Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:
Many cookbooks, food magazines, and blogs perpetuate the idea that baked goods need dairy and eggs to be delicious. I’ll be the first to admit that butter and eggs make phenomenal cookies, but I think that people should also know that it is possible to make vegan treats that are just as delectable as their traditional counterparts. By using ingredients such as cornstarch and flax-seeds, vegan cookies can have a sturdy structure and a tender interior. To top it off, you can always eat vegan cookie dough without worrying about food poisoning. I love to put chunks of vegan cookie dough into coconut milk ice cream for a special dessert, and I know that some of the dough from these cookies would be great in a dairy-free coffee ice cream or a hazelnut sorbet.
These hazelnut mocha cookies are packed with the flavors of hazelnut and chocolate (because really, when has Nutella ever been a bad decision), which are intensified by the rich bitterness of espresso powder. They’re crispy on the outside, and rich on the inside, making them the perfect afternoon treat. When I served these, not one person noticed that they were vegan, they were all too busy grabbing seconds and thirds. Package up these cookies to use as gifts for vegan or lactose-intolerant friends, and don’t forget to save a few for yourself.
Hazelnut Mocha Cookies
Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
Makes 3 dozen cookies
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup almond milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons espresso powder
½ cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and table salt.
- In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the oil and sugar for 60 seconds, then add the almond milk, flax seeds, cornstarch, vanilla, and espresso powder and whisk for another 60 seconds until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the hazelnuts until evenly distributed.
- To shape the cookies, roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and place them 1 ½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using your hands, gently press them into disks, as vegan cookies are known for not spreading in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and there are a few cracks on the tops of the cookies. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Variation: To make mocha cookies, omit the hazelnuts.