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 such as Melt spread, Earth Balance and Nutiva shortening. UPDATE: Also, Country Crock Plant Butter with Almond Oil! This is my new favorite vegan fat.
But dairy issues aside, it’s the date paste that makes these 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 it requires 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.
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 rendition 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, 1/2 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.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Date Paste
- 160 grams all-purpose flour 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons or 160 grams Bob’s Red Mill pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup 100 grams organic light or dark brown sugar
- 7 1/2 tablespoons 100 grams vegan plant butter, cool room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 20 grams date paste
- 20 grams well-stirred full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded or ground unsweetened coconut flakes**
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the vanilla, date paste and coconut milk until smooth.
- Combine the date mixture and flour mixture and stir until blended, then stir in 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.