Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lavender Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan)

I am a big fan of lavender, both as a fragrance and as a herb. About six years ago I came across some culinary lavender at a herb shop and used it to make amazing lavender, vanilla, chocolate truffles. Since, then I have been hooked and will flavour anything with lavender. (See also: rose)

Today, we're revisiting my original love: lavender with chocolate (and vanilla.) These cookies are my variation of the Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I had a box of Ener-G egg replacer to be used up so that is what I used for this recipe. If you prefer flax eggs or another alternative, I'm sure they would work, I just haven't tried them.

Chewy, Vegan, Lavender-Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ½ - 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (use the extra ½ if batter is too wet)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used coarse pink Himalayan salt)
3/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, melted (I used about 1 Tbsp less than this)

1 1/2 cups of sugar (I use Level Ground sugar*)
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoon EnerG Egg Replacer + 3 Tbsp water, combined
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoon+ dried lavender (make sure it's edible and not from your potpourri basket)

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prep your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Add the salt separately if it is coarse, otherwise sift it too. Set aside.

2. Combine the melted Earth Balance with the sugar and molasses in a mixing bowl. I don't have a mixer and so I make sure to beat this well, doing it by hand. There should be no separation between the sugar and melted margarine or you will get oily cookies.

3. Add the vanilla and EnerG mixture and give them a good beating, again, if you're doing this by hand.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined (don't overmix, flour doesn't like that.)

5. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and the dried lavender. Taste the dough (which you can do because there are no eggs!) and add more lavender if you like.

6. Measure 1/4 cup per cookie and give them a few inches to expand on the tray. Bake for approx 15 minutes and then remove and allow to sit on the pan another 10 minutes or so.

These cookies are crisp on the outside, dense and chewy on the inside: a perfect chocolate chip cookie with a twist. The sweetness makes the lavender taste amazing, and no one will know they're vegan.

*Level Ground sugar is very naturally caramelly. It makes the BEST vegan banana bread ever which I will post the recipe for on another day. Bonus: It's unrefined and Fair Trade certified. Perfect, much?