Back in the year 2000 for an episode of Good Eats, Mr. Alton Brown, Chocolate Chip Cookie Overlord, broke down the science behind what makes a chocolate chip thin, puffy, or chewy. Do you like your chocolate chippers thin, puffy, or chewy?
I'm a proud puffy lady, so this is my adaptation/veganization of Alton Brown's Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookie. The original non-vegan recipe is here. The transcript of the Good Eats episode where Alton made these and explained all the wonderfully geeky science that makes a cookie good is here.
Alton Brown's original recipe calls for eggs and butter-flavored shortening. I used coconut oil instead of the butter-flavored shortening, and chickpea flour as an egg replacer/binding goo. Doesn't binding goo sound delicious? Because these have chickpea flour in them, if you are sensitive to beans you may experience some... how can I put this delicately? Ahem, the weather forecast says it might be a bit "windy" this evening. There may be a "gas leak" in the neighborhood. Ah, yes, maybe there should be no spooning tonight, mmm?
That was quite subtle, I think.
Alton's recipe also calls for cake flour, which I don't regularly use. Instead, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with cornstarch to lighten it up. I also used a bit less sugar because all cookies are always too sweet for my taste, and then doubled the vanilla extract because the vanilla must always be doubled in my kitchen. It's the law. After several test mini-batches, I decided that a 350 oven was better than 375 for the veganized version.
Those are the main changes that I made, and I made about a million and two mini-batches to make sure these were perfect and ready to share with you. I had to force myself and Mr. Wing-It to eat so many cookies for the greater good. The sacrifices I make for you people.
|Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookies|
Yields: 30-40 tiny cookies (depends on your scoop)
2 tbsp chickpea flour
1/4 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or more - nobody's judgin'
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 175 C and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. First, we make the chickpea binding goo. In a small bowl whisk together the chickpea flour, almond milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and lump-free. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream the coconut oil on high until it's smooth and fluffy, about one minute. Add the white sugar and cream for another minute.
4. Add the brown sugar and your chickpea concoction and mix until light and fluffy.
5. Sift in your flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a large spoon until your cookie dough looks smooth. If it looks dry and crumbly, add in milk a teaspoon (or even less) at a time. The dough needs to be very firm or it will melt into a puddle of cookie in the oven, but it shouldn't be dry and crumbly. Mix in the chocolate chips.
6. Scoop onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets, not too close together. I use a mini cookie scoop that holds two teaspoons of dough. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Sorry about that.
7. Bake one sheet at a time for seven or eight minutes, or just until the tops of the cookies don't look wet anymore, then immediately rotate the cookie sheet to bake them evenly and bake for another two to three minutes. The middle rack of my oven browns their bottoms too much, so I bake mine on the next higher rack.
8. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and bake the second batch.
If you can, bake a test cookie first. That's what I do when I'm trying out a new-to-me recipe to make sure I don't end up with ruined cookies and wasted ingredients. Different people measure things differently, we may use different brands of baking ingredients, and we may live at different altitudes that might alter the cookies. So if possible, bake a test cookie and see how it does in the oven. If it doesn't melt into a puddle of cookie, go ahead and bake the rest of the batch. If it melts it means you're going to need to work a little bit more flour into the dough.
My oven doesn't like to bake from the top. I have to bake my cookies for seven or eight minutes and then switch to broil, still at 350, for the final two or three minutes. If your oven is an incompetent imbecile like mine, you might want to do the same. Keep an eye on them if you broil them though - Captain Obvious would like to point out that parchment paper is flammable.
You really don't want to skip the refrigerating time. I know, I know, you just want to eat the cookies. Me too, but they will spread out and they won't be puffy if they go in the oven while they are at room temperature. Sorry. But, blame Alton Brown, it's his recipe!
Mr. Brown says that the smaller the cookie scoop, the puffier the cookie will be. If you don't have a mini cookie scoop, just scoop out about two teaspoons of dough, roll it up in your hands and pop it on the cookie sheet.
The eggy chickpea goo.
Creamed coconut oil, sugars, and chickpea egg.
Mixing in the sifted dry ingredients.
The finished cookie dough. Very stiff stuff.
Tiny cookie scoop.