I suffer from the curse of the restless baker: however much I like a recipe I’ve borrowed or created in the past, I am wildly tempted to venture a little further, tweak it some more, or walk another path entirely, just to see what will happen.
This makes every opportunity to bake an adventure, and although I sometimes kick myself for not simply going for the tried and true — I do have to live with the occasional disappointment — most of the time it’s a chance to learn something new, expand my repertoire, and of course, share a novel recipe with you.
Crisp on the outside with a moist and tender heart, they’re big on the chocolate flavor and moderately sweet, just the way I like them.
And I am particularly excited to bring you this one, born out of a craving for chocolate chip cookies. I could have gone for this ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I’ve made again and again to sighs and swoons from all involved, but I wanted to try something different this time and make a vegan chocolate chip cookie instead.
With almond butter as the fat, some ground chia seeds, a mix of rice and wheat flours, and unrefined sugar, I like to think these are a little better for you than the conventional cookie (or at least they’ll bring some ingredient variety to your overall diet) yet they are just as satisfying. Crisp on the outside with a moist and tender heart, they’re big on the chocolate flavor — I threw in some cacao nibs as well — and moderately sweet, just the way I like them.
So this one is definitely going into the cookie rotation. I’ll try not to mess with it further, though I can’t promise I won’t try different nut butters (peanut would be great in there too) or a handful of chopped nuts, maybe pecans or hazelnuts.
One final note: as always with anything chocolate, the devil is in the brand you choose: going out of your way to buy a high-quality bittersweet chocolate will pay dividends beyond what you can imagine. I myself like to use Valrhona’s Manjari 64% couverture chocolate, which I get by the kilo (two-pound) bag at G. Detou in Paris, but is also available online.
Join the conversation!
Are you a compulsive tinkerer as well, or do you enjoy making your classics again and again? And what is your favorite chocolate for baking?
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- 120 grams (1/2 cup) all-natural almond butter (you could do half almond half peanut)
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) unrefined sugar (I used half coconut sugar and half rapadura)
- 130 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 100 grams (3/4 cup) rice flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds or flax seeds
- 180 grams (6 1/3 ounces) quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I use Manjari 64% couverture chocolate)
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) cacao nibs
- In a medium bowl, beat together the almond butter and sugar until well combined. Stir in 80 ml (1/3 cup) water. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chia seeds, chocolate, and cacao nibs.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no trace of flour remains.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Scoop out balls of the dough, about the size of a ping pong ball and weighing 40 grams (1 1/2 ounces), flatten them into pucks, and arrange on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12 minutes, until set. Allow to rest for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- The cookies are particularly tasty on the day they're baked, but they'll keep for a few days in an airtight container at cool room temperature.