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  • Writer's pictureellencdonker


A family tradition with a plant-based twist

Is there anything better than the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven?

Growing up, my parents didn’t love to cook but my entire family did love to eat, so most of our family food traditions involved takeout, frozen food or other highly processed ingredients. (It was the ’90s!)

I always looked forward to the days that my mom would bring home a tube of ready-made cookie dough and we would gather as a family to wait for the cookies to rise in the oven, then immediately eat the hot cookies right off the baking sheet. It was a ritual that we indulged in on holidays, days off from school or anytime one of us needed a pick-me-up.

Now, as a parent myself, I’ve continued this cookie baking tradition with my two daughters, but we’ve happily upgraded from the tube of cookie dough to a plant-based recipe that’s made with fewer processed ingredients, yet still every bit as delicious as the original.

My daughters love the process of making these cookies almost as much as they love eating the finished result. First, we stir together a flax “egg,” which is a vegan egg substitute that binds the cookies together. Then we whisk all the dry ingredients together (cue my kids momentarily fighting over who gets to use the whisk first) and stir in the wet ingredients. Finally, we add the chocolate chips (while my kids secretly try to sneak a few handfuls into their mouths) and roll the cookies into balls.

Since my sous-chefs are two and four years old, you can imagine the state that my kitchen is in after we’ve prepared the dough, but it’s always worth it to see the look of amazement on their faces while they sit in front of the oven watching the cookies rise and chatting about how amazing the kitchen smells.

If you’re new to plant-based baking, this recipe is a great place to start since it’s very simple to make and all of the ingredients should be familiar. It’s also a great recipe to freeze for cookie emergencies. You can freeze an entire ball of dough, then defrost it the night before you’re going to bake, or you can freeze individually wrapped single serving size cookies so you can bake as many or as few at one time as you would like.

Ilene Moreno is the owner of Colorful Dinner Delivery, a plant-based dinner delivery service based in Maplewood, and the author of the Colorful Kitchen cookbooks and blog. Connect with Ilene at

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Total time: 30 minutes

Active time: 15 minutes

Makes: About 24 cookies


Flax “Egg”

* 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

* 3 tablespoons warm water


* 2 cups spelt flour

* 2/3 cups coconut sugar

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/8 teaspoon salt


* 2/3 cup coconut oil or vegan butter, softened

* 1/4 cup soy milk (or almond, oat or rice milk)

* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fold In

* 1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

2. Prepare the flax “egg” by stirring the ground flaxseed and warm water together in a small bowl. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes before using.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.

4. In a small bowl, stir the wet ingredients together until smooth. Add the flax “egg” and stir again. Transfer the contents of the small bowl to the large bowl and mix until the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Spoon out balls of dough, a little more than 1 tablespoon each, and place them on the baking sheet. Use your hand to flatten each scoop slightly.

6. Bake for 11–13 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Let them cool or dig in while warm. Store in an airtight container.


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