I don’t know about you–and with all due respect to those who have gone down this difficult road–but much of what passes for grain-free vegan chocolate chip cookies doesn’t make the grade with this teacher. So I set out to see if I could improve the taste, texture and appearance to score an A+.
Grain-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies made Better with Beans
Since gluten is what gives baked goods made with wheat flour much of their structure, my first gluten-free attempt made with chickpea flour resulted in big spread-out, crunchy and slightly caramelized-tasting cookies. I tempered and enhanced the chickpea flour’s “raw” nutty taste with a healthy glug of almond extract, along with vanilla, and a tiny bit of cinnamon that is virtually undetectable, but takes that pungent edge off. The cookies were pretty yummy, but I wanted a more traditional texture and appearance.
For this final version, I remembered seeing some recipes for white bean cookies when I was looking for something else made with white beans. At the time, I thought that sounded a little odd. However, I thought they might be my answer for a tender cookie. And, after a little experimentation, they were!
My husband, not a vegan and not typically a sweet-eater except at breakfast, was standing over the carton devouring them as soon as I made them. Now THAT is a success.
Special Diet Notes: Grain-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose the butter alternative, shortening, and chocolate chips that suit your dietary needs.
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- ¼ cup dairy-free buttery sticks (1/2 stick)
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (omit for nut-free)
- 1½ cups chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup pecan pieces (omit for nut-free)
- 5 to 6 ounces dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Puree the beans and milk beverage in a food processor until smooth.
- Remove ½ cup of the puree and refrigerate the rest for another use.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together dairy-free margarine, shortening, and sugar. Add the ½ cup white bean puree and both extracts and beat at medium speed until well combined. Add chickpea flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon, and mix on low speed just until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary.
- Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips by hand.
- Using a tablespoon measure, make 12 evenly-spaced mounds on each prepared baking sheet.
- With your fingers, gently press each mound into a about a ½-inch tall cookie.
- Place baking sheets on center racks and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating sheets after 7 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden around edges.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature.