Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

by Gena on October 28, 2011

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I don’t often post on Friday nights. It’s such a good night to take a blog break: it’s the end of the week, the end of my longest academic day (8 am – 5 pm nonstop, with a four and a half long Orgo lab thrown in), and there’s always a good chance that the culinary creativity that I brought from the previous weekend into Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday has run dry. I usually work through my weekends, but there’s a small part of me that likes to set aside either Friday or Saturday for blog pause.

Then there are weeks like this week, which felt inordinately tiring. And sometimes the best way to end those weeks are with my two of my favorite things: words and food. Today, I’ll end this endless week with something even better: words, food, and chocolate.

I made these cookies for a party last Friday night, and I’d tested them the week before. My goal was to make a cookie that was super rich, but not super sweet. (When it comes to dessert, I’ll always trade chocolate for sugar.) My first batch was to my liking, but actually not quite sweet enough. My second batch, which contained a bit more sugar, was crowd-friendly. If you’d like to taste more chocolate than sweetness here, I’d say to use 3/4 cup sugar (my first test batch was 2/3 cup). If you’re a traditional cookie lover, stick to a cup.

The key to this recipe is the use of really good cocoa powder. I used Navitas Naturals raw cacao powder. The stuff is precious and costly enough that I didn’t love putting it into a baking recipe (I usually save it for smoothies and almond milk hot cocoa) but I must say, it elevated this otherwise standard cookie recipe to new places. Everyone who tried these cookies commented upon the depth of chocolatey flavor.

When baking cookies, cakes, and anything for which an omnivore baker would typically cream butter, I personally like to cream coconut oil in its solid form instead. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, which means it is a solid at room temperature and a liquid at slightly warmer temperatures. You can use it in either form, but if you use the solid form you can beat it with a hand mixer as you would butter. It’ll melt, but by the time it does, it will be well incorporated with your sugar and vanilla. This technique is a great way to use a non-Earth Balance, yet solid fat in your vegan baking.

With that said, Earth Balance is miraculous stuff when it comes to making authentic vegan baked treats. So if that is your tried and true ingredient, go ahead: it’ll work absolutely perfectly in this recipe.

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Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (vegan, can be made gluten free if you know what you’re doing, soy free)

Makes about 25 cookies

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pasty flour
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
3/4 – 1 cup demerara sugar
1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 2 tbsp warm water, OR 1 Ener-G egg replacer (I like the latter for delicate baked goods, like cookies)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping cup dark chocolate chunks (or dark chocolate chips)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Sift together flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt.

3) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugar with an electric hand beater, starting on low speed then moving to high. Beat in the flax egg and vanilla.

4) Add about half of the dry ingredients to the cookies and keep mixing with your hand mixer. Add the other half, then the chocolate chunks, and mix until everything is uniform.

5) Drop by the tablespoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until crispy at the edges. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Just look at those lovely, deep ridges in the cookie:

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These are heaven on a plate. Or in a stack.

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Can you make these gluten free? Absolutely. Do I know how? Not exactly. I find that GF baking is easiest in quickbreads or muffins; I’m still mastering cookies and cake. I’d use a GF baking mix, or, if you happen to know a lot about gluten free baking already, use your kitchen intuition.

If you happen to have had a long week, too—and c’mon, who hasn’t—I suggest you whip these up. The only thing more rewarding than a homemade sweet is a homemade sweet that is saturated with chocolate.

OK. Speaking of saturation (ha! bad Orgo puns!!) I’ve got to hit the books. Happy weekend, everyone.

xo

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria (District Chocoholic) October 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Coconut oil/butter is totally the dairy-free way to go with baking.

Also, I bet some banana soft serve between two of these would be really good. Just FYI.

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Rachel October 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Mmm, even if this week hadn’t been excessively long, these would still look amazing! And I completely agree with Victoria about coconut oil in baked goods, but I was thinking more along the lines of some raw whipped cream… Also, for either of you (since I assume Victoria knows her cocoa…), is there another cocoa you would recommend for perhaps a little more economy, but still good quality?

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Tamar October 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm

These look amazing! I’m assuming you meant 1/2 cup solid coconut oil (or Earth Balance)?

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Gena October 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm

yes! Fixed that.

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Katie @ SerenityintheStorm October 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Oh god, these are my all-time favorite kind of cookies. I’ve been looking for a good recipe for them–can’t wait to try this one. I’ve made Isa Chandra Moskowitz/ Terry Romero’s chocolate crinkle cookie which is awesome, but I’m delighted to try these! Thank you and happy Friday night!

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Evan Thomas October 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I bow my hat to you. I have no energy Friday nights for cooking, let alone typical college stuff. I’m barely keeping my eyes open right now and still waiting to leave the house. I think I need some cookies to wake me up.

