At just a mouthful a piece, these mini chocolate chip cookies are worth living for, and should come with a warning: HIGHLY addictive. They are dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and vegan-friendly, and were created by tweaking a Maryland cookie copycat recipe that went dreadfully wrong – they weren’t anything like Maryland cookies!! Since I only baked a small portion of the dough, I could judge the taste and texture before baking the whole batch. I had to rescue the remaining dough so I wouldn’t waste the ingredients. The resulting cookies (this recipe that you are now reading) are packed full of flavor, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, just like a good ole American cookie should be.
The recipe calls for vegetable shortening… something I usually avoid like the plague. We’re food snobs, and J, like his mother only believes that baked goods should be made with butter. I know that some biscuits (cookies) have a better texture with vegetable shortening, due to the higher fat content. I did my research and found a suitable vegetable shortening that went with our snobbery. It’s made by a company called Spectrum, and their vegetable shortening is not only organic, but it’s made with 100% expeller pressed palm oil, with no hydrogenated fats. I did not tell J that I made the biscuits (cookies) with shortening until he was happily munching on them non-stop. I think he approved!
Whilst researching ingredients, I also found a company called Enjoy Life, who makes soy-free chocolate chips! Their products are also free of wheat, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, casein, sesame and sulfites. Although their products are not 100% organic, they are GMO-free. This is a wonderful thing for me – there are so many products out there that contain chocolate chips made with soy-lecithin that I sulkily avoid.
MINI CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Makes around 65
Adapted from Allrecipes.co.uk – Maryland Cookies Copycat Recipe
- 165 g (¾ c and ½ tablespoon ) 100% expeller pressed palm oil shortening, at room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 115 g (½ c and 1 tablespoon) unrefined cane (turbinado) sugar
- 4 tablespoons (¼ c) golden syrup*
- 25 ml (1 ⅔ tablespoons) almond or rice milk, or as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 260 g (1 ¾ c) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 100 g (½ c and ½ tablespoon) soy-free mini chocolate chips
* If you don’t live in the UK, golden syrup can be found in British import stores.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)**. Line 2-3 baking trays (sheets/pans) with parchment paper.
2. Meanwhile, cream together vegetable shortening, salt and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Stir in golden syrup, milk and vanilla extract until well combined.
4. Mix in flour, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and chocolate chips until evenly mixed. Add additional milk if required. The mixture should be moist and should form dough ball when squeezed together, but not sticky.
5. Roll one level dessertspoon (10 ml or two level teaspoons) of the mixture into a ball and flatten to 5 mm (¼ inch) thick, about 3.5 cm (1 ⅓ inch) in diameter. Repeat and place on prepared baking trays (sheets/pans) about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart. NOTE: You can now freeze the shaped cookie dough, if desired. Simply freeze them on the baking tray (sheet/pan), then store in a freezer bag until needed. When you feel like a few cookies, simply cook them from frozen as step 6, but add 1-2 minutes to the cooking time.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes or until evenly browned. Let cookies set on the tray (sheet/pan) for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully. Enjoy!
** If you prefer the cookies to be crisper, simply bake them at 150°C (300°F) for 13-14 minutes.