Kid-Made Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

image source: elizabeth stark
image source: elizabeth stark

We’ve all heard the saying — baking is science. Since I tend toward impromptu cooking, experimentation, and taking more than a few liberties with any given recipe, the science part of baking has always terrified me. Even if I can make a flaky pie crust and a perfect cake, cookies are different. Precision is essential, and precision is not my strong suit.

And even attempting precision when kids are around is a dicey proposition. It’s a scientific fact that any time you ask them to dump the (carefully measured) flour in a mixing bowl, they’ll get half of it on the counter.

vegan tahini chocolate chip cookies2
Image source: Elizabeth Stark

Still, cookies taste good, and once the batter is made, they’re actually a pretty great thing for little hands to make, so I keep trying my hand. “Science” be damned. Here, I’ve found an easy, incredibly forgiving recipe that also happens to be incredibly delicious: Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies with a swirl of nutty tahini and a pinch of flaky sea salt on top. Like all good chocolate chip cookies, they’ve got crispy edges and a chewy, slightly caky center with notes of caramel and molasses in every bite. Tahini brings a rich nuttiness that complements the melty chunks of bittersweet chocolate and bits of sea salt beautifully.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

This vegan cookie batter comes together in minutes, but it does require 12-24 hours in the fridge to meld, so you’ll want to plan ahead. When I was ready to bake, I set out a parchment-lined tray, a small bowl of sea salt, and a cookie scoop for my 4-year-old daughter to help out. (If you don’t have a cookie scoop, a smallish ice cream scoop will work too. Scoop the batter in 1 1/2-inch balls, then press lightly to flatten.) She happily scooped, flattened, and salted the cookies, and I took care of the baking part. Afterwards, she was standing by for her very important role as chief cookie taster. Happily, these met with her hearty approval.

Image source: Elizabeth Stark

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

recipe adapted from Food52

Makes: 24-26 3-inch cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup vegan bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Flaky sea salt for finishing


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Add chocolate chips and toss to coat.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine oil, sugars, tahini, water, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously for 2 minutes. Fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing just until combined. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set in fridge to chill 12-24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 360 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Use a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop to scoop dough balls. Arrange dough balls so they are at least 2 inches apart. Press firmly to slightly flatten dough and sprinkle each with a few flecks of flaky sea salt.

    Image source: Elizabeth Stark
  4. Slide into oven and bake 11-13 minutes, or until edges are golden. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet, then use a spatula to place cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.

    Image source: Elizabeth Stark
    Image source: Elizabeth Stark
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