Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sneaky Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you seen those chocolate disks they have at Trader Joe's? They look like little UFO's. The funny thing is, I don't really know how the package got home with me! I remember looking at it while shopping, but swore I put it back on the shelf! Perhaps it was meant to be. I knew right away I'd use them to make a stuffed cookie. They are "sneaky" because you can't see the chocolate until you bite into it! I had the audacity to ask my two year old daughter to stay steady for this picture. She did a great job I think! By the way, the chocolate disks are called Semi Sweet Chocolate Callets. I use the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Post Punk Kitchen and omit the chocolate chips. Of course, I also use whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour and unrefined sugar instead of white sugar. Isa Chandra Moskowits is a well known cook book author and my go to lady for vegan baking. Here's the step by step process. Don't forget the caramelization part first!

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
2/3 cup canola oil (I bet safflower or coconut oil would work well too)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
1 tablespoon tapioca flour (I use arrowroot and it works great! I hear you can also use cornstarch.)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
32 Semi Sweet Chocolate Callets

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease one large light metal baking sheet.

Mix together sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour, arrowroot, or cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until it resembles smooth caramel. There is a chemical reaction when sugar and oil collide, so it’s important that you don’t get lazy about that step. Mix in the vanilla. (For me it only take about 1 minute for it to caramelize)

Add the flour, the baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out 16 balls on a large baking sheet. Take two disks and put them together so that the top and bottom are concave. Press into each cookie, like you would do a Hershey's kiss. Make 16 more balls to top each one. Pinch the edges together to cover the chocolate, now they are totally sneaky! Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they are just a little browned around the edges.

Variations: You could put a teaspoon of peanut butter between each disk to make the cookies extra sinful! Or, you could stuff them with an Oreo type cookie instead (Newman's Own), which I got from Chronicles of a Dairyland Vegan. I haven't tried it, but I believe her when she says cookies will never be the same again! 

PS. Did you know baked goods make awesome gifts? My girlfriends and I stopped buying birthday gifts for each other a while ago, but they can't stop me from baking! Cut out the Happy Birthday part from an old card and tape it to a container with a clear lid. As you can see, I couldn't find a birthday card, but this works! 

A quick note about chocolate: I'm into more people friendly chocolate these days, meaning no slave labor in Africa was used to produce it. Ever seen the movie Blood Diamond? Well its the same concept. I'm not sure about Trader Joe's brand of chocolate, but you could use Dagoba brand chocolate bars and just divide them into squares in place of the disks. Read more about free trade chocolate here. If you are looking for chocolate chips, there is an inexpensive brand called Guittard that is sold right next to the Ghiradelli ones in the grocery store. They are not organic, but are free trade according to the chart.


  1. My favorite part of chocolate chip cookies is the caramely-chewy dough, not the chips -- so this looks great to me! I'm also a big fan of the ww pastry flour, and King Arthur white whole wheat flour. They're both so easy to sub into cookies and muffins.

  2. I used to dream about chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips! I love the pure, brown sugar dough. I too love white whole wheat flour, which is similar to whole wheat pastry flour. I see no reason to use all purpose flour these days. I like spelt too. Its a cousin of wheat and lighter in texture.

  3. Wow, those cookies look so freakin' good, haha. This is an awesome blog by the way. Once I get the right equipment I'm going to start a vegan podcast, which will entail everything from the ethical to the health aspects of veganism.

  4. I would love to listen to your podcast! Veganism is so much more than just a diet. I follow that guy Gary Francione on Facebook. Anyway, I am going to Merced Organics today to buy some Dandies to stuff more cookies with. I have an obsession.

  5. Oh cool, you follow Gary Francione too?! Have you listened to his podcasts? About 8 months ago I started listening to Vegan Freak podcast (they're also abolitionists) among a few others and they really put everything in perspective for me. I actually used to be pro welfarism before I knew about the abolitionist movement. You would also like Elizabeth Collin's podcast, called NZ Vegan. You're also right about veganism being more about a diet, most people don't get that. Oh yeah and Rose said you stopped by earlier when I went to the store...too bad I missed you! Did she tell you that we're getting in Go Max Go! Bars in about a week or so? Look 'em up!

  6. No, I have not listened to his podcasts. I've heard of Vegan Freak but have not read the book or anything. People have asked me if I would eat eggs from a humane farm, and the answer is a resounding NO. I have found so much pleasure in this way of life that there just isn't a need. Same goes for dairy, especially when I can make those nachos! I don't believe in humane meat because it always leads straight to the factory. I don't want flesh, just like meat eaters don't want to eat a squirrel or a dog. I just don't want it. People think this life is extreme, but its completely natural to me! Oh, and Rose did tell me about the Go Max Go bars! Now I don't have to order them online. I got those Justin's dark chocolate pb cups!

  7. I let Erika borrow my copy of Vegan Freak...when she's done you're more than welcome to read it! It's funny you mention the 'humane' meat thing because today I was talking to a customer and she asked me if I would eat animal products if the animals were treated humanely. I, of course, responded with a "no." I told her it's not an issue with how humanely the animals are treated, but the fact that they are exploited for frivolous reasons and I don't agree with the fact that they are treated like chattel property. She had no idea that organic and non-organic animals are ultimately treated the same because they end up at the same slaughterhouse anyways. It ended well because as it turns out, she is a health teacher and wants to bring me to talk to all of her students about veganism.

  8. I would love to read Vegan Freak when you get it back! That is so awesome that you were invited to speak in a classroom! It would be a great opportunity for the kids to hear about it from a real live vegan. You could tell them about all the delicious food you eat. I believe times are changing and 100 years from now people like us will be normal!

  9. Yeah, I guess it's at a high school, so it should be fun. I wish I had someone who came in and encouraged me to go vegan when I was in high school! I just never put it together before when I was vegetarian; that it really wasn't doing much at all for the animals. I believe we will eventually get there, but it won't be a long time until animals aren't exploited anymore. The only thing we can do is educate others, then hopefully they go vegan, then educate others too. Kind of like the butterfly effect.

  10. I would kill for that opportunity. I mean you could do a power point and show them pictures of all the delicious foods you eat. I sub at high schools a lot and sometimes read vegan stuff. They see what I'm reading and have tons of questions. They would be fascinated by it I'm sure. What high school?