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.
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.
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.
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
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Add chocolate chips and toss to coat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.