For over five years now, my Wednesday Workshop children have requested these cookies as their end of term treat. Who would have thought that a vegan wholemeal cookie would be such a hit!
I must admit, the children were a little surprised when I first admitted that they were vegan, but it didn’t deter them. To be honest, I got more cautious looks when I told them they were wholemeal, but even this wasn’t enough to put them off. They enthusiastically tucked into them, then proceeded to give me lots of lovely compliments. Some even told me they were the ‘Best Choc Chip Cookies Ever!’ Now that’s an impressive accolade for a humble home-made cookie!
The children often ask me ‘what’s in the cookies?’ If they’re not made with butter and eggs, what are they made of?
The cookies are incredibly easy to make. They don’t contain any fancy or ‘weird’ ingredients. Just a few basic pantry staples – wholewheat flour, baking soda, unrefined sugar, oil, vanilla extract, a drop of soya milk and maple syrup and, of course, choc chips!
‘Vegan-friendly’ chocolate chips are widely available in UK supermarkets these days. The supermarket own-brand dark chocolate chips are usually dairy-free. Also, many supermarkets now stock the Moo Free ‘milk’ chocolate chips.
I personally love Plamil chocolate because it’s produced in a factory that is 100% nut free, dairy free and vegan. The company has a great ethos and it puts my mind at rest to know there’s no chance of ‘traces of milk or nuts’ appearing in the cookies that I share with school children.
The wholefood wholesaler Suma supplies Plamil chocolate to independent health food shops across the UK. It can also be ordered directly from the company. To date, I’ve always used Plamil’s dark choc chips but I’ve just noticed that they stock milk choc chips. I definitely need to give those a try!
Freshly baked, these cookies are crisp round the edges, with a soft chewy centre. They go softer in time, but are delicious nonetheless. They’ve proved to be hugely popular with my Wednesday Workshop children. We hope you enjoy them too!
Makes 10-12 cookies
Hands on time: 20 minutes Ready in: 35 minutes
75g / ⅓ cup unrefined cane sugar
50ml / ¼ cup organic rapeseed (canola) oil, sunflower oil or other neutral-flavoured oil
30ml / 2 TBSP soya or almond milk
10ml / ½ TBSP maple syrup (this gives the cookies their lovely golden colour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g / ¾ cup fine wholemeal (whole wheat pastry) or chapatti flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
¼ tsp salt
50g / ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Line two large baking trays with non stick baking paper.
Using a fork, whisk together the sugar, oil, milk, syrup and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until it becomes smooth and caramel-like. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. If there is any wheatgerm left in the sieve, tip it into the bowl, and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in the choc chips.
Scoop tablespoons of dough and space them out on the prepared trays (these cookies will spread). Using damp fingers, lightly press into cookie shape.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Turn the trays round and bake for another 2 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Leave to cool on the trays for a few minutes (they will firm up as they cool). Using a thin spatula, gently loosen the cookies from the baking tray and transfer them to a wire rack. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container where they will keep for a couple of weeks. They also freeze well.