Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free)

Sunday, May 20, 2012
We have diary allergies in my family.  I inherited it from my dad, and then passed it along to all of my kids.  For the most part, it hasn't been bad - in fact, I made it all the way to 16 before I was officially diagnosed.  My kids have had symptoms to various degrees, although one has now outgrown it and does fine with dairy.  And for most of my life, I have just lived with it and not worried about following a special or strict diet.  It's hard to give up cheese and ice cream!  :)

But the newest addition to the family is very sensitive to milk protein (casein) and so I have had to eliminate all dairy, eggs and beef products from my diet while I am nursing her.  This has been QUITE a change for me! 

I found some premade dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free cookie dough two weeks ago at Whole Foods, and picked it up to try.  It made some of the best cookies I have ever tasted - EVER!!!  Even my husband (who is not dairy-allergic) loved them!  But at $5 a tub, which only made about 20 small cookies, and with the store being 45 minutes away from my house, these just aren't a very practical solution for me.  So I've been scouring lots of recipe books and blog sites looking for dairy-free, egg-free cookies that I can make myself, at home. 

Here is my first attempt, and I have to say, it was a definite winner!!!  These are fabulous!  Big, thick, chewy - just like you get at a bakery!

Dairy-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
(as far as I know these qualify as vegan, as long as you use vegan chocolate chips)

1/2 c dairy-free margarine (I used Nucoa in this particular recipe)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed*
2 Tbsp whole flax seeds**
3 Tbsp plain milk alternative (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, no hint of coconut flavor in the cookies)
2 Tbsp plain dairy-free yogurt (I used Silk soy yogurt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 c bread flour***
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips from Whole Foods Market)

Preheat over to 375F.  In large mixing bowl, cream together margarine and both sugars.  Grind the flax seeds into a fine powder in a coffee or spice grinder (I used already-ground flaxseed meal, the Bob's Red Mill stuff).  Pour the flax seed mixture into the margarine and sugars, along with the yogurt, vanilla and vinegar - beat to combine.  Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix thoroughly.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Scoop out dough using 1/4 cup measure, roll into ball and then flatten slightly on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and just beginning to turn golden brown.  Cool for 15 minutes on sheet before moving them to wire rack to cool completely.

My modifications:

*Original recipe called for dark brown sugar, but I didn't have any, so I used regular brown sugar and think they turned out just fine.  Of course, I do have molasses and could have made my light brown sugar into dark brown sugar myself, but that's just too much work!  ;)

**I used already-ground flaxseed meal (Bob's Red Mill brand).  It worked fine, just left little tiny dark flecks in the dough that didn't affect the taste at all.

***If you don't have bread flour around (I do not), you can use plain all-purpose flour just fine.  The bread flour has a higher protein (gluten) content and will help the cookies be a little chewier than with the AP flour, but either works just fine in the recipe.  If you are a bread-maker and have vital wheat gluten, you can convert your AP flour into bread flour by adding 2 tsp vital wheat gluten for each cup of flour used in the recipe, which is what I did last night and I really loved the texture it produced!

I modified this recipe from one in the book Go Dairy Free by Alisa Marie Fleming, who in turn got the recipe from Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan.