Soft, chewy and downright delicious, these vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies are just like traditional chocolate chip cookies but with the subtle nuttiness of tahini and the goodness of whole wheat flour.
While writing my cookbook I became a little obsessed with creating the perfect vegan chocolate chip cookie. After weeks of trials I finally arrived at what I think is the perfect round, chewy and soft biscuit. The irony is, after all that testing with egg replacers, pumpkin purees and banana mash, the perfect vegan cookie was essentially a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe with a basic vegan twist.
Vegan cooking can and should be simple. When we overcomplicate or try to reinvent the wheel, things can become overwhelming and the temptation to walk away becomes greater. Life lesson? Maybe. Cooking lesson? Definitely. Believe me, I’ve been tripped up by my own cleverness many times. While I’ve not given up on plant-based eating, I have walked away from recipes and settled for a peanut butter sandwich instead.
Now, I could wax lyrical about these vegan tahini chocolate chip cookies till the lovely cows come home – and I will a little – but first I want to share how I came to this very simple recipe.
HOW I VEGANISED A BASIC COOKIE RECIPE TO CREATE MY VEGAN TAHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Ok, so what’s in a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe? Sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips. The difference between most traditional recipes is technique but the ingredients remain pretty constant.
Sugar: most recipes call for a combination of brown and granulated sugar in differing ratios; the more brown sugar you use the more caramel-y the end cookie. I used a 50/50 split of brown sugar to raw caster sugar (I steer clear of white sugars where I can).
Butter: we are spoilt for choice when it comes to vegan butters but I stick with good old Nuttlex here in Australia. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t contain palm oil or any nasties. As we are making a tahini chocolate chip cookie, I cut the usual amount of butter I would use and subbed in tahini.
Eggs: in traditional cookie recipes, eggs provide structure. I wanted to find the best facsimile of an egg without the fuss of making a flax egg (I know it’s just stirring but I can be incredibly lazy) or buying an egg replacer. Here I used aqauafaba (chickpea brine) and a 1/4 tsp of baking powder to emulate the texture and lift the egg white provides and a small amount of olive oil to bring in the richness of the yolk.
* I have an entire post dedicated to homemade egg replacers if you want to play with your food. You can find the page here.
Flour: OK, so flour is already vegan but I wanted to flag here that I used whole wheat (or wholemeal) flour in this recipe because it adds a gorgeous nutty flavour and is better for you than regular flour. I also use whole wheat flour in my classic chocolate cake recipe.
Tahini: well, they are tahini chocolate chip cookies after all. Tahini adds a wonderfully deep nutty caramel flavour that is so addictive. If you’ve tried my black bean brownies with tahini caramel you’ll know what I’m talking about. I found a fantastic recipe where the creator omitted butter completely in favour of tahini on food52 but here, I’ve played it safe and subbed half.
Chocolate: again, there is an abundance of vegan chocolate available these days so you can choose dark, milk-style or even white. Go crazy.
So, there you have it. I shared my thought process with you so that you can play with your food too. If you prefer peanut butter to tahini, go for it. If you want to try out different egg replacers, you can now that you know what behaviours we are copying. Now that you’ve got your base ingredients, the process is the pretty much the same as traditional cookie making. Simples.
I will say though, before you play, try these vegan tahini cookie chip cookies. They are wonderfully soft, chewy and so darn addictive. I measure the success of my recipes by calculating what I call “hover factor”. How often did my daughter come over to hover while I was photographing a recipe multiplied by the length of each hover.
Fresh from the oven with the intoxicating aroma of tahini, chocolate and baked cookie hanging in the air, the hover factor was strong in this one, friends.
VEGAN TAHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- 1 and 1/4 cup wholewheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter spread
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raw caster sugar
- 3 tbsp aquafaba
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan chocolate roughly chopped
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder with a pinch of sea salt.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric egg beater or a stand mixer, cream together the vegan butters and sugars, around 2 minutes.
- While still mixing, add the aquafaba followed by the tahini, olive oil and vanilla and mix until combined and a little fluffy.
- Remove the bowl from your stand mixer and add in the dry ingredients and the chocolate chunks, mixing until combined.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This will firm up the dough for rolling and create a chewier baked cookie. You can refrigerate the dough from 2 hours up to 24.
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Roll around a table spoon of the refrigerated dough in to a rough ball and lay 6 to 8 balls on your baking tray (depending on its size) and pop in the oven for 15 minutes - 18 minutes.
- Remove the baked cookies from the oven and allow them to cool slightly (they will deflate and crack beautifully during these few minutes) before gently setting them aside to continue baking the remaining dough.
- Roll and bake the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.