Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 31, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #vegan

I feel as if this time of year people fall into one of two categories. There are the ones who cling to summer, never wanting it’s warm rays and lush produce to end. Then there are the others who are craving fall, a break from the sun and some cozier food. Last year I fell into the first camp, having survived my first real winter in Colorado and getting a taste of what mountain adventures in the summer could amount to – I never wanted it to end. Now that I am back in southern California, I’m eager for less crowds, cooler temps, and fall activities. I often feel exhausted by the end of summer (in a good way), with it’s long days of sunlight keeping me active. But we are approaching the time when the earth’s cycle balances the long active summer days with shorter days and an easier light.

We are still a few months from completely experiencing the change here on the west coast, but I’m already dreaming of what’s to come. Foggy morning walks through the pumpkin patches, cinnamon in my coffee, and a weekly baked good are a few of the things I’m looking forward to the most. Above them all, however, is our end of summer camping trip. When the weather cools off a bit, and the schools start up again – draining crowds from popular destinations – this is when we head out to explore. Last year it was to Arches NP in Utah, then through the Rocky Mountains along the Crystal River and up to Sylvan Lake. This year it will be to Redwoods NP in northern California, after stopping for a night in Yosemite on our way north, and staying along the golden central coast on our way back south. We will be camping for several nights on the sandy beach of the redwoods, with trees lining the coast and a herd of elk to keep us company. My mind is already consumed by the impending peace, adventure, and beauty that is coming up next week.  I am so ready for a little away time in the woods with my man. Where the only task each day is to “live”. With plenty of s’mores, of course.

A little over a year ago from today I posted my last recipe on FW that contained processed sugar. Since then, this ingredient has not set foot in our home. The recipe I had posted was for my go-to chocolate chip cookie at the time. But after a few mis-attempts at recreating it to perfection myself (as well as by a few readers who struggled) I decided it’s removal from my recipe page was necessary. I promised myself I would develop one free of processed sugar that I approved of wholeheartedly. I needed to believe it was truly incredible before I brought another one to you here. After an entire year of recipe testing further, and about six batches made last week alone, I am so thrilled to share the final result with you today! A soft, pillowy chocolate chip cookie. Perfectly sweet, and studded with dark chocolate. These absolutely melt in your mouth. I hope you enjoy a little pre-fall baked treat in the midst of soaking up the last few weeks of summer. And if this recipe happens to make the cut, I’d love to know what you think.

I will be making a special variation of these cookies on my Nom show today if you’d like to tune in, as well as be airing another show this upcoming Sunday covering our camp food as I am packing it up for our big trip next week! I hope to see you at one of the shows, and cannot wait to share our adventures with you next. Have the loveliest of weeks now friends. – xx

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #veganChocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #veganChocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #veganChocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #veganChocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #veganChocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #veganChocolate Chip Cookies by Faring Well #vegan

Makes 16 cookies. 

1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (as a liquid)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups light spelt flour (whole grain works too)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and mix. Sift the flour (see note), baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt into the mixing bowl. Stir until the mixture just starts to come together. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of almond milk on top of the dough and continue to mix until the soft cookie dough forms. If it is too dry, add an additional teaspoon of almond milk at a time until the dough is soft and slightly sticky. If it is too sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour until it becomes more manageable. Add the chopped dark chocolate and stir once more to incorporate.

Roll spoonfuls of dough (2 tablespoons each) into balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press down slightly into disks. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool on the counter or a wire rack. Enjoy warm with a glass of almond milk, and store leftovers in an airtight container on the counter (or in the freezer) until ready to serve. Let frozen cookies thaw on the counter before serving.

Cookie ramekins: divide cookie dough between 4 – 4 inch, or 3 – 6 inch ramekins and press down firmly (dough should be one inch thick). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, let slightly cool, and serve right away. Preferably with a glass of nut milk or scoop of coconut milk ice cream. 

NOTE: For best results, fluff your flour with a fork before scooping with a spoon into your measuring cups and leveling with a knife. This ensures no “packing” of the flour into your measuring cups, which will leave you with a drier dough. For the chocolate, I use a 77% dark chocolate bar that I love – use whichever is your favorite. I chop mine in small and large chunks to make the cookie bites a bit more interesting. Light spelt flour is my favorite here, however whole spelt will yield a tasty cookie all the same.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!


  • Reply Tori//Gringalicious August 31, 2016 at 5:21 am

    These cookies are such loveliness! I ADORE the ones in the dishes and your pics are perfection!

