I took our food pantry completely apart one afternoon. I re-sorted, re-arranged and basically brought some sanity into the kitchen. In my journey to creating a much neater, more organized life, I discovered I had amassed four different flours (aside from your basic all-purpose and bread flour). So really, I had like eight flours on hand (plus two gigantic bags of slivered almonds!) Why? I remember having this really crazy notion in November (when we all have visions of a "Jimmy Stewart" kind of holiday): "Wouldn't it be great to make ALL kinds of cookies this Christmas with ALL kinds of different flours!?" That'd really UP my cookie baking game!. . . And then the really busy time of December and reality of life/puppy raising set in and here I was in January staring at four bags of flours I had no idea what to do with. The hazelnut flour spoke to me the most. I was NOT going to let this bag perish.
This chocolate chip cookie has become The. One. I've made this recipe over and over so many times, it would be the "the one" I'd take with me to a food competition (should I ever find myself in such circumstance). Even when I feel I may have added too much flour or not mixed the vegan butter enough, the outcome is the same; pure chocolate chip cookie awesomeness: a little chewy in the middle and a nice crunchy edge (not so crunchy that after a day of storing them, your cookie texture suddenly morphs into a cracker)--not this cookie. It requires very little effort, comes together quickly, and you can bake them right away and/or chill the dough for several nights--scoop out the cookies as you'd like, bake and viola, fresh cookies. . . again.
It originally came from Food52. If you ask me, the recipe is about as perfect a chocolate chip cookie recipe you will find. And truthfully, for as many cookies I've posted in this genre, there was me thinking, seriously, WHY post another chocolate chip cookie recipe? Because. If you bake a perfect anything, and you've baked it over and over again and it still holds up, then, I feel "obligated". There were, however, problems I had to overcome: the eggs, the butter, the adjustments for my own tastes in cookies--chocolate-to-cookie ratio and such. I like a lot of chocolate chip. Basically, I like to bite into a mound of chips that are being held together by a bit of dough. I've been known to add chips to the rolled cookie dough just to be sure there's a good gob of chocolate going on in the cookie. Another little trick I've found (and I love) is that I've been lately adding more vanilla extract to my baking and it takes the cookie to a Wow level. So if you see the recipe below and think, That can't be right--there's too much vanilla in here. Um. Nope. Just trust me.
This is the dough after setting in the fridge and me just taking out one night to scoop out fresh baked cookies. I use a small cookie scooper. It will firm up to a stiff dough, but that's okay. It'll relax once it's in the oven baking.
Then this is me thinking, "What the heck, make 'em ALL!" And then promptly turning around to make more dough so as not to run out and be left cookie-less one evening.
Our big girl is now in her sixth month! She is the best girl ever. (Next to her sissy, who is Number One best girl forever and ever, amen.) The walks we take are now more of giant sprints and me catching up to her breathless. It is a complete upper and lower body workout.
Vegan Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Extra Chocolate Chips and Hazelnut Flour
*makes about 18 cookies--double the recipe if you'd like more
1/2 cup vegan butter (one stick Earth Balance)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup regular sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground flax seed (mixed with 2 teaspoons water and 1 teaspoon EVOO--for the egg)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned into the cup and leveled off)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon hazelnut flour
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of fine sea salt
1/3 cup whole pecans (finely chopped)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Mix your flax seed and water mixture in a small bowl and set aside--you'll add it in a second. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, vanilla extract and now add the flax mixture to this. Prep your finely chopped pecans (or your could use walnuts)--set aside. Now add all dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, salt) to a bowl and whisk together really well. Add the chocolate chips and pecans to the flour mixture. Slowly in three separate additions, with a blender, add the dry mix to the butter/sugar mixture and beat for about five seconds after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in the remaining dough from the sides. Scoop out cookies and place on cookie sheet about 2" apart. Bake for 8 minutes. (Or until the ends begin to brown.) Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet. If you are only making a few cookies at a time, then just store the rest of the dough in the fridge for late. Use within a week.