Chocolate chip cookies are one of my all-time favorite childhood bakes. I have fond memories of my childhood best friend and I baking tray-loads of them and gleefully devouring some while watching romcoms. Years later I wondered what that magic recipe had been that we’d always used. I scavenged old scribbled notes, crumpled, grease-stained recipe printouts in mounting desperation, as if my future happiness depended on it. Lovers of the show Friends may be amused to know that my quest ended similarly as that of Monica in the episode “The One with Phoebe’s Cookies” (season 7, episode 3): It was the recipe on the back of the packet of Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips, which my friend used to bring back from Canada.
So, it was none other than the revered recipe of Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House restaurant in Massachusetts, who is said to have invented the chocolate chip cookie recipe back in 1939.
Having said all this, it probably comes as no surprise that it is the above recipe that formed the starting point for my veganized version. Initially I kept the flour-sugar-butter ratio and simply replaced the two eggs with two tablespoons of aquafaba. I found the result delicious, but excessively buttery and sugary. My second batch, the final recipe, was made with slightly less sugar and butter and a tablespoon of plant milk to help it all come together. Result? They taste just like the coveted cookies of my childhood and I am so happy to have them back in my life! They also have the perfect chocolate chip cookie texture – slightly moist and super soft on the inside.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: ca. 8 cookies
- 150g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean
- 85g whole cane sugar (I used this one; it has a slightly caramelized taste)
- 85g plant butter, melted (I use Flora Plant, unsalted)
- 2 tbsp aquafaba*
- 1 tbsp plant milk (I used oat milk)
- 40g chocolate of choice (I used 78%), in chunks
Optional: chopped nuts (e.g. macadamia, peanuts, pecans, walnuts), cranberries or raisins, etc.
* Aquafaba is water drained from a tin of beans – commonly chickpeas, but other neutral-tasting beans work. I used the liquid that I’d saved from a can of butter beans I’d used the day before. I’d recommend saving the water whenever you use chickpeas or butter beans, so you have some available if needed. You could also freeze it in an ice cube tray. Alternatively open a new tin and save the beans for making hummus, a stir-fry, etc.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla and sugar in a bowl while you melt the plant butter on medium low heat.
- Stir the wet ingredients (plant butter, aquafaba and plant milk) into the flour mixture until all is well combined. Add in the chocolate chunks and nuts, etc., if using. Note that if the butter is quite warm the chocolate chunks may start to melt – let the dough cool or place in the fridge, if that is the case, before adding the chocolate.
- Ideally, let the dough chill for a good 30 minutes to an hour, as this will result in a better cookie texture (less spreading in the oven). Alternatively you can easily prepare the cookie dough hours or even a day or two in advance.
- Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C (non fan) and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Shape the dough into ca. 8 even-sized balls, which you then flatten slightly into a more disk-like shape. Leave enough room around each cookie for it to spread while baking.
- Bake in the oven for ca. 10-12 minutes (they should be slightly golden yet still soft) and leave to cool slightly on the hot tray for at least 2-3 minutes. Picking them up right away (very tempting, I know), may cause your cookie to crumble.
Feel free to tag @blueberrysmiles22 if you share your creations on Instagram, so I can share in the joy 🙂