Salted Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, sometimes you just need some chocolate.  I’m not talking about the one square of dark chocolate that’s typical for an after-dinner treat, but a super-decadent, double chocolate chip cookie.  These past couple of weeks have schooled me in what it takes to care for a sick baby and to see your child not feeling his best only makes you wish you could take all his ailments away yourself.  We’ve seen fevers, coughs, colds, stuffy noses and a number of other bodily functions and fluids that probably shouldn’t be mentioned on a food blog.  I don’t want to ruin your appetite.  However, during those times where the babe was able to nap I indulged myself a bit by making these cookies.  Not only did being in the kitchen soothe my frayed nerves, but I knew I couldn’t go wrong with chocolate.  It tends to make everything better.

Double Chocolate Chip 5

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Oat-y Apricot Maple Cookies

The beginning of the school year, whether you are in school or not, typically signifies a rapidly waning summer and the beginning of all that we love about autumn: brightly colored, crispy leaves, slowly cooling temperatures, apple orchards abundant with produce and football Sundays.  At least that’s what Illinois had to offer every year growing up.  However, the separation of seasons here in Northern California seems to exist in name only.  Just last week we experienced record-setting temperatures in the 100s and we’re due to hit the mid-90s again by this weekend!  How is this possible?  When Starbucks is advertising their Pumpkin Spice Latte, I’m still craving my iced coffee.

So, in an effort to kick off the fall season, I’ve adapted my vegan chocolate chip cookie to reflect its flavors.  I was inspired by a recipe in my “flourless.” cookbook which called for oats, walnuts, dried apricots and ginger.  After two failed attempts making them gluten-free, this third attempt gets it right, but uses whole wheat flour.  No big deal.  I’m extremely happy with this final batch as these cookies turned out hearty yet chewy, warmed with spices and punctuated with the subtle spice of crystallized ginger.  Oat Maple Cookies

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Apple Cinnamon-Raisin Trail Cookies

The base for these cookies comes from Oh Ladycakes and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve made some variation of them.  They have been a breakfast staple not only in our home but from road trips to the hospital stay when our son was born.  And now they have a special place in my heart.

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So, when I saw that Ashlae made a version with banana and banana chips, a lightbulb went off in my head, which leads us to this version below.  I would loosely use the term cookie for this adaptation because they are moist and dense, almost cake-like.  Made with oats (& oat flour), almonds (& almond butter), these will keep you full and energized all morning long!

We almost always have a large bag of apple chips in our pantry because they are unusually sweet, though contain no added sugar, taste delicious and a great treat for our little morkie.  So instead of bananas, we use apple chips and applesauce.  And cinnamon.  And raisins.  And even though it seems like it’s perpetually summer here in NorCal, these cookies feel like a big bite of fall in your mouth.

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Bourbon Vanilla-Bean Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Bourbon-Vanilla Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So this is one of the flavor combinations I was dying to try and I have to say, the result was fabulous.  There’s just a subtle hint of bourbon and it pairs so well with the muscovado sugar.  It adds a depth of flavor that I am really digging right now.  Along with bourbon, we add vanilla.  Now, I meant to add vanilla into the original recipe because, to be honest, I’ve never seen a chocolate chip cookie recipe without it.  However I forgot, so with this version, you can tell the difference.

Again, I do not have celiac disease nor do I live by a gluten-free diet but I do enjoy testing different flours in my baking. When I saw trial packages of Cup4Cup flour on sale at Sprouts Farmers Market, I couldn’t resist. Not only is the flour typically pretty expensive, but it was developed by Chef Lena Kwak of Thomas Keller’s, The French Laundry. Anything related to the French Laundry must be amazing right? I felt I struck gold with this find and promptly bought every bag they had. Each package is 2 cups, which is perfect for me since I will never use up a regular-sized bag of gluten-free flour.

Anyway, my substitutions as follows:

  • 2c Cup4Cup flour (or any GF flour blend)
  • 1/4c sunflower oil
  • 1tbs bourbon
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
  • Smoked Sea Salt for garnish.

All other ingredients remain the same. These do not spread out as much if you freeze them prior to baking, so you may be able to skip this step.

Enjoy!!

{For original recipe, see below}

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

After testing this recipe only once, I will make a bold statement and say this will be my go-to (vegan) chocolate chip cookie recipe from here on out.  They turned out chewy and gooey, packed with melty chocolate and garnished with salt for that extra punch of flavor.  These cookies were demolished in record time and received a thumbs-up from my husband and friends which, to me, are badges of approval.

I made slight substitutions from the original recipe but the base remains in tact, which means they are a perfect canvas for other flavor combinations.  Cinnamon, currants and coconut flakes are just some of the successful variations, though I haven’t attempted them yet.  As much as I love a classic chocolate chip cookie, I’ve got a few more flavor combos that I’m dying to try…updates coming soon!

For now, use this recipe as your base for the best homemade {vegan} chocolate chip cookies!  Yum doesn’t even describe them!

(adapted from Vogue)

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