Sunday, September 18, 2011

Best Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

For years I've been looking for the ultimate eggless chocolate chip cookies recipe and the search is finally over! What's the secret? Using flax seeds! Yup, you read that right. You can pack a (small) nutritional bonus in to your sweet treats! Flax seeds are rich in omega-3s, can help lower cholesterol and are good for bone health. Adding around two tbsp of ground flax seeds to your daily diet can help get these benefits.

How does it work like an egg substitute? Mixing ground flax seeds with hot water creates a sticky egg-like mixture that seems to helps bind the cookies. Plus they stay soft and chewy, even after a few days in an air-tight container (that is if they don't get gobbled up immediately). Another bonus - you can eat the cookie dough without worrying about salmonella.

Here is the recipe I adapted from the Joy of Cooking book.  It's actually my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (with egg) as well. It has never failed me:)

1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp water 
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup Skor pieces (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets.2. Whisk together flour and baking soda.
3. Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl until well-blended.

4. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp water. Then warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to get the sticky consistency. 
5. Mix in the salt and vanilla to flax mixture. Then add to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until well combined.
6. Stir in the flour mixture until well-blended and smooth. 
7. Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts and Skor pieces.
8. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. 

9. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are just slightly colored on top and the edges are brown, about 8 - 10 minutes. (I find they are chewier if you take them out closer to the 8-minute mark.)
10. Let it stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool. 

Makes about 36 cookies.

* If you want to make the recipe with egg, swap the 1 tbsp ground flax seeds and the 3 tbsp water with one large egg.
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