Baking is my happy place. Especially during the pandemic, precisely measuring ingredients and creating a finished product gave me comfort. It made my feet feel firmly planted on the ground when not much else did. When we were in full, solitary lockdown mode, though, it wasn’t great to have sixty cookies sitting in the house (I mean, it was great, but it wasn’t healthy). Small-batch baking became a necessity. I could bake, practice moderation, and still revel in the cozy, nostalgic taste of a warm chocolate chip cookie. Our Amazing Small Batch Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies are the perfect way to treat yourself in a wonderful way without going overboard.
What Makes These Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Special?
These vegan chocolate chip cookies are chewy on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside, and full of rich vegan chocolate chips. They taste of comforting, wholesome sweetness and have a butteriness that you wouldn’t believe is from plant butter. You can make them in under fifteen minutes (and let’s be honest, sometimes you have a day when just need a homemade cookie in under fifteen minutes) and using only one bowl. Because when you’re having that kind of day, the last thing you need are dishes everywhere. This recipe removes the clutter and focuses on the cookie.
Why Use These Ingredients for Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies?
Vegan chocolate chip cookies can be tricky to create well because there’s a buttery, caramel flavor inherent in chocolate chip cookies. In these cookies, the combination of organic brown sugar, plant butter, coconut sugar, and vanilla recreate that flavor so well, you truly wouldn’t know that they are vegan. Organic brown sugar and coconut sugar have rich, caramel notes that help amp up that well known chocolate chip cookie flavor. Granulated sugar (organic, if you’re sticking with a vegan cookie) also works with this recipe, but the cookie will be blonder in color and sweeter in taste. In a pinch, you could also use all brown sugar in this recipe, but I prefer the complexity that coconut sugar adds.
Vanilla is the secret superhero of most baked goods, but especially chocolate chip cookies. The hearty helping of vanilla in these small batch vegan chocolate chip cookies should not be skipped.
Cornstarch is one ingredient that might give you pause on the list. I started experimenting with cornstarch in cookies after reading chewy cookie recipes from Host the Toast’s Morgan Eisenberg and Sally’s Baking Addiction. It really is the key to a chewy texture for this recipe. This is what happened in my trials:
- More baking powder than baking soda made the cookies too cakey and they did not spread enough.
- Equal parts baking powder and baking soda made the cookies too crispy.
- Cornstarch and baking soda created a cookie that spread well and was wonderfully chewy.
How to Make Small Batch Cookies
Unlike big batch cookies, these small batch vegan chocolate chip cookies do not require a mixer. All you need is a bowl and a spoon. Start with softened plant butter, softened either by sitting at room temperature or by a quick trip to the microwave. Sometimes when I make this recipe, the butter is half melted, half softened. This is fine! Fully melted butter will also work, but the cookies will spread more.
Mix the softened butter with coconut sugar and brown sugar. The mixture won’t be fluffy, necessarily, but it should be very well combined.
Next, add the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and a healthy pinch of salt. Overmixing cookie dough will make your cookies tougher than they should be, so stir until almost just combined. Add the vegan chocolate chips, and finish stirring until the last bits of flour are mixed in.
Your cookie dough may be a bit crumbly at this point. That’s okay! Rather than adding liquid, use your hands to bring the dough together into a more solid mass.
When creating this recipe, my goal was to replicate the thick, chewy chocolate chip cookies you might see in a cafe or bakery. (Or, if you’re like me, the beloved chewy cookies sitting in a tray in your undergraduate cafeteria that you may or may not have smuggled back to your dorm by the handful. Ahh, memories.) If you’re going for that vibe, divide the dough into two balls. If you’re after a more petite cookie, divide the dough into four balls.
The cookies will spread in the oven, but give them a head start by flattening them on the cookie sheet. You can flatten them with your hands, the bottom of a glass, the bottom of a measuring cup…whatever is closest. I also use this opportunity to make them extra round and add extra vegan chocolate chips on top. This gives them what I call the “Cookie Monster cookie look.”
About ten minutes in the oven is enough for a) your kitchen to smell amazing and b) the cookies to become slightly firm and golden brown around the edges. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes to set up even more, then transfer them to a wire baking rack to finish cooling (or at least to cool enough so that you don’t burn your fingers when you dig in).
Get Ready to Enjoy!
I recommend munching on these amazing vegan chocolate chip cookies with a glass of your favorite plant-based milk (almond milk shown in the photos). And for your next small batch baking venture, try our Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Frosting (All Vegan!). For now, put on your coziest clothes, take a deep breath, and revel in the warm, sweet comfort.