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.