Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

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The first vegan cookbook I ever owned was The Complete Vegan Cookbook, by Susan Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay, which I received as a birthday gift when I turned 18.  Although I’ve had the book for years now, the only recipe I’ve ever made is “Jessica’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  The recipe uses applesauce instead of any oil/margarine, so it’s relatively good for you (as much as Chocolate Chip Cookies can be).  It’s probably lucky that this was the only vegan cookbook I had around during high school, because I ended up making this recipe all the time (sometime multiple batches a week).  Now that I’ve broadened my vegan cooking/baking horizons, I’ve found cookie recipes that I like more, but this is still my go-to recipe when I want to satisfy my sweet tooth with minimal effort.
Here are a few suggestions based on my years of making this recipe:
The dough is very stiff, so the cookies spread very little (virtually not at all) in the oven.  The finished cookies will look much more attractive if you make the raw cookie dough balls in the shape that you want the cookies to end up.
Baking the cookies for the right amount of time is crucial – too long and the cookies end up dry and rock-like; too short and the cookies will be gummy in the center.  I realize that this doesn’t sound like a particularly favorable sales pitch, and in all honesty I probably wouldn’t use this recipe to try to win over any omnis to vegan baked goods, but I really do love this cookie recipe.
The recipe instructions advise stirring the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before adding them, but I don’t like using extra bowls, so usually just add them on top of the wet ingredients.
Some other observations I’ve made are that the cookies are best when they’re warm out of the oven, and that I prefer a lower chip-to-cookie than given in the recipe.  I’ve tried using various sugars (turbinado, rapadura, brown sugar, etc.) and I’ve always been pleased with the results.  I’ve also found that I like the cookies better when they’re made with whole white wheat flour instead of all-purpose, since the cookies already have a sort of health-food taste anyways, and using whole white wheat flour makes the end result taste almost like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I also like to experiment with various additions, from shredded coconut to oats to nuts, and aside from occasionally needing to add a little bit of non-dairy milk to the dough to balance out the extra ingredients, I’ve never had to make any major adjustments.  Here is my favorite variation on the original recipe!

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“Healthy” Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
Adapted from “Jessica’s Chocolate Chip Cookies”
Yield: 1 dozen

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup whole white wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, applesauce and vanilla.  Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon, and stir to combine.  Fold chocolate chips and coconut into dough.

Scoop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly (I use a size 40 cookie scoop, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, which portions 1 ½ tablespoons of dough).

Bake for 11-13 minutes until lightly browned.

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For anyone who wants the original recipe but doesn’t own The Complete Vegan Cookbook, you can “Look Inside” on Amazon and find the cookies on pg. 278.

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January 15, 2009. Cookies.

4 Comments

  1. Vegetation replied:

    Mmmm these look and sound wonderful! I’ll definitely be giving them a try!

  2. Mandee/Kitteh replied:

    Yum, I love the idea of coconut in choc chip cookies

  3. Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies « Vegan Sweet Tooth replied:

    […] few months ago, a posted about the Chocolate Chip Cookies that serve as my go-to recipe when I want a quick, easy-to-make, and relatively-healthy cookie.  […]

  4. Amar replied:

    Great recipe. I doubled it, used a heaping tbl for scoops, and cane sugar, and 1/2 wheat 1/2 all purpose, and a little water. Came out great, maybe a little sweet with cane sugar, next time I might reduce it slightly. Can’t even tell they’re vegan! nice and fluffy. thanks for posting!

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