The plant-strong diet I follow doesn’t allow sugar. I thought it would be impossible to cut sugar out of my life, but it’s not been as hard as I thought it would be. My sweet tooth doesn’t suffer because I’ve learned how to make wonderful medjool date sweetened desserts like Orange Chocolate Pudding.
I have yet to master a great date-sweetened cookie, however. I’m sure there are some out there, but I’ve been disappointed with the recipes I’ve tried. So when I make cookies, I still use real sugar. I figure a little sugar on rare occasions won’t kill me.
The problem with this is that I can’t make cookies without binging on them. And then, once I’ve tasted sugar again, I crave it. So, I decided that I wasn’t going make cookies anymore.
But that resolution didn’t last long!
While visiting my in-laws for my mother-in-law’s birthday last week, my mother-in-law hinted that she was disappointed that I didn’t bake cookies for her birthday this year (I’ve done so every year since I met her). I caved and made her cookies.
Since they were for her 80th birthday, I had to make something special. She told me she wanted chocolate chip cookies, so that was my starting point. It’s hard to improve on chocolate chip cookies, but I just may have done it. It was agreed by all who tasted them that these orange infused chocolate chip cookies were to-die-for!
I will also note that baking the cookies was a nice way to bond with my mom-in-law since I made them at her house. I’m glad I did it, but I’m still afraid that I’ll crave sugar again. Oh well, some things are just more important.
This recipe is inspired by allrecipes.com.
Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup vegan white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic orange flavor
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
1 vegan orange chocolate bar, chopped into chip sized pieces
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, mix flax seeds with water and set aside.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl and set aside. Cream Earth Balance, sugars, orange zest, vanilla extract and orange flavor together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of the flax-seed mixture and beat well and then add the rest of flax-seed mixture and beat again. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate and nuts and mix until well blended.
5. Drop by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake for about 15 or 16 minutes or until golden. Cool on the cookie sheets.
Makes 4 dozen cookies
I’m so tickled that this recipe inspired my blogger friend, Violet, to make her first vegan cookies. She altered the recipe to make the cookies gluten and nut-free. She also added the nice addition of cranberries. Check out her yummy recipe here.
Sugar and Oil-free Version!
I may not have mastered date-sweetened cookies, but it looks like my buddy Annie has. Check out her date-sweetened Orange-Triple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. I haven’t made these yet, but Annie’s recipes are always amazing!
I found Simply Organic Orange Flavor at Whole Foods Market, but it’s also available through Amazon.
I never got any photos of the cookies (we ate them too fast!), so I used a photo representation. The photo is courtesy of Cooking Classy. You might want to check out the Easter Chick Cookies on this site – they’re not vegan, but I’m sure they could be veganized.
Celeste – you sound like me! I am like a dog when it comes to cookies – I smell them and it’s all downhill from there! These look absolutely delicious!!!
They look divine!
I want to make these……….
Oh, I just read the last bit of your post! Well, your cookies sound divine in any case! 😀
Eureka! These look delish! Orange and chocolate are a match made in heaven.
And your grandmother’s response, Celeste ….?
Indeed, some things are just more important…. mmmmmm cookies 🙂
Loved the combination. I am gonna try it soon 🙂
Orange + chocolate is always a win in my case! 😀 The recipes sounds delicious!
Oh Celeste , you and I have the same weakness. I also have a sweet tooth. I also love dates and still want to make that brownie recipe you shared. Hmmmmm, starting to get the baking bug. Whoa, will have to wait till after Easter:-)
Yummy! Celeste, have you tried other natural sweeteners, aside from dates? You won’t crave them. I use coconut sugar, agave nectar ( I wrote a blog on this one as people have wrongly been led to believe it’s highly processed ) or raw honey. I also use apple purée/sauce or banana in things like muffins.
Hey April! I haven’t tried other natural sweeteners except for maple syrup and bananas. I didn’t think that other natural sugars were much better than sugar, but I’ll have to check out your blog post about agave nectar. Have a great week chica!! Celeste 🙂
Hey Celeste. For me, there are a couple of things to consider. How much processing has the original food undergone? Are there any nutrients remaining? How high is the fructose content? So, refined cane sugar is what I call empty calories. There is 0 nutritional benefit, and it is highly addictive- early studies show possibly as addictive as cocaine! Scary. Obviously it’s quick release which is no good on a regular basis. Some natural sugars, the unrefined versions, have many nutrients still retained and provide sweetness which make food palatable and enjoyable. Coconut sugar is excellent for baking as it has texture & substance and acts in a similar way to cane sugar when combined with typical baking ingredients. Raw Agave nectar, processed once only at low temperatures has many nutrients still available and raw versions are usually no more than 50% fructose, plus are sweeter than cane sugar so we don’t need much. Stevia, as the green powder or as a liquid, also has nutritional benefits and is 0 calories. It is not so good in baking though. I will do a blog soon on sugars, but if you do visit the agave post, check out the links as there is an excellent description of sugars and how our body processes them on one of my links. Agave got a bad and inaccurate article on it written by a couple of people I mention in my post, people who make money from rival products 😦 Hope that helps! Your cookies look sooooo good! I love cookies!!!!
