I’ve been doing some really important research around here. Life changing. Important stuff. And you, lucky readers, are about to be the first to enjoy the fruits of my self-sacrificing labor (that is of course if you first do some labor of your own…or live close enough to swing by for a cookie…). I have recently made numerous batches of chocolate chip cookies in an effort to discover the recipe for perfect vegan gluten free nut free chocolate chip cookies. I know, it was hard, but somebody had to do it. How could a household with 4 boys and a mommy that loves chocolate really survive without them?
The problem I find with most every vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe is that they call for a large amount of oil and/or “buttery spread” (i.e., a chemical and oil laden coagulated substance that looks and tastes like butter). If I’m going to put a bunch of that in my homemade cookies, I might as well just buy some cookies at the store. Alternatively, I could substitute something like applesauce for the oil/buttery spread, but while a chocolate chip cookie made with any of the typical healthy substitutes tastes good, it is not really anything like the crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside chocolate chip cookie you really want.
Enter the magical secret ingredient: sun butter. You might assume that these cookies would taste too sun-buttery, but trust me, you won’t even notice the sun butter. They are fabulous. And aside from the sugar, you can feel confident that you are baking a wholesome, nutrition-packed treat for your family.
If you have a good food processor, you don’t need to spend $15 on a tiny jar of sun butter from the store. Simply put 3 cups of roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds into the food processor and let it do its thing for 5-10 minutes. It takes some time for the mealy sunflower crumbs to warm up enough to soften and turn into a smooth, creamy butter, but set your timer and walk away so you can be patient. When it’s done, you’ll have about 2 cups of sun butter (at a fraction of the price!) – enough to make 4 batches of these perfect vegan gluten free nut free chocolate chip cookies.
After you devour your first batch, make another and eat responsibly 😉 (i.e., sparingly…it may be a “healthy” treat, but it’s still a treat).
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer, combine the sun butter and sugars.
- Add the remaining ingredients (mix by hand slightly before using the mixer to avoid sending a cloud of flour everywhere 😉 )
- Using a cookie scoop, place the dough on the cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake for ~15 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Cool completely.
If you want a refined sugar free option, you can substitute 1/2 – 3/4 cup honey for the sugars and omit the applesauce. The end result isn’t quite as perfectly crispy and chewy due to the moisture content of honey, and they will no longer technically be vegan, but they are still very good.