Chocolate Chunk Cookies

There was a period of time that I thought I would never enjoy chocolate chip cookies again. The vegan chocolate chips contained sugar. The sugar-free chips contained dairy. The grain sweetened chips contained gluten and just about every chocolate bar contained sugar or was sweetened with something that hurt my stomach. So I gave up on the idea of chocolate chip cookies.

Then one day I started brainstorming. What if I turned the chocolate coating I like to use on cookies into chocolate chunks to bake inside the cookies. The first few batches turned into melty messes, but I think I finally got a good recipe down. And even though, unlike regular chocolate chip cookies, you actually have to make the chocolate chunks yourself, these cookies are surprisingly easy to make.

chocolate chunk cookies

Since it’s just the two of us here (plus Woodley, who can’t really eat chocolate), I tend to write cookie recipes that don’t yield 5 dozen cookies. It’s not that we would have any trouble finishing them off, it’s that we would likely have little trouble, and don’t really need the temptation. But, if you’re looking to make a large batch, you can easily double or triple the recipe as you see fit. The chocolate chunks are bittersweet — reminiscent of semi-sweet chocolate chips or a dark chocolate bar. Feel free to add nuts or dried fruit to the batter as you wish.

Note: This batter will seem much more thin that a normal cookie batter — this is the way you want it! Don’t refrigerate batter. You want to prepare it just prior to baking these cookies. For a less cakey, crispier, slightly more naughty cookie, omit the coconut milk and increase the shortening to 1/2 cup, the agave to 2/3 cup, and xanthan gum to 1/2 teaspoon. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown on the edges. Cookies will firm up as they cool — remove to a cooling rack when still somewhat soft.

I tend to like to find ways to reduce the fat in my baked goods. But sometimes, you just gotta let loose a little. I understand.

Yield: about a dozen cookies

Agave Sweetened Chocolate “Chip” Recipe:

1/3 cup coconut oil, liquified (warm jar in a bowl of hot water if oil is solid)

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup agave nectar


1. Using a double boiler (or a small saucepan, filled about 1″ with water, using a glass bowl over it), melt coconut oil, cocoa powder and agave together, whisking until chocolate is shiny and smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Pour chocolate into a small dish or baking dish lined with wax paper. You can either leave chocolate thick, or spread, depending on how large you would like your chocolate chunks. Cover with lid and freeze until set, about 1 1/2 hours. When ready to use, strip wax paper from chocolate and cut chocolate block into chunks.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/4 cup sorghum flour

1/3 cup potato starch

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup light coconut milk

1 recipe chocolate chunks (above)


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, potato starch, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat toghether agave, shortening and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add flours and beat on a low speed. Add coconut milk and beat until smooth. Fold in chocolate chunks.

4. Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto a large, ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on whether you like your cookies more chewy or more crisp) or until slightly golden brown around the edges. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for a few minutes after removing from the oven before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



  1. gina says

    hi there, i love your site. i truly believe you do not need sugar in a recipe to make it good. esp. treats. i made these cookies last night and they were very cakey and kind of spongey (I guess the right word). i left the 1st batch in for 12 mins and 2nd batch the full 15 in hopes of getting them crispy.

    i know that w/ gf flours you need to immediately remove them from the pan and put on a cooling rack so i did do that and the chips btw were amazing but any idea why they would come out spongey like that? the texture is kind of off putting. any ideas??

  2. Beth says

    Hi Gina,

    Thanks for your comment. When I read your comment, the first thing that came to mind was that maybe you mistakenly used baking soda instead of baking powder? Whenever I do that, I notice a huge difference in cakiness. Also, I don’t refrigerate the batter prior to baking, so that may have made a difference if you did that. Did your cookies turn out like the ones in the picture, looks-wise? Or did they rise more/spread less? These cookies do tend to have a little bit of a different texture than a “normal” chocolate chip cookie, but I definitely wouldn’t call them spongey. You might want to try a vegan buttery spread next time and see if the texture is improved that way, since shortening will tend to melt less in the oven than butter will. If you store these cookies in the refrigerator, they tend to take on a chewier, firmer texture. So, you may want to try that for this batch and see if that salvages them for you.

    Good luck! I’ll let you know if I can think of anything else that may have been a factor.


  3. gina says

    hi Beth, thx so much. i did use b powder (i’m out of baking soda at the moment so i was glad to see you used the powder since i had it on my shelf in my baking corner!).

    i did however put it in the fridge cuz the batter was very runny – is it supposed to be runny? i imagined a wafer as an end result. & my cookies didn’t brown like yours did! aghh. oh well, must try again. agave too, is known to be a browning agent so i’m stumped on that one. i’ll put the remaining ones in the fridge to see if that’ll make them a little chewy. the vegan buttery spread you mention – is that earth balance by chance? i have a friend who raves about it so i think i will give it a go. thanks again for your help! i’m looking forward to the brownie recipe and anything else i can find. i’m a big lover of quinoa these days :)

  4. Beth says

    Gina — Yes!!! The batter is supposed to be runny!!! The refrigeration is probably the problem. The batter should be like a cake batter when you drop it on the cookie sheet. Try and see if that helps. Also, the cookies will still seem a little flimsy when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up quite a bit as they cool. Hope this helps!


  5. Beth says

    Oh, and yes, I really like Earth Balance buttery spread. You could try making the chocolate chunks and using them in the espresso banana and walnut cookies, in place of the banana, if you would prefer to use that in place of the shortening. Again, that cookie batter should be a bit runny as well. Because of the agave, which sorts of bakes out, the cookies would be a bit too dry if the batter were like traditional batters, I think.

  6. says

    I’m trying the chocolate chunk recipe so that I can make chocolate chunk granola. Thanks for the recipe – I’ll let you know how it turns out (and I’ll give props to you when I post my granola recipe).

  7. Beth says


    I think it would alter the texture but am not entirely sure. Cornstarch to me is a bit more…starchy, if that makes sense? Let me know if it works for you. Thanks!


  8. Michelle says

    I cannot eat sugar at all or honey or maple syrup. But I love chocolate, so in the past I’ve purchased Sunspire grain-sweetened chips (which they no longer make!) or will eat sugar-free chocolate (mostly made with artificial ingredients and that wreaks havoc on my digestive system).

    I just came upon your website today and am SO excited about your home-made chocolate chunk recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

    Thanks so much for posting!!

  9. says

    hmm…something is fishy. when i put the cookies in the oven, the shortening began to ‘leak’ out of them in little puddle. we wiped it up with a tissue, there was that must leaking out. they turned out a bit rubbery. are you sure the amount of shortening is correct?

  10. Beth says

    Hi Nicole — I realize I am very late in replying. Apologies! Do you remember if you left the baking sheet ungreased or not? Greasing the baking sheet can make them spread like crazy and can make all the difference in this recipe, in my experience.

  11. Beth says

    Michelle — sugar-free chocolate weaks havoc on my digestion as well! It’s so difficult to find all natural non-sugar sweetened chocolate out there, but I am seeing it more and more, so maybe there’s hope!


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