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daphna October 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Oh, these look so yummy! I made your banana muffins for my kids and they loved them!! I’m curious about how you’re finding o-chem to be vs. inorganic chem? Take care!

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Hannah October 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Oh boy, these look delicious. I even happen to have some coconut oil and chocolate powder in my dorm room, so these could definitely happen!

Happy Halloween!!!

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Emilia @ Namaste Gurl October 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Stop creating such delicious recipes– your pancakes, muffins, and so on…..
These look terrific, G, and can’t wait to whip them up for my next celebratory event :) I bet a touch of dried cherries or coconut wouldn’t be such a bad addition, either…

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Amanda October 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I love that you made these super chocolatey and rich, but not too sweet. Sounds perfect! :)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Gena these look amazing! I love it when you bake. I told you that a couple comments ago when you baked muffins.

As for the Navitas…I have only ever used it in smoothie recipes or in tinier batch type things like a half dozen raw balls. Never in bulk b/c like you, I hate to “waste” the good stuff if I have a recipe flop. Sounds like it really made all the difference though.

As for the coconut oil…ok so you start with cold coconut oil (solid) and beat it into a warm liquid? Just checking because I’ve found in baking, that whether you start with a solid, i.e. cold butter or purposely liquify/melt butter…and then cream in sugars, it can have a vastly different effect on final product.

Whether we’re talking butter, Earth Balance, or coconut oil, just checking to see if you thought that it mattered. From reading your description, doesn’t sound like it but I hesitate to use liquid coconut oil starting off b/c I always worry that it will make everything soupy.

GF adaptation for me in these would be half almond flour + half GF flour, i.e. Bob’s blends to replace the WW flour. I don’t like using all “GF flour” b/c it tastes gritty to me usually.

Ok long comment. Have a great weekend.

These look…awesome!!

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Gena October 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

A,

I think it worked here because, as you can see, it’s actually not a huge amount of fat for a pretty big batch (so it probably has some soupy effect, but that’s compensated for by the generous flour:oil ratio). It starts as coconut oil the way it is when it’s totally cool and solid, and it beats up nicely, except you can tell as you go that it’s warming up and getting oilier. Does that make sense?

Thanks for the compliment–from you, the baking whiz, that is something!

xo

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Totally makes sense. That’s what I assumed you did in terms of beating it from a solid into a liquid. I think most times that gives better results than just staring off with a totally melted liquid (which results in the soupy effect for me usually) but b/c there is no other real fat source or egg, these could stand up to any liquidy/soupy effect b/c they actually need it.

Sorry to geek out on food science; I have spent way too much time in the kitchen this week whipping, creaming, and melting fat sources while testing cookie recipes :)

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Hannah October 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Words, food and chocolate are absolutely my go-to elements of life that never fail to make me feel better. And laughter. These look amazing! Great to hear that coconut oil can be creamed; I just used my coconut oil for the first time in baking with a granola, and holy moly! The crispityness! It’s amazing :)

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Ali October 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Girl, I have no idea how you survive four hour long labs. You are a champion. These look amazing!

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Ela October 29, 2011 at 1:18 am

Wow–I’m proud of you for indulging in this kind of food and words after a draining week. What is it about this week? It’s been _crazy_!

For a gf version of the cookies (loved your talk about creaming coconut oil, btw–right on), I would suggest using the Energ-G egg replacer rather than a flax egg, and using maybe 3/4 cup denser flours (sorghum, rice) and 1/2 cup starches (tapioca, potato).

We’re about to be house-sitting, which means access to a proper oven–cookies are the hardest thing to do when you only have a toaster oven–which makes me tempted to try these. I really am not doing ok with chocolate, though :( –enjoying it vicariously through your words and pics.

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles October 29, 2011 at 7:59 am

SOrry to hear you had a long week, but glad to know I’m not the only one. These are definitely on my weekend to-do list, this girl needs chocolate! I love your photos, the cookies look so decadent and rewarding.

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Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) October 29, 2011 at 9:56 am

These look amazing! I love it when cookies aren’t overly sweet but more chocolatey!

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Ashley F. October 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

Gena, you had me at double chocolate :)

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GetSkinnyGoVegan October 29, 2011 at 10:16 am

They are seriously mouthwatering. I am ALL about chocolate therapy!
Don’t need Blue Cross to approve that one and I think it probably works just as well as any other therapy!

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Sarah October 29, 2011 at 11:56 am

These look so delicious Gena! Even after eating healthy/vegan/high raw for a few years I still have a binge problem with baked goods. I wish I was at a point in my eating where I could actually make cookies and not eat the whole batch. I’d have one and feel good but then I keep going back for more until they’re gone…and that’s if they even make it to the oven! One day, I hope! xoxo

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Gena October 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Oh, I’m sure you’ll get there!!! Always remember, they’re not going anywhere.

