Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}

Before I get to the recipe, I just want to say thank you for the overwhelming response to On Self-Care & Food Blogging. I’m so fortunate to have such thoughtful and supportive readers.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}While reorganizing my Recipe Index last week, I was astonished at the lack of vegan pumpkin recipes in my repertoire. Besides being a delicious vehicle for warm autumnal spices, pumpkin is an excellent egg replacer—something about the water content and fibrous innards, I suppose. All I know is that if you use 1/4 cup of the stuff in place of each large egg in a cookie recipe (and add a little pumpkin pie spice), you’ll likely escape the cakey cookie problem that plagues so many home bakers this time of year. And if you substitute melted coconut oil for the usual butter…well, you might suddenly have a lot of vegan friends asking about Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Not that I’d know anything about that 😊

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan} come together easily—no need for a mixer. Just whisk together some melted coconut oil, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla, before folding in a mixture of flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}At this point, you could add anything you like to the dough—dried fruit, nuts, candy, you name it. I’m usually all for that sort of thing, but sometimes simple is best. Pumpkin and chocolate are wonderful together; I made that pairing into some killer blondies a couple of weeks ago and I’m bringing back again today. I mean, why mess with perfection? Vegans like pumpkin and chocolate too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}Chill the dough for a couple of hours before rolling it into balls and baking at 350F for about ten minutes. They won’t spread much, remaining tall and puffy after they come out of the oven. Let them cool on a rack for a few minutes before enjoying.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}I am crazy about these cookies, y’all. They have chewy edges and soft centers, and the chocolate somehow stays a little melty long after it has reached room temperature. For those of you concerned about these cookies having a coconut flavor from the coconut oil, know that it’s very mild, especially if you use the refined stuff. As with most pumpkin baked goods, the autumnal flavor of these cookies intensifies the day after they’re made, easily masking any tropical undertones and making this a quality make-ahead recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}A pumpkin recipe that’s packed with chocolate, vegan, and is best if made ahead?! I’d be running to the kitchen right now if I were you.Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}
makes about 22 medium cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted (use refined for a milder flavor)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix in pumpkin purée and vanilla. Use a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) to fold dry ingredients into wet. Fold in chopped dark chocolate. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or up to three days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Scoop dough in two tablespoon increments. Roll into balls and place them at least 2.5 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 5 minutes before rotating the pans top to bottom and baking an additional 4-5 minutes. Let cookies cool on pans for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Pumpkin flavor will intensify as the days go on.

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}Today’s post is the third new cookie recipe in as many weeks…except that it’s not new at all. These Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies are made with the gluten-free cookie base of my Lindor Truffle Peanut Butter Blossoms and the marshmallow filling from my homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies. Put ‘em together, and you’ve got a sandwich cookie that is stupid easy and crazy delicious.

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}This cookie recipe is based on the Fluffernutter Sandwich, which is a perfect food as far as I am concerned. It doesn’t get much better than peanut butter and marshmallow fluff! That rich, creamy, sweet and salty combination is one of the greatest lunch treats out there. And make no mistake, it is a treat. While peanut butter (the natural kind, anyway) is pretty good for you, marshmallow fluff definitely isn’t! Good thing this is a dessert blog—this magical combination is much more suited to a cookie than a main course.

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies come together quickly and easily. The cookies are my spin on the classic three-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe. My version has six ingredients; aside from the usual peanut butter, egg, and brown sugar, this recipe has vanilla for flavor and cornstarch and baking powder to give the cookies a chewy texture. There’s no flour or butter in this dough or in the filling, so this recipe is free of gluten and dairy 😍

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}Scoop the dough by the 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons), roll it into balls, and flatten slightly. They may crack slightly, but that’s sort of a necessary evil here. This dough doesn’t spread much, so the flattening helps the cookies to bake into a shape that lends itself to sandwiching. 

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}And speaking of sandwiching…once the cookies are baked and cooled, make the filling. Cream together marshmallow fluff and shortening. Beat in some confectioners sugar, salt, vanilla, and hot water until a smooth, sticky filling forms. Load it into a zip-top plastic bag and snip off a corner.

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}Pipe dime-sized dollops of marshmallow filling onto half of the cookies and top them with the rest of the cookies.

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}Y’all. Y’ALL. These Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies are SO GOOD. The cookies are chewy and peanut buttery and the filling is marshmallow magic. Together, they are rich, sweet, salty, gluten- and dairy-free, and irresistible!

