Today I'm updating a recipe from a post on my blog over a year ago. It is one of my favorite recipes and one of my favorite posts - talking about the power of sharing a meal together. Gathering around a table...
When you gather people around a table - that's when the magic happens. Not everyone likes sports. Not everyone paints or sings. Not everyone grew up in the same city or country. But, we all eat. Eating is what holds us together.
Meals are special and though we tend to forget, food has sooo much meaning... it's more than simply about health or taming those hunger pains. There's so much more behind how we all eat.
I recently shared a platter of these vegan chocolate chunk cookies at a dinner party. People mingled, ate and connected on different levels.
I always like to serve a plate of chocolate chunk cookies because I think cookies invoke a feeling in each of us. Maybe they remind us of childhood and our mom pulling a fresh batch out of the oven. Or elementary school parties or summer cookouts. Or your favorite little bakery on the corner in your hometown.
One bite has you closing you eyes, allowing the chocolate to sort of melt in your mouth as you are transported back to a certain time and place.
These cookies are vegan, so we can all enjoy them! Plant-eaters will smile wide as they take a bite and non-vegans won't even know the difference. And this recipe can easily be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free all-purpose flour.
These are delicious, bottom line. And I recommend that you make some ASAP. For your friends, your next party, your parents... or just for you.
Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(Makes 16-18 cookies)
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour also work)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt.
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups dark chocolate, chopped (use 60% cocoa or higher)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil (or other vegan oil)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
- Coarse/flaked sea salt for garnish
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flours with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Toss in the chopped chocolate and toss until it is coated. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the sugars with the canola oil, water and vanilla until very smooth and incorporated. About a minute. (Tip: make sure you get the brown sugar clumps out by pressing down with a spoon to break them up!)
- Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and no flour is visible. Do not over-mix the dough. (The dough will seem too wet, that's okay, it will harden as it chills. If the dough seems too dry, add 1 tbsp more oil.)
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let set in the refrigerator for 24 hours (12 hours is okay, if you must). This step is crucial so do not skip it!!
- When you are ready to bake - preheat the oven to 350°. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and using a cookie scoop, portion out dough on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle the balls of dough with coarse-grained sea salt and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just golden and not over-baked. (Tip: Rotate cookies halfway through the baking time for even browning)
- Let cool completely on the cookie sheet and then remove to a wire rack.
Start gathering around the table instead of at a bar and you'll quickly see the power of food and how it connects us all in this huge, crazy world.