Vegan Date Paste Chocolate Chip Cookies are the result of my two week stint on an (almost) dairy-free diet. The diet didn't do anything, but I did discover some good dairy-free baking ingredients. And of course if it weren't for the dairy-free experiment, I might never have some up with these cookies. This is actually one of my favorite, if not THE favorite, vegan chocolate chip recipe. The date paste (though I've since learned date syrup works) adds a pleasant flavor and helps give the cookies a soft and bendy texture.
How to Make Date Paste
Date paste makes Vegan Date Paste Chocolate Chip Cookies special. It not only adds flavor and sweetness, but provides a little bulk, gives the cookies a nice shape and helps keep them soft. Making the date paste is an extra step, but it's worth it. The date paste recipe I use is from The Healthy Baker, and I use my food processor since still don't have a fancy blender.
Vegan Date Paste Chocolate Chip Cookies
As for the cookie recipe, it has evolved over time as you can see by the pictures. The recipe posted should look like the first picture, but below are some photos of cookies made with tiny changes to the same recipe. For instance, in the darker cookies I used a different proportion of date paste. The cookies below that were also made with more date paste and brown sugar, while the cookies at the bottom were sandier and made with Nutiva shortening instead of vegan butter.
I think this latest version with 20 grams of date paste and 20 grams full fat coconut milk is the best.
For the flour, I tested the cookies with a few different types. For a while I liked whole wheat pastry flour best, but I recently became a fan of Bob's Red Mill pastry flour (regular, not whole wheat) and use that. Gold Medal all-purpose also works well. Actually, any brand of flour works but the lower protein flours make a softer cookie.
The texture of this cookie should be soft, yet not too chewy and not cakey. This means getting the amount of sugar just right. I like using 100 grams of dark brown sugar. With the brand I use, ½ cup is usually around 100 grams. It's best to weigh since brown sugar varies in moisture.
This recipe is fun to play with, so I hope you try it as written and then go on to make your own changes. If you do, let me know! And I hope you try the date paste, too.
Substituting Date Syrup
I recently tested this recipe with 20 grams of D'vash brand date syrup and it worked perfectly! I also tested with Earth Balance Soy Free (tub style) and really liked the flavor and texture.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Date Paste
- 160 grams all-purpose flour or pastry flour 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons or 160 grams Bob’s Red Mill pastry flour or Wegman's pastry
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 7 ½ tablespoons Soy Free Earth Balance or Country Crock Plant Butter (100 grams) -- I always measure by weight
- ½ cup organic light or dark brown sugar (100 grams)
- 20 grams date paste OR date syrup (D'vash)
- 20 grams well-stirred full fat coconut milk from a can**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded or ground unsweetened coconut flakes**
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips OR milk if not vegan
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Have ready a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Put your mixing bowl on the scale and set the tare to zero. Add 100 grams of Earth Balance Soy Free right out of the tub or another vegan butter (make sure it's the kind with 100 calories per tablespoon). Add the following ingredients, setting tare to zero each time: 100 grams brown sugar, 20 grams date paste or date syrup and 20 grams full fat coconut milk. Add vanilla.
- Beat until creamy and well blended, then stir in the flour mixture, coconut and chocolate chips.
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop up 8 rounds of dough (they should weigh around 2 oz each). Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 325 for about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies are better when completely cool.
- For thicker cookies, chill the dough balls overnight before baking.