peanuts, basically a vegan M&M, from Amazon in July and Southeastern Virginia. They arrived like this.

Out of three 5-oz bags, only about 50 of the candies were usable–the rest were a melted, cracked, and clumped mess. The upside is that the candies are a beautiful color and taste delicious, so I would buy them again, just in the fall or perhaps directly from the company.

With enough candies to make a half batch of cookies, that is what I did and it was worth it. Besides, I don’t need a lot of cookies around tempting me, but if you are unable to purchase these candies or the equivalent in the grocery store, you might want to wait until a cooler month unless it happens to be cool where you live. And if the latter, lucky you!

My recipe includes simple directions I learned recently for creating a perfect bakery style shaped cookie every time, provided you make the large variety because it takes two scoops.

However you scoop them, you will love them, if you can prevent yourself from eating all of the dough first!

M&M Cookies (vegan & plant-based)

1/2 cup vegan butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar (I like dark brown)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 to 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

1/2 cup vegan M&M style candy

1/2 cup broken pecans or peanuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, both sugars, vanilla extract, and baking soda. With mixer on medium to low speed, beat in flour in three portions, with 1 or 2 tablespoons milk in between each, scraping down bowl as necessary. Avoid over beating. With mixer on lowest speed or by hand, mix in chocolate chips, candies, and nuts. Using a one tablespoon scoop, make small cookies by placing one scoop about two inches apart in rows. To make bakery style large cookies, after placing one scoop onto baking sheet, put a second scoop in the center and press down very firmly. Big small cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes and large ones for about 12 to 15, or until golden brown.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganMandMcookies #plantbasedMandMcookies #vegancookies #plantbasedcookies

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Lime, Coconut & White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Sour Cream-Lime Frosting (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1 dozen

These citrusy cookies–with a hybrid frosting-glaze that lends just the right creamy zing–make me want to gather together all of my women friends and family–okay, men too–for tea.

1/2 cup vegan butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Zest and juice of one small to medium lime

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup grated coconut, processed until very fine (I prefer unsweetened)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup mini vegan white chocolate chips

Sour Cream-Lime Frosting (recipe to follow)

Garnish: grated coconut and/or lime zest

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter, both sugars, and both extracts until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. With mixer on low speed, beat in lime zest and juice followed by flour, processed coconut, and baking powder. Avoid over mixing. Fold in white chocolate chips by hand. Using a one tablespoon scoop or one tablespoon measure, create 12 mounds, 2 inches apart. With a narrow glass, about one and a half inches in diameter, or with the back of a spoon, dipped in flour, press into centers of cookies to create a depression with a slightly raised edge. (Depression will fill-in while baking, but it makes a pretty cookie.) Bake 8 to 9 minutes or just until beginning to turn golden brown around edges.

Sour Cream-Lime Frosting

1 tablespoon vegan butter, softened

2 tablespoons vegan sour cream

1 cup powdered sugar (approximately)

Juice and zest of one-half small lime

In small bowl, whisk together butter and sour cream until creamy and well-combined. Whisk in half of powdered sugar and lime juice followed by remaining powdered sugar. Frost cookies, sprinkle with grated coconut and/or lime zest, and store, covered, in refrigerator.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegancookies #plantbasedcookies

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Chocolate-Orange-Almond Shortbread Cookies with Dried Cherries and White Chocolate Chips and Cherry- Cream Cheese Glaze (vegan & plant-based)

As much as I love to bake cakes and cheesecakes, that is just a lot to deal with and there are only two of us here, one of whom eats a dramatically different diet than I do.

So, my latest passion is to try to take all of the flavors that I would have put in a cake or cheesecake and put them into a cookie with far less calories than a slice of cake, far less mess, and ease of tucking into a friend’s purse or hand as a little love gift.

I wanted to make these super simple by rolling them into logs, chilling, and slicing before baking. I learned the hard way that there are too many delicious chunks in the dough for them to slice without breaking apart, so I don’t advise trying it!

