When it came to developing a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe for our latest publication, Vegan for Everybody, we weren’t willing to settle for anything less than perfection. The recipe had to produce a cookie that would be moist and chewy on the inside and crisp at the edges, with deep notes of toffee—which those of us who have eaten vegan chocolate chip cookies know is a tall order.
I caught up with Anne Wolf, the test cook responsible for delivering on those high expectations, to talk about the choices she made (for example, using almond butter to mimic the richness of real butter in traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes) en route to arriving at a recipe that’s as good as the real thing. That conversation is below.
What led to the almond butter discovery?
One of our research recipes used ground almonds in its dough. Out of the 11 research recipes we tasted, it was the only recipe that came close to recreating that nutty, toffee-like "baked good" flavor that butter contributes to cookies. During our testing, we kept coming around to the fact that we were missing that toasty, buttery richness that we expect from a hot, gooey chocolate chip cookie, and I remembered we had a trick up our sleeve: almonds! Since almond butter is such an easy product to find and could simply be stirred into the dough, I went with that over grinding almonds into a flour for our cookie.