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.
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.