There are few things more delicious in this world than chocolate chip cookies. The warm, gooey center. The crisp, chewy edges. In my egg and butter eating days, I adored one chocolate chip cookie recipe above all else: Alton Brown’s The Chewy. Alton Brown is an amazing chef, and I love watching him on the Food Network, whether he’s hosting a competition or doing the cooking himself. Either way, he’s incredibly scientific about his recipes, never stopping until he has the perfect dish on his hands. So, that’s why his chocolate chip cookie recipe was so appealing to me. But The Chewy commits three non-vegan crimes: it contains butter, eggs, AND milk. So if I was going to continue to enjoy Alton Brown’s concoction, I was going to have do a little altering. Did I dare mess with Alton Brown’s masterpiece?
I dared, and it was delicious.
There are so many things I love and want to note about this recipe. Firstly, the butter is melted, so you don’t have to remember hours before you bake to bring your butter to room temperature. Secondly, the ingredient I use to replace eggs in all my baking recipes is flax seed. Ground flax seed is filled with all sorts of amazing nutrients, and if you mix one tablespoon with three tablespoons of water and let sit, it forms a consistency very similar to an egg. Alton’s recipe needed an egg and an egg yolk, so I adjusted accordingly.
Also, sift your flour. I know, I know, it’s an annoying process that results in one extra dish to clean, but running your flour through a strainer is incredibly important in making these cookies moist and creamy, instead of tough and crispy.
Lastly, because this recipe calls for melted butter, the dough will be extremely wet and you cannot bake it immediately after stirring together. You’ll have to chill the dough in the fridge for a minimum of an hour. But don’t worry: it’s worth it.
The Vegan Chewy: Or, a Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- 2 sticks vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons almond milk or any non-dairy milk you prefer
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a small bowl, pour three tablespoons of water over two tablespoons ground flax seed. No stirring is necessary. Set aside for ten minutes.
Melt your butter in a measuring cup or any microwave safe bowl. Alton Brown says to melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, but nuking it in the microwave is much faster and super easy. This recipe is vegan, not complicated!
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Yes, SIFT! A side-to-side motion sends the ingredients through the strainer faster than an up-and-down shake, in case you’re curious.
Then, pour the melted butter into a large bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar and mix until creamy. You can use an electric mixer if you want, but because the butter is melted it’s incredibly easy to stir all the ingredients together by hand with a wooden spoon. After it’s creamy, add the flax seed mixture, the milk, and the vanilla extract and stir again. Next, slowly incorporate the flour mixture until combined. Even with the flour, the mixture should be very dark brown, due to a larger ratio of brown sugar to white.
Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips. Then cover with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or even a large plate- you don’t need to seal out the air, the cover’s just to keep other food spilling into the bowl. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of an hour. It will keep overnight if you want to make the dough ahead of time and cook the next day as well.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop the cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake each batch for about 9-12 minutes. I have a slightly over-heated oven, so everything bakes faster for me. You want to bake the cookies until they look slightly raw, then take them out. Let each batch sit on the cookie sheet for at least five minutes before removing to a cooling rack, and those last five minutes on the hot pan will cook the rest of the cookie through without burning the top.
And then, enjoy! As a note, I prefer my cookies very creamy and almost slightly under-cooked, so I like to scoop very large scoops and cook for the same amount of time as smaller cookies. They come out of the oven with the middle still looking too raw to eat, but a few minutes on the hot pan cooks them through to the perfect consistency without burning the tops. If you prefer smaller cookies or more crispy ones, just scoop smaller batches.