As I mentioned with the lemon bar recipe, back when I was told that I should try to avoid dairy for the baby’s sake, I got hit with all the cravings. I wanted cheese, but most of all initially, I wanted chocolate. Specifically chocolate chip cookies. Which is weird, because while I do enjoy a good chocolate chip cookie on occasion, it’s not usually the kind of thing that I just require. But the craving hit me, and I had to figure it out.
Luckily, we live in the age of google, and in the age of restrictive diets, so you can find alternative recipes for nearly everything. And not just that, but so many companies are making dairy-free products that you feel spoiled for choice. Take milk for instance. You’ve got your standard almond and soy milks, but in many places you can also easily find coconut and rice milks, and I even heard tales of pistachio, pecan, hazelnut and oat milk as things that you could easily make yourself if you can’t find it in the store. There are alternative butters, non-dairy cream cheeses. I was actually quite impressed with the vegan parmesan shreds that I found, even if my local grocer was terrible about keeping them in stock.
But perhaps the best find was these allergy-friendly chocolate mini chips. One, they are mini chips, which are adorable on the face of it. Two, they are free from all of the major allergens. And three, they’re actually made with ingredients you would recognize – sugar, unsweetened chocolate and cocoa butter. Reading an ingredients list like that and realizing that it’s non-dairy is sort of mind-boggling. I think I honestly forgot somewhere along the way that pure chocolate doesn’t come with milk/dairy in it. And so while some alternative products may taste not quite right (I’m looking at you Daiya cream cheeze, which is still fine, but NOT cream cheese), this is one that won’t feel like you’ve subbed anything out.
In my quest for dairy-free chocolate chip cookies, I had some detours. The first stop was inspired by one of those facebook cooking videos, and the results were not great. The batter spread out way too much, and I ended up with these lacy, crackling monstrosities, which I still ate (because again, cravings), but weren’t really what I wanted. And I got frustrated for a week and pouted at the spread out cookies at the same time as I gobbled them up. When I got up the courage to search the internet for recipes again, I was wary. The pictures on this particular recipe that I found were what sold it for me – they looked just small and puffy enough that no matter what failure I could have, they weren’t likely to spread as thin. I was also feeling good about the addition of the egg – since I don’t need these cookies to be vegan, I felt like the egg helped add a little more structure to the recipe.
And guys – these ended up being really good. As you can see from above they hold their shape really well, spread just enough so they’re not dough balls, but aren’t super thin and crispy either. In fact, they were one of my favorite textures for cookies I’ve had in a while. I do love a chewy chocolate chip cookie, and this was that exactly. Whenever I get back to including dairy in my life (or whenever the grocer restocks these chocolate chips), I will probably make them again, they are that good. And when the Boy tried a few, he liked them too. So they’re enjoyable to everyone – not just the dairy free among us!
Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: About 18
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cream together the softened coconut oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons) or a spoon to shape the dough into balls, and place at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Can also use a Silpat, or grease with cooking spray)
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just set. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3-4 months.