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies {Gluten-Free}
makes about 2.5 dozen very small sandwich cookies

Cookies:
1 1/2 cups creamy-style peanut butter (not natural-style)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/8 teaspoon baking powder

Filling:
4 oz marshmallow fluff (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup shortening,* room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon hot water (from the tap is fine)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat peanut butter and light brown sugar until combined. Mix in egg and yolk, followed by vanilla. Beat in cornstarch and baking powder.

Scoop dough in 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoon) increments and roll into balls. Place dough balls at least 1.5 inches apart on prepared pans and flatten lightly with your fingertips. Bake 6 minutes, until no longer shiny. Let cool ten minutes on the pans before removing to a rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, cream the marshmallow fluff and shortening with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar and salt. Add in vanilla and hot water and mix on high until the filling is very fluffy.

Assemble sandwich cookies. Load filling into a piping bag or zip-top freezer bag and snip off a small corner. Pipe a dime-sized dollop onto the middle of the underside of one cookie. Top with a second plain cookie, with the underside filling-side-in. Repeat with all remaining cookies.

Cookies will keep very well covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Note:

You may use an equal volume of softened butter in place of shortening. This will mean that your cookies are no longer dairy-free.

Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate CookiesI’m a vanilla person, but you sure wouldn’t know it by the way I wolfed down three of these cookies yesterday.

Double Chocolate CookiesDouble Chocolate Cookies have been a favorite of mine since childhood. When I was growing up, I was particularly fond of the version available in the bakery department of our local supermarket, but I haven’t had one of theirs in at least fifteen years, so I have no idea if they were actually any good (they probably weren’t). Regardless, I have many happy memories of snacking on them during our weekly grocery trips.

Double Chocolate CookiesIt’s tricky to make a good Double Chocolate Cookie. Add too much cocoa powder to the dough and you’ll end up with dry, crumbly results; don’t add enough and your cookies won’t have any flavor. Ugh. Since I am simply unwilling to resign myself to a life of subpar Double Chocolate Cookies, I take a note from Alice Medrich, arguably the queen of baking with chocolate.

Double Chocolate CookiesDouble Chocolate CookiesWhen she makes her Cocoa Brownies, Ms. Medrich begins by melting butter with cocoa powder and sugar. This technique is called blooming—it basically means infusing the butter with chocolate flavor. I’ve mentioned blooming before—it’s what makes my Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies so delicious. It does the same thing in these Double Chocolate Cookies, giving the dough a rich chocolate flavor from the very start. This simple process is a bit unusual in cookie-baking, but it yields unmatched depth of flavor.

Double Chocolate CookiesThe rest of the dough-making process is fairly straightforward, and since the butter is melted, it doesn’t require a mixer 🙌🏻🙌🏻 Whisk eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt into the chocolaty butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chips before covering and chilling the dough for at least a couple of hours. Don’t skip the chill unless you want sad, lacy cookies that run all over your baking sheets!

Double Chocolate CookiesAfter the dough has firmed up a bit, scoop it in two tablespoon increments and bake for just shy of ten minutes. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before moving them to a rack. Make sure to let the baking sheets come back to room temperature before baking the rest of the cookies.

Double Chocolate CookiesOnce all the dough has been baked, grab a cookie or two (or three!) and prepare to fall in love with a freaking baked good. These Double Chocolate Cookies have super dense, soft centers and crisp-chewy edges. Thanks to the blooming technique, they’re basically like eating a fudgy brownie in cookie form 😍😍😍 It goes without saying that I am totally obsessed. Coming from a vanilla person, that means a lot.Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies
makes about 2.5 dozen medium cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine butter, cocoa powder, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Let melt together, stirring frequently, until no pieces of butter remain. Mixture will be grainy. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Let cool 5-10 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk eggs into liquid ingredients one at a time, followed by vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, whisking until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Scoop dough in 2 tablespoon increments and roll into balls. Place dough balls at least 2.5 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 9-10 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom at the 5 minute mark. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for five minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Allow the baking sheets to return to room temperature before baking the remaining dough.

Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Matcha Chocolate Chip CookiesHave we talked about how much I love grocery shopping? Walking into Trader Joe’s is basically like going to Disneyland for me. Yes, I am a huge nerd. Ostensibly, I’m there to get basics–eggs, milk, a green vegetable so I don’t get scurvy from my insane flour consumption #bakerlife. But then, there’s the fun part: walking the aisles in search of new ingredients. There are so many possibilities in cooking and baking, and finding a new flour or cookie mix-in sparks my creative energy like nothing else.

Matcha Chocolate Chip CookiesMatcha Chocolate Chip CookiesThe problem with this habit is that when I unload my grocery bags and put my stuff away, I often forget about that new favorite ingredient for months. Exhibit A: this tub of matcha, a Japanese green tea that I positively adore. I bought it at the health food store months ago, put it in a cabinet and totally forgot about it. That’s a shame for two reasons:

  1. I love matcha’s earthy, bitter, ever-so-slightly savory green tea flavor. Sign me up for all of the matcha lattes and green tea ice cream.
  2. Matcha is pricey! That little tub was $20. (It’s less expensive online.)

