Before going vegan about a decade ago, I didn’t know how to cook.
I helped my mom in the kitchen occasionally growing up. And by high school I could prepare a few recipes that required little more than chopping vegetables and trimming the fat off of chicken.
(Something I don’t miss at all, and I swear contributed to my desire to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible until going plant-based.)
It was going vegan that inspired me to learn how to cook. I had to learn how to cook if I was going to remain vegan and survive on more than raw vegetables and overpriced pre-packaged food.
Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life taught me about veganism [aff. link].
(Though I ultimately decided to be vegetarian, I still recommend Alicia’s book to anyone who wants to learn more about the shocking environmental benefits, health benefits, and simply the why’s and how’s of plant-based eating.)
But it was Isa Chandra Moskowitz who taught me how to cook and bake vegan.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
In her approachable, humorous yet knowledgable style, Isa’s cookbooks taught me invaluable tenents of vegan cuisine, including how to use such niche ingredients as miso paste and tahini (not so niche anymore), to how even the most seemingly un-vegan comfort food can indeed have a delicious, plant-based alternative.
One of the first Isa recipes that I made as an inexperienced vegan was her vegan chocolate chip cookies. I’ll never forget how astonished I was to discover that a vegan cookie, with no butter or eggs, could taste so amazingly good.
Isa’s vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe was a landmark for me in another way: it was one of the first recipes I modified and experimented with. The success of these modifications helped build the confidence I needed to eventually create my own recipes.
Over the years, I’ve made more changes to Isa’s recipe that, in my humble opinion, make Isa’s perfect vegan chocolate chip cookies even more perfect.
Make Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!
And that’s the recipe I share today. Here’s my vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe, modified from Isa’s hallmark recipe that has doubtless inspired countless plant-based eaters over the years.
Isa, thank you for all you’ve done, and continue to do—check out Isa’s new cookbook here—to make plant-based eating delicious and accessible to all.
A Few Things
I’m a huge advocate of chopping up a chocolate bar and using the resulting chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips in my cookies.
As in, I almost never use chocolate chips. Read about the reasons behind my snobbery here.
One of my favorite things about these vegan chocolate chip cookies is the fact that they come together in one bowl with almost zero effort. In keeping with the ease of the recipe, I opted to use chocolate chips for the photo sesh cookies you see here.
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Yes, I do frequently make these cookies with chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips. But sometimes you need a delicious homemade cookie fast. Using chocolate chips accomplishes this. But feel free to use chocolate chunks. They’ll make these vegan chocolate chip cookies slightly more time intensive, but even more delicious.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
For the wet ingredients:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup almond milk, unsweetened or vanilla
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the dry ingredients:
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
Mix the wet ingredients
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, sugar, canola oil, almond milk, corn starch, and vanilla extract.
- Mix until the corn starch in completely dissolved, and the sugars have completely incorporated into the oil and almond milk. There should be no separation between the oil and the other ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients
- Now add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix until almost completely combined, then add in the chocolate chips.
- Stir the chocolate chips in until there are no more flour streaks and the chips have just combined.
Roll the cookie dough balls
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Take 2 Tbsp of cookie dough, and roll it into a ball. Repeat until you've made 4-6 cookie dough balls, and place them on a standard-sized baking sheet a few inches apart.
- Press each dough ball down slightly with your hand, until each dough ball has spread to about 1 ¾ - 2 inches in diameter.
Bake the cookies
- Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. The cookies will still look a little soft and be slightly golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes. This is an important step! Do not take the cookies off the cookie sheet until five minutes have elapsed. The cookies will continue to bake on the cookie sheet during these last five minutes.
- Transfer the cookies from the cookie sheet to a serving plate. Bake the remaining cookie dough balls, if desired. You can also freeze them for later use.
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve the cookies alone or with a glass of milk. Enjoy!