An Irresistible, Oat-y, Nutty, Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie

February 12, 2018
Well, hello there. Photo by Julia Gartland

I’m quite sure that most of us will eat more plant-based dishes in the years to come whether or not it’s part of a belief system. One reason is that chefs and experts are creating more delicious dishes, including desserts and baked goods, without meat or dairy. This is becoming a requirement to satisfy customers in restaurants and cafes, and it is growing trend in commercial food production, well-documented by my having walked the entire 2018 Fancy Food Show here in San Francisco last month.

I remain an omnivore, but even at my house, family dinner changes with changing tastes, health issues, and ideas about the world. I’m intrigued by the challenge of making familiar (and brand-new) things with different ingredients―in part because I’m curious and because it makes me think! My only requirement is that the ingredients that stand in for milk, butter, and eggs meet my personal standards.

On our way to something good! Photo by Julia Gartland

The new chocolate chunk cookies below are made with almond butter, coconut oil, and organic sugar. The almond butter is the type made from pure almonds and salt, with no palm oil or emulsifiers―stirring is just the price you pay for a pure ingredient. The coconut oil is unrefined (virgin) coconut oil because I don’t like to use processed oil when there is a suitable unprocessed alternative. You might wonder why I did not use one of the vegan margarines. So far, I don’t like the taste or the ingredients in these products, so I’m choosing other sources of fat instead.

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One of the interesting things about these cookies is that they do not spread in the oven. This is mostly because coconut oil melts at a higher temperature than butter. This means that you must flatten the dough a bit with your fingers (no big deal) before baking, or leave them fat and chunky. Playing around with their shape lets you determine how crunchy versus soft you want them to be.

Form these cookies with your hands to control how crispy or soft you'd like them to be. Photo by Julia Gartland

I added some oat flour because I like whole grains in cookies and because oats have lovely caramel toffee flavors that play well with the brown sugar. Mingled with almond butter and brown sugar, the flavor of the coconut oil is subtle and very much in harmony with the other flavors. (I don’t like when all plant-based dishes taste like coconut, regardless of whether coconut tastes good with the other ingredients in the dish!)

The point of making a new chocolate chunk cookie was to tip a hat―rather than duplicate―the old standard, while bringing something different and pleasing to the table. Even if you are not committed to a plant-based diet, I hope this will become one of your new chocolate chunk cookies. No baker can have too many of those!

Will you be making these cookies? Let us know below!

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Claire
  • Heidi A.
    Heidi A.
  • erica
  • Robby H
    Robby H
  • the mad gourmet
    the mad gourmet
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


Claire February 21, 2018
I don't know what would work with this recipe, but I learned recently (the hard way) that sunflower seed butter turns your baked goods green after baking. I don't have another recommendation, just wanted to save you the trouble of presenting green chocolate chip cookies to children. :)
Heidi A. February 21, 2018
Thanks, now I know!
Heidi A. February 18, 2018
My understanding is that nut butters and seed butters are different on the allergy scale. So maybe sunflower seed butter or Tahini for part (sesame seed butter, really) would work. Check the science of that and ask your doctor.
erica February 13, 2018
This recipe looks great. My family has switched to a mostly plant based diet over the past couple of years, adding the occasional eggs & cheese, and we love it. However, one of my kids has a tree nut allergy, which makes plant based baking difficult. What do you recommend as a substitution for the almond butter?
the M. September 1, 2018
I substituted tahini due to concerns about nut allergy and they came out fantastic! So try tahini! I also used dried cherries in lieu of walnuts.
Robby H. February 12, 2018
It is interesting to see how old recipes can be made new. The one thing I find is that people don't necessarily warn you what is in their dish either because they don't think to or want to 'surprise' you with how good the new thing is. The problem is, many of the new substitutes change a formerly safe dish into something that should be avoided, or may even be problematic for some people. I face this, which is a good reminder to me to be sure to alert others to the changes. These sound good, but aren't an option for me.
sheilaryan February 18, 2018
Lots of foods/recipies aren't "options" for people. Don't make them. There is no reason to alert the thousands of us out there who can read a recipe, consider the ingredients and then decide if we want to make this or any other recipe, of your personal allergies/aversions. If you see an ingredient you can't use, either skip the recipe or substitute. It's on each of us PERSONALLY to figure this out, not on recipe creators.
Christa J. February 18, 2018
I don't think the poster was being critical of the recipe creator, just reminding everyone that trying to "surprise" others (whose dietary restrictions you may not know) with "new, alternative " recipes can backfire. Let people know what is in the food you are offering, so they can make an educated choice for their own safety.