Matcha Chocolate Chip CookiesSo today, let’s put that long-forgotten matcha powder to use and make some cookies! These Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies are crazy good, y’all. If you’ve got a matcha-lover in your life, make them a batch! They’ll adore the soft, green tea-spiked cookie and the hit of chocolate. Mmhmm.

Matcha Chocolate Chip CookiesNow, before I get to the recipe, I want to explain a few things. This dough, while simple to put together, doesn’t follow all the same rules as my usual cookie doughs. For one, it doesn’t require any softened butter, so this is a no-mixer recipe! The butter in these cookies is melted instead, but it’s not quite as easy as just adding sugar and eggs to melted butter. Don’t worry–it’s still simple.

Matcha Chocolate Chip CookiesMatcha Chocolate Chip CookiesThese cookies start with melting butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and matcha powder together on the stove. This technique is called blooming–it allows the flavor of the tea to infuse the butter, making for a richer-tasting cookie. I won’t lie to you, the bloomed matcha butter looks dark, sludgy (ew), and a little unappealing, but the flavor this process brings to the finished cookies is totally amazing.

The rest of the recipe is pretty standard–whisk a couple of eggs and some vanilla into the melted matcha mixture, fold in some dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Chill the dough for a few hours so the butter saturates the flour and the cookies don’t over-spread. Then scoop the dough into balls, bake on parchment-lined pans, and dig in!Matcha Chocolate Chip CookiesMatcha Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies right here? They’re soft, chewy, chocolaty matcha heaven. Make them a part of your weekend 😊Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons matcha powder
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, combine butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and matcha powder. Melt together over low heat, whisking occasionally, until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool slightly.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 

Whisk eggs into the melted matcha mixture one at a time, followed by vanilla. Mix dry ingredients into wet in two installments. Carefully fold in chocolate chips–they may melt slightly. Cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Scoop dough in 2 tablespoon increments (I use a medium cookie scoop) and roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Sometimes I go weeks without any new recipe ideas. Other times, they just come to me out of the blue. One minute, I’m adding cashews to the filling of my Paleo Cheesecake, and the next, I’m totally consumed with the idea of Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles. Sometimes, it just hits me.

Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Y’all, I am all about these cookies. They’ve got everything you love about Snickerdoodles: a crisp edge and loads of cinnamon-sugar flavor. As an added bonus, they just happen to be vegan and gluten-free!

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a three-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe that’s been around forever. The gist is that if you mix 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, and an egg into a dough, you can make some seriously good peanut butter cookies. I’ve used that recipe as my starting place for a few recipes, this one included.

Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Here, creamy cashew butter provides structure and fat–no need for flour or butter. Cornstarch and baking powder are added to keep the cookies tender. You could certainly use a large egg in this dough, but I opted for a flax egg in an effort to keep these treats vegan. The cookies are sweetened with a combination of granulated and brown sugars and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.

The dough comes together in just a few minutes. It will seem a little crumbly, but should hold together well when pinched. Roll it into balls and then coat them in cinnamon sugar before baking. Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles bake in less than ten minutes. They will be very puffy when they come out of the oven–you may leave them like that or tamp them down with a small spoon, as I have.

Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}These cookies, y’all. They’re tender, loaded with Snickerdoodle flavor, and because they’re vegan and gluten-free, more people can enjoy them! I shared some with my vegan, gluten-free friend, VJ, and she was all about the buttery cashew flavor and huge hit of cinnamon. She said that she might like these more than traditional Snickerdoodles! I don’t know about that–Snickerdoodles are hard to beat–but I do know that you should make these.Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 2 dozen small cookies

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed*
2 tablespoons warm tap water
1 cup creamy-style cashew butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Coating:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

Make a flax egg. In a small bowl, combine ground flaxseed and water. Stir together and let sit for five minutes, until thickened.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cashew butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Mix in flax egg and vanilla. Beat in cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Dough will be crumbly, but should hold together when pinched,

Make the coating. In a small bowl, use a fork to stir together cinnamon and sugar until evenly mixed.

Scoop dough by the tablespoon and form into balls. Roll each ball in the coating and set on the prepared baking sheet. Dough balls should be 2 inches apart. Bake 8-9 minutes, until very puffy. Lightly press the top of each cookie with a small spoon. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Note:

If you are not vegan, you may use a large egg (at room temperature) in place of the flax and water. Proceed with the recipe as written.