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Alexandria October 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Very delicious :-) made these with a little molasses added and then 3/4 cup ww pastry flour and 1/2 cup almond flour for a more intense buttery taste.

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Shannon October 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm

these look awesome. i’m always looking for a good vegan cookie recipe and mine usually tend to come out muffin texture, so far i’ve found 1 recipe that doesn’t do that. these look like a 2nd! can’t wait to try them :-)

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s October 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm

these look amazing. bookmarked for a day when i require double chocolate cookies … happens a lot around here, haha :)

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Laura-Jane the Rawtarian October 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

Mmm I need to figure out how to make a simple raw vegan recipe that turns out like how your cookies look, Gena :)

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Alexia @ NamasteYoga October 30, 2011 at 9:20 am

These cookies saved my weekend. the last week has been hectic after losing my passport being stuck in kuala lumpur and not knowing where to go and what to do. A piece of chocolate makes my day. Thank u, Gina!

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Christine (The Raw Project) October 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

Agreed on Friday blogging breaks, I like to take them to decompress from the week and spend time with hubby. This cookie recipe looks fabulous! While I’m not a huge baker, think I’ll try these for hubby. :-) Thanks.

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Eat Hike Sleep Repeat October 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I’m a sucker for chocolate cookies. These look wonderful. I’ve started baking for my roller derby team. It’s been a great way to try new recipes without having a big batch of baking left for me to eat myself. They’re going to love these!

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Skye October 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I can’t wait to try these! I personally don’t like Earth Balance in cookies and coconut oil sounds delicious. I should sub it for EB in other cookie recipes… don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks, Gena! :)

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Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY October 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Love the recipe! I routinely substitute coconut oil for butter without a problem.

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Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY October 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Actually, with coconut oil I go so far as to cook my omni boyfriend’s eggs or stir-fry’s’ in coconut oil with nary a complaint.

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Ritika October 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I just made these and they taste super delicious! I had not eaten chocolate in a long time, and this recipe was easy to make. Thank you, Gena!

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Sara October 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Holy smokes, these look incredible! I made your banana-oat-chia muffins today with great success- these are next on the list! Woohoo! Love your simple, wholesome, ultra tasty recipes, Gena. :)

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Therese October 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm

To make things gluten-free, I find that a ratio of half superfine brown rice flour and half almond meal replaces flour pretty well in cookie recipes. I’ll have to try it on this recipe soon!

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Robyn@ ayearwithoutantibiotics.blogspot.com/ October 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

Can gluten-free, brown rice flour be substituted for the whole wheat? thanks.

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Therese October 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I like 1/2 brown rice flour and 1/2 almond meal to keep the “chew” without being too gritty.

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Robyn@ ayearwithoutantibiotics.blogspot.com/ November 4, 2011 at 8:45 am

Thanks. I wish almonds weren’t a food sensitivity because I love almond flour.

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Carissa October 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I’m with you completely on the loving chocolate more than sugar. These are such a gorgeous dark chocolate color. Can’t wait to try them!

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bitt October 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm

mmm these look so good! i have used cacao powder in baking and find it’s a different taste level too.

Thank you for not just saying, yes, use any gluten-free flour because that just won’t work. People who are experts in GF vegan baking (like manifestvegan and spabettie) have worked long and hard to make sure the recipe works out. You can just assume one thing will work out. I had 2 cookie recipes fail on me in one day. I have to say all the cookies in Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar have worked with GF flour mix for me.

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Jayda November 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Delicious! I did use a GF flour blend and they were a little crumbly, but a little extra EarthBalance fixed that.

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Gena November 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Terrific! Thanks for letting me know!

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AR fans November 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm

These cookies have the B.E.S.T. taste!!! And, I’m not getting paid to say that. Give them a try. Your family is sure to love them. My Thanksgiving crew does! :)

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Nathalie March 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I want to start off by saying that I feel like I’ve only ever left critical comments of recipes on your blog, but it’s not a reflection of how I feel about the blog, because I love it and have definitely had more hits than misses with your recipes! Not to mention all the neat foods you’ve inspired me to try and love (like nut pates and nori rolls, to name a few).
With that said, while these cookies are lovely, I had to add about 1/4 cup of almond milk to get the right cookie batter texture. The original recipe gave me a very crumbly batter, which yielded a very sandy cookie from the first half of the batch. Adding the almond milk gave a more typical cookie batter and markedly better texture for the second half. I’m sure it’s related to brand differences or elevation or whatever other mystical forces determine the outcome of my baking, but I thought I’d put it out there for others! :)

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Gena March 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Nathalie! I may go back and note that. Appreciate the feedback.

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Liliana April 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I love raw desserts. They all seem so tasty but so complicated to make :(. I have only tried chocolate pudding so far but hope to improve :).

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