I was just thinking about middle school. The oversized LL Bean backpack that I insisted on wearing on one shoulder despite the threat of scoliosis. Braces that made me look so unattractive (the perm didn’t help) that one popular boy, who barely spoke to me otherwise, was moved enough to tell me how much better I looked the day they were removed. He seemed utterly relieved on my behalf. Keds. Dirty white Keds.
And Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. No matter what nutritious delight I had already ingested for lunch each day, I always saved a quarter for a double chocolate Otis Spunkmeyer. My young palate was perfectly content with the overly sweet, chemical bomb of a cookie studded with synthetic white chocolate chips. They were soft at a time when everything felt so hard.
This week I was craving some homemade double chocolate Otis-esque cookies. But in a sleepy, pre-caffeinated haze I dropped an entire carton of eggs on the floor during the ten-step walk from my fridge to the counter. I never have less than six dozen eggs at any given time. I could have gone back for more. But I felt too guilty to use them. I had wasted the fruits of some chickens’ very unpleasant labor. So this week it’s vegan cookies for us.
Fortunately I had just recently learned about flax eggs on the lovely vegan baking blog, Oh Ladycakes. Flax eggs are genius. I almost always have flax meal on hand (I use it to fiberify my breakfast yogurt) and they are very easy to make. All you do is soak 1 tablespoon of flax meal in 3 tablespoons of cold water until it becomes goopy and egg-like and then use it as you would a normal egg. This probably wouldn’t be a great solution for egg-less custards or angel food cake, but it works wonders for cookies.
After I baked these puppies, I invited them to slow dance to Stairway to Heaven.
Vegan Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
1. In a small bowl, combine flax meal and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water. Chill until thick and goopy, about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt.
2 In a large bowl, beat coconut oil and both sugars until creamy. Add the flax mixture and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Fold in chocolate.
3. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until very firm, at least 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 325°. Set cold dough balls onto two parchment-lined baking sheets, at least 11/2 inches apart. Bake until just set in the center, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Pull the baking sheets from the oven and tap them gently against the counter a few times to knock the air out. Let cool on sheets on racks. Use a spatula to release the cookies from the sheets.