June 8, 2010

Double Dark Chocolate Cookies (vegan)

Don't all diets need a little chocolate?  I'm busy working to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans but just can't live without a little chocolate now and then...or rather nearly every day.  The question that remains is how to administer said chocolate.  Some of my chocolate cravings are satisfied by very good chocolate from TCHO, a new favorite, but I'm also itching to get back into my baking groove and had cookies in mind.

I started with a basic recipe from Martha Stewart.  I knew it could be tweaked to make a just as satisfying and yet much more nutritionally valuable cookie.  I did have my diet in mind but there also was the soon-to-be 8!! year-old monster, my son Alex, that needed to be kept happy.  It would be cruel to make batches of cookies that were too "healthy" to appeal to his taste buds.  So I tested and tried combinations until I arrived at this recipe.

This dairy-free, egg-free, low-soy, whole wheat, lower sugar version of the double chocolate cookie really satisfies my chocolate cravings and yet still manages to stay kid friendly.  They exemplify my ideal cookie texture: crispy on the outside, chewy inside with melty chocolate bits throughout.  And if you just so happen to be counting points with Weight Watchers you can have one for 2 points or two for 3 1/2.  They fit in perfectly with my dieting modus operandi: filling up on vegetables seasoned with good quality protein and skipping the bread/pasta/rice so I can indulge in a sweet--that is if I can get to them before Alex does!

Double Dark Chocolate Cookies
My adaptation of the Double Chocolate Cookie recipe  from Martha Stewart
Makes 3 bakers dozen cookies (39 cookies)

4 oz (~1/2 cup) unrefined coconut oil*
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
8 oz (~1 1/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
3 tablespoons golden flax seed meal
6 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder**
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredient notes:
*Lately I've been using Tree of Life brand coconut oil which has very mild coconut flavor and is acceptable to Alex's palate.  If you or those you are baking for don't object to coconut then by all means use a more coconutty oil.
**Any baking cocoa you have will work but if you want the darkest cookies use half regular cocoa and half black cocoa (like this one from King Arthur Flour).   You would then be using 1/4 cup of each type of cocoa.

-Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Line your baking sheet pans with parchment paper.
-If your coconut oil is liquid it's best to chill it until just firm.  Add your solid coconut oil and brown sugar to a stand mixer and beat until well combined.  Note: this will not cream and become fluffy like margarine or butter.
-Melt half of the chocolate (4 oz) in a double boiler or microwave and set aside.  Mix the flax seed meal and water together and allow to gel.
-Add the gelled flax and the vanilla extract to the coconut oil mixture and beat until combined, at least one minute.  Add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated, you will need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
-Stir or sift together the flour, cocoa(s), baking soda and salt.  Add to the coconut oil mixture and beat until smooth, scraping the sides several times.
-Add in the remaining chocolate (4oz).  The dough will be thick and gummy at this point and you will have to work to get the chips even throughout.
-Scoop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the lined cookie sheets leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between each cookie.  To make this easier use a 1 tablespoon disher, see link at the end for an example.
-Bake for 11-12 minutes until puffy.  Remove and allow to cool on the baking sheets.
**These freeze very well as baked cookies.  You can bring them to room temperature or gnaw on them frozen.

Trying something new...
I'm an avid fan of Amazon.com so I'm testing the Amazon Associates function in Blogger. For full disclosure these are links that would give me a kick back if you purchased the item through them.  They are however things I actually do use and like a lot.


Mary said...

Wow! Yummy... a must try! Looks fabulous!

Delightful Bitefuls

Andrea (Off Her Cork) said...

Love these cookies! They look amazing! Vegan is a wonderful bonus! :)

Ricki said...

They look incredibly chewy and chocolatey! A great recipe (and a great sometime indulgence!). :)

laurelvb said...

They look so good I'm trying to get one through the screen right now! They also look a lot like the double chocolate cookies at the post punk kitchen but I think those have more sugar. I'm so glad that you used coconut oil. I'm always trying to figure out how replacing Earth Balance/Spectrum is going to work out with coconut oil instead, makes me nuts. Well, okay so I was already there, but... Great job!!!

Maggie said...

Thanks all!

I'll have to check out the PPK recipe. I'm trying to stay low to no soy right now since I'm nursing a little one and I've found some recipes need a lot of tweaking to convert to coconut oil from Earth Balance. I hope you give them a try!

laurelvb said...

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. It was so refreshing to read your comment about avoiding soy for your baby. It's a wonderful thing, not exposing the poor mite to an overabundance of hormones as an infant.
Moving on, I've got a copy of "Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar" and very few use margarine (yeah!). There's even a recipe to use for gluten free folk like me. All that aside I'm not sure if this one is in the new book or not but thought it might interest you.
Who doesn't love a good old fashioned chewy, spicy oatmeal cookie after all.
Hope you have a great father's day.

Jessica said...

These cookies sound so good. I can't wait to try them out on my omnivore family.


Beth said...

Just tried out this cookie recipe after seeing it on tastespotting... SO GOOD!!!!! I used unbleached all purpose flour instead of wheat because that's what I had, and then threw in a hand full of unsweetened coconut flakes for some texture. I also used raw cocoa... tho I'm not sure if that makes any difference. I also loved these because it makes a smaller sized batch... too many equals cookie overload! Definitely one of my new favorites! Also, not sure if it was the difference in flour, but mine didn't turn out flat? They're a little more cakey/fudgy.

Noelle said...

Nice to "see" someone else from Michigan! These cookies look yummy! I must flag for a future date. Thanks!