Chocolate Chip Cookie – (Gluten, egg, dairy and sugar free)

Behold the classic chocolate chip cookie.  When one thinks of a cookie they will most likely think chocolate chip.  It is simple, versatile and timeless.  The traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe is historically basic in its composition.  This chocolate chip cookie recipe is by no means basic.  It takes the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe and elevates it up one step further.  The resulting chocolate chip cookie is healthier and tastier than the traditional chocolate chip cookie.  The comparison numbers are amazing (details listed at the bottom of this page) and it is a cookie that you can feel not guilty about eating.   Compared to a Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie, this recipe produces a cookie that has 84.2% less calories, 97.9% less fat, 85% less sugar, almost three times the amount of protein and double the amount of fiber.

Traditional chocolate chip cookies are made by combining just 8 simple ingredients.  The basic chocolate chip recipe calls for butter, flour, eggs, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and semi-sweet chocolate morsels.  I have taken this traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe and altered it to become a treat that is protein packed and guilt free.  Furthermore this recipe creates a chocolate chip cookie that is gluten, dairy, sugar and egg free (celiac sufferers, diabetics, vegans, and lactose intolerant people rejoice!)

Majority of the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes have a large amount of butter in the recipe.  Since I am not a fan of using butter in my recipes, I decided to substitute butter with my favorite go to butter replacement, unsweetened applesauce.   Unsweetened applesauce has long been used as a healthy replacement for butter in baked goods.  I find it to be a wonderful substitution as it gives the baked good an amazing level of moisture and just a touch of natural sweetness.

All purpose flour always seems to be the go to flour for a classic chocolate chip cookie.  All purpose flour is a great, basic flour to use for cookies.  All purpose flour is an easy flour to use, readily available and provides a very mild taste and texture profile.  One of the problems I have with all purpose flour, though, is that as far as flours go, it lacks in nutritional value.   I wanted to create a chocolate chip cookie that was more nutrient dense.

My first thought for an all purpose flour substitute was to use whole wheat flour.   However, I started to think about how whole wheat flour has a distinct, nutty flavor and somewhat gritty texture.  While I love the taste of whole wheat in certain baked goods, I did not want my chocolate chip cookie to have whole wheat taste or texture qualities so I scratched it off my flour list.

I went through several trial chocolate chip cookie batches using an array of nutrient packed flours.  Some turned out fairly good, while others were simply unappealing.  The flour that produced the best tasting chocolate chip cookie was soy flour.  I love soy flour and do try to use it as often as I can.  It is a great flour since it is high in protein, fiber and vitamins.  It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates.  Soy flour is also great because it is gluten free.  The soy flour in this recipe produces a cookie that is amazingly moist and almost doughy in its baked texture.

Traditional chocolate chip cookie use eggs in the recipe.  The eggs help bind the ingredients and it fluffs the batter while cooking.  Due to soy flour’s sticky nature, it already is a good ingredient binder.  I figured I would see if the soy flour could stand on its own without having to add eggs to my recipe.  I knew the batter might need some help in fluffing so I increased the amount of baking soda and baking powder used.

On a side note, since the batter does not contain any eggs, the batter can be eaten before it is cooked.  To say I am a huge fan of cookie dough would be an understatement.  It is normal that only a couple cookie actually get baked when I make this chocolate chip cookie recipe.  The rest get “sampled” during the mixing phase.  Sometimes I do not even bake the cookies, I just store the batter in the refrigerator and take a sample whenever I am having a cookie batter craving.

Cow milk is usually the type of milk that is called for in most chocolate chip cookie recipes.  While I am okay with cow’s milk, I wanted my chocolate chip cookie to have more nutrients in it.  When comparing cow’s milk to a non-dairy milk, such as almond milk, you will find that the non-dairy milk usually outweighs the cow’s milk.  Almond milk, for example, has more vitamins and minerals than cow’s milk.  It is lower in calories, free of saturated fats and cholesterol.  In my chocolate chip cookie recipe I have selected unsweetened vanilla almond milk as the milk of choice.  However, you can use any other milk of your choice, though you might have to experiment with the amount as I have not tested all milk options in this recipe.

In my healthy chocolate chip recipe I have replaced sugar with pure Stevia extract.  I am not a huge fan of sugar so I try to replace it when I can.  Some of the sweetness in the cookie already comes from the unsweetened applesauce portion of the recipe.   An elevated sugar note is needed in the cookie so pure Stevia extract is the sweetener I have selected.  If you are not a fan of Stevia I have included alternative sugar replacement options in the recipe.

The rest of the traditional chocolate chip cookie ingredients (baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract) are great ingredients so I have kept them in my recipe.  In regards to the chocolate chips, you have a variety of options.  If you want the cookie to be strictly dairy free and/or vegan you can use carob chips.  If you want the cookie to be more rich and somewhat less sweet, than dark chocolate chips would be the way to go.  Most would probably prefer the traditional semi-sweet chocolate chip so I have used that type in my recipe.   I like to use the mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels since they seem to disperse throughout the batter more evenly providing more chocolate taste per bite.

The recipe below makes about 5 chocolate chip cookies.  The recipe can be increased to fit your particular needs.  Cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container or they can be frozen to stay fresh longer.  If you decide to freeze the cookies they can be defrosted by either letting them sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes or they can defrosted in a warm oven for a couple of minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

1/3 cup soy flour

1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon pure Stevia extract (or 2 tablespoons cane or coconut sugar)

1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels (you can add more if you want the chocolate taste elevated or you can use dark chocolate chips or carob chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and Stevia (or sugar of your choice).  Stir in unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened almond milk and pure vanilla extract.  Mix well.  The dough will be quite sticky, this is normal.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop a ball of dough (about a tablespoon and a half of dough), roll it slightly in your hands (you can flour your hands if you would like) and place on the parchment paper.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 11 minutes (or until slightly brown).  Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on the parchment paper atop a cooling rack.  Once the cookies have cooled they can be removed from the parchment paper.  

Cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container or they can be frozen to stay fresh longer.  If you decide to freeze the cookies they can be defrosted either by letting them sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes or they can defrosted in a warm oven for a couple of minutes.       

Nutritional comparison

Traditional Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (serving size 1 cookie)

Calories = 118.3

Fat = 6 grams (with 3.6 grams saturated fat)

Fiber = 0.6 grams

Sugar = 6.7 grams

Protein = 1 gram

My Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (serving size 1 cookie)

Calories = 18.75

Fat = 0.125 grams (0 grams of saturated fat)

Fiber = 1.3 grams

Sugar = 1 gram (from applesauce)

Protein = 2.85 grams

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