  • Reply Michelle @ Hummingbird High August 31, 2016 at 5:54 am

    ugh, i am so excited for fall! this summer has been absolutely brutal. your camping adventures sound amazing!

  • Reply Elizabeth August 31, 2016 at 6:33 am

    These cookies! I love coconut sugar and suddenly have a serious cookie craving. It’s been brutally hot in Virginia and I’m so ready for fall, but like always, it’s bittersweet. Have a wonderful trip – I’ll be looking forward to following your travels on Insta!

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full August 31, 2016 at 7:47 am

    These cookies. look. AMAZING. I LOVE that they don’t contain any processed sugar – baking with maple syrup is the best way to go. And I’m super excited for you for your camping adventures…. have you ever been to Yosemite before? I’ve been to Yellowstone, but Yosemite is definitely on my bucket list. It’s also a huge destination for climbing/bouldering, which is super rad. I know you’ll have the most amazing time!! <3

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha August 31, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Delicious recipes as usual. But I’m so f***ing envious for your trip in the Redwood NP and Yosemite! We need so much a vacation, but life is being so intense for us these months….please take a lot of photos and make us dream <3

  • Reply lindsey August 31, 2016 at 10:14 am

    i’m so stoked for your camping trip! the redwoods sounds absolutely fantastic. i’ve made it to the muir woods north of SF, but i’ve always wanted to see THE redwoods – i selfishly hope you take tons of pics and snaps! :) this recipe is awesome, girl! there’s nothing better than a tried and true, go-to choc chip recipe that’s free of refined sugar. so glad you developed the perfect one and shared it here. nothing but big hearts and lots of adventure to you and scott! xo

  • Reply maria August 31, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Hi Jessie, thank you for this recipe! I already made it and is delicious, although, if I am right, you don’t especify whem to add the maple syrup and coconut oil. Just for others to know how to do it…
    I will share on my instagram account ! Love the ramekin idea!

    • Reply Faring Well August 31, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Hi Maria! So glad you loved the cookies, yay! Thank you for taking the time to write me <3. And in the first sentence on the instructions I say to add the coconut sugar through vanilla together, that includes the coconut oil and maple syrup on the list! sorry for that bit of confusion, I should probably word it better ;).

  • Reply Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow August 31, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Girl you know this post gives me all the feels here! Chocolate chip cookies and camping and fall weather, all of my favorite things! (Though this being my last few weeks in Portland and in a place with tons of easy access to fresh produce I am, admittedly, clinging to the summer, too.)

    So excited for y’alls trip. The redwoods hold a special place in my heart — B and I got married in a forest of them! :) :) Can’t wait to try these cookies, lovely friend! Based on the photos alone, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you nailed them!!!


  • Reply Lori August 31, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Your camping trip sounds so incredible!! I have never been to the redwoods, but camping there and by the beach in central California are on my bucket list. I live in Southern Utah, surrounded by red rocks, and love it so much. So glad you could come enjoy the beauty of my state!
    Also! These cookies look incredible. My kids start school next week and since we homeschool they don’t necessarily need a lunch packed, although these look like the perfect way to end our lunches here at home or out on an adventure. Our air conditioner just went out, but when it is repaired and we can turn on the oven again without heating the house up too much I will definitely be making these.

  • Reply Taylor August 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    These look amazing! And your camping trip sounds so wonderful and inspiring. Definitely an area of my home state I want to explore more of :) also- do you have any recommendations on making these gluten free? Would it be possible or would it totally alter the cookie/flavor?


  • Reply ovenhaven August 31, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Just recently discovered and followed you on IG; love your profile! I’m always on the lookout for new cookie recipes using unrefined sugar, and can’t wait to try this out. One question though, is the coconut oil solid or liquid? (Here in Singapore, it’s always liquid at room temp, coz of the humidity! :P)

    • Reply Faring Well September 1, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Hi there! Thank you, so kind of you to say. And that is a wonderful question, it is as a liquid! I will update that in the instructions.

