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Amazing Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

When my son Corbett was in high school, he lamented the fact that his mother didn’t bake cookies. It’s true. As a perpetual Weight Watcher, I was a failure as a cookie-baking mom. Fast forward to now. I’m still a Weight Watcher but I’m baking cookies, not for Corbett because he grew up and moved to Seattle. These cookies are for me. The pandemic made me do it.

It goes without saying that moderation is key here. Don’t bake these cookies if you can’t employ portion control. I have decided that a life in quarantine without small indulgences is just not worth it. I freeze them and allow myself one cookie a day.

The recipe became famous after appearing online at Food 52. The cookies are called “Secretly Vegan,” because you’d never know they are butter and egg-free. They might even be slightly healthier than the usual Tollhouse recipe because they contain less saturated fat. But here’s the bottom line: these are cookies. They are meant to be savored. They are meant to make you smile. During these tense times I have to admit that eating one of these cookies has become the high point of my day.

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking powder 3/4 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. fine salt 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar 1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. water Coarse-grained sea salt or flaky sea salt like Maldon, for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips to the flour mixture and toss to coat.

In a separate large bowl, whisk the sugars briskly with the canola oil and water until smooth and incorporated, about 2 minutes. Note: Use fresh, soft light brown sugar. If there are clumps, break them up with the back of a spoon or your hand before whisking.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, then stir with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until just combined and no flour is visible. Do not overmix.

Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Do not skip this step. (Those are the official instructions. If you’re like me, you won’t wait 24 hours and you’ll still have great cookies!)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. Remove dough from the refrigerator and use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to portion dough into 2-inch mounds. (I gently flatten the dough with the back of my hand.)

Sprinkle the balls of dough with coarse-grained sea salt, and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are just golden. Do not overbake. (Again, I break the rules: I bake mine about 15 minutes because Champ likes crunchy cookies.)

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