Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Friday, April 6, 2012

In the Kitchen—Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I reveal my secret vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe! When I've brought these to MFA potlucks they're all gone by the end of the night, and I always get compliments. And they're great because if you have a sudden sugar craving they're relatively quick to make and the ingredients are usually on hand.

Esme's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep: 25 minutes     Bake: 8 minutes per batch
Oven: 375 F      Makes: 24 cookies


1 tablespoon ground flax seed
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup vegan margarine such as Earth Balance, slightly softened*
3/4 cups Sucanat (or a half cup packed brown sugar and a quarter cup white sugar)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose
1 cup (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips**
3/4 cups walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small bowl combine flax seed and water.

2. In a large bowl beat the margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add Sucanat and baking soda. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides occasionally. Beat in flax mixture and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can, stir in any remaining flour. Fold in chocolate and nuts (dough will be very thick). The great thing about vegan cookie dough is that you can eat it without fearing salmonella.

3. Drop tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet (I always grease mine) about two inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Mine always take 8 minutes. They'll be soft, even a bit raw looking, but maybe browned on the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Just kidding, I know you'll eat them when they're warm and gooey.

*Vegan margarine, when left at room temperature, can get too soft. Beware!
**Check ingredients—many, but not all, chocolate chips are vegan

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