I need to reiterate that I DO NOT eat gluten free, but circumstances called for some gluten-free desserts and hence this recipe. Luckily these cookies can easily be made with regular wheat flour as well (whew).
I made these cookies for a Christmas party, along with chocolate-mint cupcakes, and they were pretty popular amongst vegans and omnivores and gluten eaters and everyone, really. I personally found the cookies to have a slight grainy texture, but they are also soft and chewy in the middle and crisp around the edges. I’ve made the wheat flour version as well and they’re even softer and chewier and have much more bite to them.
The secret to these cookies is that they’re made with the magic of aquafaba, which is a revolutionary ingredient. I know you have no idea what it is, so google it, but to be brief, it’s the water that you usually throw down the drain after you open a can of beans. Before you say “ewww” just think that traditional baking recipes use unfertilized chicken goop. Water from a can of beans is not gross, and it adds a fluffiness and chewiness previously missing in vegan recipes. It acts in the same way as egg whites, even to the point that it can be whipped into meringue. Seriously amazing.
Chickpea water is the most common aquafaba as it’s colourless and has virtually no flavour once cooked, but water from a can of kidney or black beans can be used when making chocolate recipes, for instance, when the colour doesn’t matter. I usually keep a jar of aquafaba in the fridge (stays fresh for about a week) just so I have some readily on hand. I’ve been experimenting with it in baking with wonderful results, but have yet to dabble in savoury foods.
Anyway, these cookies are delish, and the time it takes to make them is super dangerous because you are now armed with the ability to feed your cookie cravings whenever the mood strikes, without having to change out of your pyjamas.
Makes 24-ish cookies
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter or margarine (I use Becel vegan margarine but Earth Balance is also popular and can be found at Whole Foods)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp aquafaba
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Blend (or just regular all purpose flour and omit the xanthum gum)
- 1/4 tsp xanthum gum (can be found at Whole Foods or Bulk Barn)
- 3/4 cup or more semi-sweet chocolate chips, depending on how chocolatey you like your cookies (President’s Choice Decadent chocolate chips have no dairy)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, or don’t if you like your cookies stuck to the pan.
- In a large bowl cream together the sugars and margarine with a hand mixer.
- Add the vanilla extract, aquafaba, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices and mix until well combined.
- Sift in (or just dump in if you don’t care) the flour and xanthum gum and mix until well incorporated. If the mixture looks kinda wet, then sprinkle in a bit more flour until it firms up and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Fold in your desired volume of chocolate chips with a spatula.
- Form the dough into little balls with your hands, around the size of a giant walnut, and place, staggered, on the baking sheets. No need to flatten the balls.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes for soft and chewy cookies, or 14 minutes for crispy crunchy cookies.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before you start eating them. Leave them out until completely cool, then transfer to an airtight container.
They stay fresh for about three days but then start getting a little hard, but can be softened up again by placing in the microwave. It’s probably best to just eat all the cookies immediately. That’s what I would do.
You can also modify this recipe by removing the spices for plain chocolate chip cookies, but I thought the warm spice added a nice holiday twist.