Let's talk about the classic chocolate chip cookie for a second.  I actually didn't come from a home where my mom would bake fresh cookies for us.  For me, my grandma used to make these yummy almond cookies with the sliver of almond in the center.  *Swoon* Future recipe idea!

My love for the classic chocolate chip cookie came in high school when my friend's mom made these amazing chocolate chip cookies with bits of crushed sugar cone in them. They were SO good, and I still remember them to this day.  Being polite, I would only eat one or two, but if it was MY house, that jar would've been empty by the end of the day.

Nowadays it's hard for me to deny any cookie of any kind.  But now that I'm eating healthy-ish, I figured it was a good time to explore some other options.  I love taking classic recipes and turning them into something that is enjoyable by everyone regardless of whether they are vegan, gluten-free, or just trying to steer clear of processed sugar.  Plus, I wanted to try to sneak in some protein powder to satisfy those cookie cravings!

BEHOLD! The vegan gluten-free chocolate chip protein cookie!  I realize that that's quite a mouthful. ;)

It has nuttiness from the almond meal, sweetness from the maple syrup, sustenance from the protein powder and nut butter, and of course that gooey chocolately goodness from the dark chocolate chips.  I'm a chunk girl myself, but I had a mix of chips and chunks on hand, so I used both. ;)

*Note: TJ's chunks are NOT vegan, but the chocolate chips are.  Or you can buy a TJ's dark chocolate baking bar and chop it into chunks.

They look like the real deal, right?!  Trust me on this.  You've gotta try it. 

Once they've cooled down from baking, you'll get this slightly crunchy outside, and a soft crumbly inside.  The way a chocolate chip cookie should be.

It'll have you singing, "Come on down, you friends of mine!  We're wilderness girls, and it's cookie time!" (GOLD STAR if you know what that's from! And also, we should be friends.)

THE BEST VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Makes 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cup almond flour/meal
  • 1/3 cup pea protein powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe's semisweet dark chocolate chips)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, protein powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl.  Mix well with a whisk.
  3. Add the almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla.  Mix until almost combined.  Add maple syrup, then mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Take about 2 tablespoons of batter and roll it into a ball.  Flatten the ball into a cookie shape, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  The cookie will not spread out when baking.
  6. Put the pan of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Then remove them and bake for 12 minutes, or until you see slight browning on the tops and edges.
  7. Cookies will be soft when you first take them out.  Leave them on the pan to cool and slightly harden.