Huge healthy chocolate chip cookies that are soft and chewy inside, made with no dairy, no eggs, and yet are delicious. This recipe is incredibly fool-proof, simple and fast, vegan and gluten-free, and will become your go-to healthier classic chocolate chip cookie.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
A healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe should be easy. Free of eggs and dairy, and easy to throw together with no high maintenance chilling steps. And this one is! I made my cookies on the large size to achieve a softer center. Basically if you make cookies bigger, they have more space to spread, allowing edges to crisp while center stays soft.
What Makes A Cookie Crispy or Soft?
There are many forces that turn a cookie crispy or soft. I chose those that make my cookies soft and chewy. I want them to be large, and almost like a hand cookie cake. To do this, I looked to both my ingredients and cooking technique choices.
Before we dive into it all, I'd like to invite you to sign up for my free chocolate email course. Five lessons hit your inbox with detail on how to create your own simple healthy chocolate desserts. If you like chocolate, you'll love this!
Okay, so back to this recipe...
Healthy Ingredients In Chocolate Chip Cookies
So first, about the ingredients. The ingredients are similar to any traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a few notable exceptions to make the cookies dairy free and vegan. The traditional ingredients include sugar, flour, baking powder and soda, vanilla and chocolate chips.
The non traditional ingredients include replacements for eggs and dairy based butter.
These Are Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are egg free. Cookies without eggs are usually crisp and flat because eggs would stop them from spreading, and add moisture. So we need the effects of eggs so I used aquafaba here to do the same. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Three tablespoons of this liquid equals an egg.
You'll see the texture of aquafaba is actually just like egg white. Be sure to use canned chickpeas that are free of salt. I also look for BPA-free and organic. And in this recipe, just spoon the aquafaba from can to batter, no whipping is needed as is sometimes done in other aquafaba recipes.
These Chocolate Chip Cookies are Dairy Free
These cookies also don't require dairy butter. Butter is awesome but some people can't eat it, certainly not dairy-based. Butter in a cookie helps a cookie spread, so if you don't use butter, there will be less spread. Less spread means chewy cookie.
But we do need some fat for binding, so if not butter, what then? I recommend a vegan butter or shortening or even coconut oil.
When I use vegan butter, I use Earth Balance brand.
When I say shortening, let me clarify, I do not mean main stream brands that use the notorious partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. I mean organic healthier shortenings that use healthier red palm oil and the like. Spectrum and Nutiva are great brands for this.
Palm oil, especially red palm oil, is know for several benefits, including decreasing cholesterol, boosting brain healthy, support skin and hair and more.
You can also use coconut oil, also a nutritional powerhouse, and it works well in cookies, however there will be a faint coconut flavor. I'll explain how to use both in the recipe.
How to Make Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream together the shortening or butter with both sugars. Add in the aquafaba and other liquid ingredients. Mix and sift in the dry ingredients. Stir and fold in the chocolate chips. Here, I refrigerate the dough. It's not essential but it plays a role in making a chewier cookie. That because the fats chill up, and once you bake, they take longer to melt, putting a drag on spreading.
I spoon about 3 tbsp of batter to make a large cookie, and I bake about 4 at a time on to a parchment lined quarter cookie sheet. Here is another area where I use cooking to influence the chewy texture. I almost under bake. I bake them about 10 minutes, maybe a touch more. The cookies is down when they are barely browned around the edge, and still look raw in the center.
Remove the pan and let the cookies sit for a 20 minute rest. They are still baking.
While the cookies are hot, I recommend you sprinkle a few chips so they melt on top. Some people sprinkle salt; that's a matter of taste.
Tips to Make Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Measure your flour carefully. I don't use a scale but experts recommend it. I use the spoon and level method. Carefully fluff the flour with a fork in the flour bag. Then spoon the flour into measuring cups, and use a knife to level off the top.
Make sure your vegan butter or shortening or coconut oil is at room temperature. Both should be soft and able to be creamed with sugar easily.
Be sure the sugar has been creamed completely into the shortening or coconut oil.
Trouble Shooting Tips for These Chocolate Chip Cookies
If cookies don't rise:
If your cookies didn't rise, it means they spread too much. Spreading too much is often caused by warm ingredients or over-mixing. Be sure your aquafaba is a room temperature. I normally just take a fresh can of chickpeas out of the pantry, and pour the aquafaba from that. If you have refrigerated aquafaba, set it out for an hour or more to get it to room temperature. Same with butter or shortening. No matter which you use, both need to be soft and at room temperature.
Also, if your cookies didn't rise, it could be that your baking powder or baking soda has expired. Don't go by the date, although you should replace both after six months. Test it yourself.
To test if your baking soda is active:
Put ½ cup of hot water and ¼ teaspoon vinegar in a shallow bowl. Add in ¼ tsp of baking soda and watch for an immediate fizzing on the surface. If there is no fizzing, you need new baking soda.
To test if your baking powder is active:
Put ½ tsp of baking powder into ½ cup of hot water and watch for an immediate fizzing on the surface. If there is no fizzing, you need new baking powder.
If cookies are too fat:
If a cookie is too fat, it means it didn't spread, the dough or ingredients were too cold, and I mean freezer cold, or the butter and sugar mixture wasn't cream completely
How to Store These Cookies
Put them in an air-tight container for 3-4 days and keep them on the counter. After that, refrigerate. Some recommend to add a slice of bread to keep them soft once you've refrigerated them.
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Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ½ cup shortening or butter ( I use Nutiva shortening or Earth Balance vegan butter)
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
- ½ cup cane sugar I use organic
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp aquafaba (the liquid from a chickpea can; replaces one large egg)
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour (Or bob's red mills baking 1 to 1 gluten free flour)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 cups dark chocolate chips I use dairy free Enjoylife
- Line a quarter cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the butter or shortening, and both sugars and mix with a hand mixer until creamed together.
- Add in the aquafaba (room temperature) and vanilla. Blend again.
- Add flour mixture in two parts and mix the batter until all are combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. This will help the cookies remain chewy and not spread. SO it's optional if you don't mind flatter cookies.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 F.
- Use a 2oz scoop OR drop 3 tbsp of dough per cookie on to the cookie sheet. I fit about 4 cookies on my quarter sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Repeat until all batter is baked.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes.
- Store them sealed in a container at room temperature for 4 days, and then refrigerate for 2 weeks. They are also easy to freeze for several months either as dough or baked cookies.