  • Reply Sophie | The Green Life September 1, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Ahhh these cookies look PERFECT! I can’t wait to make them (like, hum… tonight!). And I’m SO excited for you and your camping trip! I will religiously follow your adventures and smile at the dreamy photos you will be sharing! I hope this little break will refuel your batteries, fill your heart, and bring you a ton of happy memories. xx

  • Reply Jess @ Nourished by Nutrition September 1, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Jessie, you’ve done it again! These look wonderful. The perfect chocolate chip cookies from my childhood made the way my grown up self can appreciate. I love that you are open and honest about not approving wholeheartedly with some of the older recipes on your blog. I too feel that way about some of mine. I was thinking of recreating them using better quality ingredients. I didn’t know if they should be a new post or if I should just update them. Also, I like how you didn’t delete the post but just took it off your recipe section. Hmm now I have lots to think about… Anyways, as you know I’m excited to see and hear you talk about your camping trip. Northern California is on my bucket-list to visit! I know the beauty of photos simple cannot do it justice! Have a weekend full of sunshine and good vibes! xx, Jess

  • Reply Aldy September 1, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Lovely + Scrumptious, Jessie! Chocolate chip cookies….I’m drooling here. Have a wonderful camping trip ;))
    Big Hugs

  • Reply Sasha Swerdloff September 3, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Cannot wait to try these! Yum!

  • Reply Tuulia September 5, 2016 at 5:04 am

    So pretty Jessie! A good cookie recipe is always needed ;) Happy travels, enjoy!

  • Reply betty September 6, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I saw that Sophie made these and I am so going to try this – have so much fun on your camping trip. I love this end-of-summer camp tradition, really a perfect way to say adieu to summer but also welcome fall with coziness. <3

  • Reply Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today September 6, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I fills my heart with happiness :D I love good recipe for cookies.

  • Reply Jayme | holly & flora September 6, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Loving all of your stories on IG from your trip so far. I so want to getaway to Yosemite and Redwoods. JEALOUS. Have an amazing time, and I’ll be dreaming of these cookies for quite a while. XO!

  • Reply Emily September 8, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    They are beautiful cookies and look at those melty chocolate chunks! And I bet the coconut sugar and maple syrup add a depth that isn’t there with the white sugar. Have so much fun on your camping trip! Enjoy the break and breathing in all that fresh air. :)

  • Reply Marta e Mimma | Naturalmente buono September 11, 2016 at 8:24 am

    THOSE COOKIES. Love the fact you used spelt flour + unrefined sugars. It’s been three months since I’m not eating chocolate (fun fact, I never feel like eating chocolate in summer), but I recently start again and those cookies are the perfect excuse not to get away from it. xo

  • Reply Emily September 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe! This was my first vegan baking experience and it was so tasty! I’ve been vegan for a while now and have experimented with lots of recipes, but not baking. I made the cookies with the wholewheat flour and they were yum. I think next time I will try with the spelt instead. Thanks again, I’m thrilled with the result! Now onto many more vegan baking adventures.

  • Reply Amy November 12, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I just made these with whole wheat flour and they turned out so delicious!

    • Reply Faring Well November 14, 2016 at 10:22 am

      That is so wonderful to hear Amy! Thank you for your sweet note <3 and enjoy your cookies!

  • Reply Kim P June 7, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Jesse – I thought it was about time I wrote you a Thank You for these cookies – because I’ve made them COUNTLESS times already and I love them! This is my go to cookie recipe – heading to a get together, hosting people, or just plain craving something myself – I make these every time and everyone loves them. I think I’ve almost got it memorized ;) So thank you, thank you!

    • Reply Faring Well June 8, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Aw Kim! I so appreciate you taking the time to write me this note! That makes me so incredibly happy to hear. I love knowing someone is getting to make and enjoy these cookies so often. I’m so flattered + honored. Thank you for trusting my little recipe, and enjoy one for me too! xx

  • Reply Camilla | La Bella Cuciniera November 20, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Hi Jessie! I’m Camilla, an italian food blogger, mostly vegan, in love with vegetables but also with good and clean meat and fish, and of course cheeses.
    What I really like of cooking vegan is the challenge… we can make delicious, healthy foods using plant based ingredients, less sugar and fats (which are mostly replaced by the healthy ones).
    I spend lot of time in the kitchen trying to make the vegan versions of the most beloved foods like…Choc Chip Cookies… I’ve tried several recipes and this one is AMAZING! Thank you for sharing it! I brought it to the office to my non vegan colleagues and no one thought they were vegan! I substituted half of the coconut oil (just because I finished it) with extravirgin olive oil (a variety from the Garda Lake, in the North of Italy, which has a very mild flavor) I think the will become my got to choc chip cookies… Thank you!

    • Reply Faring Well November 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

      This makes me so happy to hear Camilla! Thank you for your super sweet and thoughtful note here, I’m so glad you love the cookies. <3

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