Yield:1 dozen

1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Zest of 1 medium blood orange or regular orange
Juice of 1/2 medium blood orange or regular orange
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, broken or roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup vegan white chocolate chips
Cherry Glaze (recipe follows)
Garnishes: orange zest, dried cherries, and/or slivered or sliced almonds

Cream together butter and both sugars. Beat in extracts, zest, orange juice, and cocoa powder. With mixer on low, beat in flour about 1/4 cup at a time, scraping down sides as necessary. Stir in nuts, cherries, and white chocolate chips. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, place two inches apart on cookie sheet, and press to about 1/2 in thick with the bottom of a sturdy glass. You may need to use a spatula to remove, but you can coat the bottom of the glass with a little cocoa powder.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Slice cookies 1/4-inch thick with a sharp knife and place 2-inches apart on lined baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set and just starting to brown. Transfer to wire rack, cool completely, and ice with Cherry-Orange Glaze. Garnish as desired.

Cherry-Orange Glaze

1 1/2 teaspoons vegan butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vegan cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except powdered sugar until smooth. Then whisk in powdered sugar until no lumps remain. Pop in freezer for 10 minutes or so to stiffen slightly.

#veganshortbread #plantbasedshortbread #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 2 dozen

I used to continually irk my late mother by “messing” with what she considered perfection: carefully selected and notated recipes that she made exactly as written.

Perhaps she will forgive me in this case because she was a big fan of anything citrusy and these are just so pretty. They remind me of her.

To arrive here, I altered my paternal grandmother’s Russian Almond Cookie recipe, a perennial Christmas favorite that she mailed to us in wax paper lined tins in a cardboard box if we were with our other grandmother for the holidays.

1 cup vegan butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar or powdered sugar (I like the combination of sugars for texture)

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Juice of 1 small lemon (You can zest first and include the zest as well or save to sprinkle on top)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons culinary lavender

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe follows)

Garnishes: culinary lavender, tiny lemon balm leaves, lemon zest, slivered or sliced almonds

Cream together better and sugar until fluffy. Beat in extracts and lemon juice. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time, including culinary lavender with the last addition; avoid over mixing. There should be soft, but hold together well. Add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, if necessary. Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll cookies to a scant one quarter inch thick. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutter, rerolling and recutting scraps as necessary. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or just until lightly golden brown. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack. When completely cool ice and garnish.

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

1 tablespoon vegan butter, softened

1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese, softened

Juice of 1/2 small lemon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Tiny pinch turmeric, if desired, for yellow color

Whisk together first three ingredients until smooth. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until virtually no lumps remain.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganlemonlavendershortbreadcookies #plantbasedlemonlavendershortbreadcookies

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Chocolate Chip, Bourbon, Pecan and Macadamia Nut Cookies (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1.5 dozen

I think of these cookies as deeply southern and deeply satisfying with their bourbon and pecans. And anyone who has had a chocolate bourbon pecan pie knows that those three flavors are a trifecta. The molasses and maple syrup are not enough to make the cookies taste like molasses or maple cookies, only enough to give them rich deep caramel notes. And the macadamia nuts strike another buttery note. My super simple method for shaping the cookies will yield that sought-after bakery look.

1/2 cup softened vegan butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup pecan butter (you may substitute almond butter, but nothing replicates the flavor of pecan butter)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup natural sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 teadpoon baking soda 1 teaspoon sea salt

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour or white whole wheat

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

1/2 cup broken pecans

1/2 cup halved macadamia nuts

18 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. In large bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter, pecan butter, vegetable shortening, both sugars, molasses, maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla extract. With mixer on low, beat in baking soda and flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Using a small scoop (2 tablespoon), make nine mounds of dough on each cookie sheet, using half of dough. To get that bakery look, place another scoop of dough right on top of first scoop pressing down slightly. Repeat for all 18. You will have a scoop or mound nestled inside another. Press a pecan half firmly into the center of each double mound, pressing down slightly. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack and then store in an airtight container.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

The moment pumpkin lovers have all been waiting for: a pumpkin cookie that is chewy rather than cakey or crisp!

