We are about three months away from our wedding and I don’t feel like it’s even possible that it’s happening so soon. As in, I’m super excited but AHH it’s so soon! Don’t get me wrong I am SO excited, but really, it keeps feeling like a party that we are going to keep planning forever, and it’s going to be crazy when it’s finally here. At the beginning of July I realized one the 6th that we were exactly four months away, which was promptly followed up with making a giant to-do list and frantically stamping invitation envelopes with return addresses. I know everything will get done in due time and no matter what it will be perfect, but at this moment, it feels like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it! One of the last things left to do is choose wedding cake flavors, which is obviously an item I’m not dreading in the least bit, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I’m trying to stick to desserts that are fairly fast and easy to make, since I don’t necessarily have the patience for things to be mixed, chilled, scooped and baked, all over the course of a couple days. Enter: these caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies.
The base for this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe was adapted from Tara O’Brady’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. I first heard about it when Tara was on the Pure Green Magazine Podcast and talked about the recipe being 30 minutes from start to finish, and one that she had obviously labored over with love. After using her version of chocolate chip cookies several times and deeming them the best/easiest I’ve made so far, I knew it was time to change it up just a little bit (aka stuff things inside of it). The beauty of Tara’s recipe is that almost ingredient is probably something you have hanging out in your kitchen at home, especially if you are prone, like myself, to keeping cookie ingredients on hand at all times. I’ve sung the praises of vegan date caramel in the past (especially in ice cream!) and with good reason. It’s easy, fast, and shies away from the usual ingredient list of caramel that includes lots of sugar and corn syrup. Even though I was pretty confident, as I was stuffing the date caramel into the chocolate chip cookie dough, I got a little nervous that this was just too good to be true, there was no way this was going to work, right? Wrong, and I’m so happy about it. The chocolate chip cookie base becomes perfectly crispy around the edges and melted in the center, while still giving that extra surprise from the date caramel center. If you want to start out with just making straight up vegan chocolate chip cookies with the dough, by all means, go right ahead. I fully expect and support you in starting out with straight up chocolate chip cookies, you do you!
p.s. Who wants to help me steam table runners for my wedding? I’ll pay you in cookies and lots of wine.
Caramel Stuffed Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- For the caramel:
- 10 dates pitted
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the chocolate chip cookies:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or if it's hot outside, your coconut oil is probably pre-melted for you, melted
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 flax 'egg' 1 tbs. ground flax seed combined with 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat and set aside.
To make the caramel: In a blender, combine the dates, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small dish and place in the freezer while preparing the cookie dough.
To make the chocolate chip cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, milk and flax egg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the coconut oil mixture until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the cookie dough out in 2-3 tablespoon balls, roll into balls, then flatten down into a small disc, spacing each about an inch apart. Remove the caramel mixture from the fridge and place a dollop of caramel into the center of each disc. Wrap cookie dough around the caramel center, squeeze together and place cookie onto the cookie sheet with the seam down (where you pinched together the dough). Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.
Note: If you want the caramel center to be easier to handle, freeze for a couple of hours and cut into chunks, then place in cookie dough discs.