Yum Yum Yumm! Your orange flavoured CC cookies look extremely delicious! x
Oh my gosh these sound so good! I love chocolate orange! I’m with you on the sugar, and you’re right a little bit here and there won’t kill you. I’ve been experimenting with stevia in baking lately and have had some good results. I also try to use things like agave, rice syrup or coconut sugar but I have read a lot of research to suggest that these can also cause cravings but I guess they are still beneficial in other ways!…. Now I want cookies.
Yum! I must try this recipe!!!!!
Mmm! Your cookies look delicious! My mother-in-law just turned 80, too.
This sounds so good! You know orange chocolate chip cookies remind me of the Kennedy assassination though. It was my comfort food during those sad long days. Made by Nestle for a short time. These are much healthier though. Pretty easy to make too! Blessings,
What an interesting association you have with orange chocolate chip cookies. Not happy memories, that’s for sure. In any case, I hope you have a very happy Easter Ellie! Celeste 🙂
Yeah, sorry about that downer. Isn’t it amazing how a flavor, a song or a smell can transport you back to a memory in an instant? It is what makes counseling so interesting to me. 🙂 Happy Easter to you too!
There is nothing better than chocolate and orange. Love it!
My mom just turned 85!
I didn’t see the pecans until now – great addition!
I loved the pecans in this recipe! They harmonized with the orange-chocolate nicely. Celeste 🙂
I made a version of the chocolate chip cookies with cranberries, coconut and walnuts and rice crisps. This is a god base for many additions.😊
Wow, Celeste!! Your chocolate chip cookies are very creative! I would never think of pairing up orange with chocolate! I’m going to print your recipe now and try it out since I have most of the ingredients and need to make some kind of dessert for my Easter Monday get together with some friends. 🙂 I will have to modify it a bit by making it gluten-free. 😉 As for the organic orange flavour..do you think I can substitute with just freshly squeezed orange? I’m currently very lazy, and don’t feel like going grocery shopping in the next 2 days. 😛 Thanks for the inspiration girl! xo
Hey Violet! I’m so glad you’re gonna give this a try. I have to be honest with you that I don’t think orange juice will give you the same taste as the orange flavor. Maybe if you add extra orange zest and the freshly squeezed orange juice, but I still don’t think it will have the same impact. I’m sure that it will still taste good, just maybe more subtle. In any case, happy Easter and have fun with your friends. Celeste 🙂
Hey Celeste!! I just finished baking the cookies, and took your suggestion of adding extra orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice. Guess what? The cookies turned out very well!!!!! 🙂 I slightly modified it, and will take a photo of it later and post it on my blog, and you can check it out. Thanks so much Celeste!!!!! You rock!! 🙂 xo
I’m SO glad that they turned out well Violet! I checked your blog and didn’t see the photo. Let me know when you post so I can check them out!! Celeste 🙂
Yes, I’m glad too. 🙂 I just posted photo. Let me know what you think. 🙂
Yum!! Your cookies look so good that I’m wondering if I should try gluten-free baking. 🙂
Thanks Celeste! All inspired by you. 🙂 I think you should definitely give it a try!! 🙂
Yummy. I think I can even swap out the flour for the gluten-free version and it would totally work. Thanks, Celeste.
Orange and chocolate.. Always a winning combo:)
I’ll take a baker’s dozen, thanks. 😉
Celeste I am so excited to try these! Who can ever beat an Orange and Chocolate combination? I almost think its better than PB and Chocolate!
Love the flavor combination of these cookies, Celeste!! I’m a sucker for sweets in general – which is why I limit myself to weekends and all leftovers go in the freezer!
Oooh !! My favourites and you ate them all 😥 ❤
Oh boy, they sound incredible! I can’t resist a good chocolate chip cookie, or 10. LOL!
I’m with you Celeste, I try to eliminate sugar as much as possible, but it’s very easy to get the cravings once you ‘cave’. I do like to use maple syrup, but sometimes it just has to be sugar.
Hope your mother-in-law loved them! Happy Easter if you are celebrating. 🙂
LOVE this, such a great (yummy) idea!
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Yesssss Celeste! I was just the other day wondering whether I could do a mint choc chip cookie with fresh mint. This combo sounds divine as well! Yum!
Fresh mint in cookies sounds lovely to me – let me know if you try it! 🙂
I wish I could give up sugar but I only seem to be able to do it short term, then I see a recipe like this and Im back on sugar! These sound great!
Oh no! My blog is supposed to be about helping people eat more healthfully and here I’ve encouraged you to eat more sugar. Sigh! 🙂
Yum! I’m thinking of switching sugar with stevia, margarine with coconut oil and giving these cookies a try 🙂
These look amazing! I love chocolate and orange together.
I can just smell the aroma of the orange zest and the chocolate chips. I think you showed love while you baked these, glad you offered a gluten free recipe and give up the guilt, chica! You are special and yet, we all fall down and make mistakes!
This looks super yummy Celeste! x
I really like the orange twist! Should try it.. And I know how hard it is to cut back on sugar, I shouldn’t even try.. 🙂
these look way better than any “conventional” cookie! way to go.
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