Vegan Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies!

Long on a mission to create a pumpkin cookie that is a bit chewy rather than cakey or crisp, I recently had a brainstorm which was to take my veganized version of my dear friend Allison Price’s Lemon-Ginger Cookies–one of my favorite all-time cookies (besides my grandmother’s) which I have shared here prebiously–and tweak it. It worked beautifully and I am so excited to share on this very autumnal day.

Yield: 24 regular cookies or 10 to 12 large

3/4 cup vegan butter
1 cup natural sugar plus 1/2 cup, divided
1/4 cup dark molasses
6 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with  Silpat or waxed paper.  You may use a baking stone if you prefer. Place 1/2 cup sugar in small bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together butter and remaining 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and baking powdet just until well combined. With mixer on its lowest speed, mix in flour 1/2 cup at a time. If making regular cookies, scoop up dough by tablespoons, roll into balls, roll in remaining sugar, and place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. If making large cookies, follow the same procedure, only scoop up dough by ice cream scoopfuls to make about 10 to 12. Also, if making large cookies, use the bottom of a glass to press the balls to about 1/2 tall. Bake regular cookies 10 minutes and large ones 20. Allow cookies to cool on their sheet on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Single Microwave Chocolate-Walnut Cookie

Yield: 1 delicious cookie

You knew it was coming, right?  A chocolate version to add to my growing repertoire of single-serving microwave cookies.

These cookies are all are ideal when you have a craving that needs satisfied pronto with almost no mess to clean up.  Plus they won’t leave you with a whole batch hanging around testing your willpower.

Vegan Microwave Chocolate-Walnut Cookie

1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use earth Balance), melted or not (melted is a little easier to mix)
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour  (I use white whole wheat)
2 teaspoons cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 teaspoon non-dairy milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 drops almond extract
2 tablespoons broken walnuts (or other nuts) + 1 walnut half for garnish

In a very small bowl or cup, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, and extracts with your fingers. Mix in the nuts. Shape into a cookie about 1/2 inch thick in the center of a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for about 60 seconds. Check for doneness in center. If it needs a bit more, microwave for another 20 to 30 seconds. You can enjoy it warm and it will be somewhat soft, or you can let it cool a bit and it will be firm enough to lift.

Note: all microwaves are different, so you might want to start out with just 45 seconds and continue to cook in 10 second increments. Cook’s choice.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Single Vegan Microwave Chewy Ginger Cookie

For the first day of school this year, I made my Advanced Placement and Advanced Art students my favorite autumnal cookie: chewy Lemon – Ginger cookies.  A hit!  Even picky Bob loves them.

So, with Hurricane Florence bearing down on us and the likelihood of widespread power outages (read: only being able to use the microwave with our generator), I decided I better quickly test my formula for a ginger version of my single vegan microwave cookies.

It worked beautifully.  These aren’t as big as my others because they lack chocolate chips and/or nuts. So count on this serving just one person.

But count on making them–like the others– over and over again.

Recipe:

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons flour (I use white whole wheat)
2 + 1 tablespoons Stevia or Demerara sugar ( I highly recommend Demerera, as the dough needs that depth of flavor to taste like a true ginger cookie)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted or not
Oprional: 1 teaspoon Chia or flax seed meal
1 teaspoon non-dairy milk (I use soymilk)
2 drops vanilla extract
1 drop almond
A few grains sea salt

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients, using only 2 tablespoons of the sugar, with your fingers. Roll into a ball,  roll the ball in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar–you will have extra–place on a microwave-safe plate, and press gently to flatten into a disk about 1/2-inch thick . Cook at full power for one and a half minutes. Depending on your microwave’s power, you might have to adjust cooking time. Let cool slightly before devouring.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn



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