Cookies – Shortbread

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Crispy, vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil

Among the most relaxing things one can do, especially after a busy day, is to bake some vegan cookies (especially some vegan chocolate chip cookies)! I’m not sure I know why, though I could guess that their smell during baking is the most cozy air freshner I could think of, or that the joy of baking cookies is not overshadowed by the “must” that often turns our, otherwise pleasant, engagement with cooking into a tedious job. Besides, one can live even without cookies! But the thing is that freshly baked cookies are between those things that could transform a moment of our day into a ritual, since many of us would allow ourselves to devote some of our precious time exclusively to the cookie eating, starting from the moment we take it between our fingers, we smell it, bite it – putting at the same time the palm under our mouth to catch the crumbs- and slowly chew it, enjoying the crispyness that lasts only for a few magical seconds and trying to reveal the complexity of its flavors. Even if things were not easy until then, when we are into this moment everything looks better.

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Sometimes I wonder, don’t we deserve more of those peaceful and delightful moments? Of course I do not mean by eating tons of cookies but by letting ourselves be present in everything that happens by observing and enjoying even some of the things that we usually take for granted, such as some deep breaths, a glass of cool water, a daily walk with our quadrupedal friends or alone in the afternoon sun, our very existence. If I would made a wish for all of us, I think that would be to enjoy everything we do, live and taste as much as our favorite chocolate cookie!

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens
Today’s cookies are absolutely chocolaty as they contain not only cocoa powder but also dark chocolate chips, satisfying even the most addicted to the black temptation. In addition, our cookies are made with olive oil and whole wheat flour, being an equally tasty but much healthier alternative to classic chocolate cookies.

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

 

Ingredients
(for 20-25 cookies)

  • 100 g olive oil (1/3 cup + 2tbsp)
  • 45 ml plant milk (3 tbsp)
  • 4 tbsp heaped of cocoa powder
  • 150 g whole wheat flour, soft (1 cup)
  • 125 g sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 100 g vegan dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Method
1. Mix the olive oil with the plant milk, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking powder until a uniform chocolate blend is obtained. Add the flour kneading until a soft dough is formed (do not knead much though to get the optimal texture). Add the chocolate, knead a little more, cover with a clear film and put in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
2. Take walnut-sized dough pieces and give your cookies the shape you like. Lay a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and place the cookies inside, leaving 2-3 cm between them as they increase in volume during baking.
3. Bake in preheated oven at 170 ° C for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven and on the thickness of your cookies).
4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. When they are completely cooled, transfer to a cookie box.
5. Enjoy!

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Notes: Your cookies are going to be soft immediately after baking, so give them some time to cool and get their distinctive crunchy consistency.

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Crunchy chocolate cookies with halva filling - Τραγανά μπισκότα σοκολάτας γεμιστά με χαλβά - Veganinathens.com

Vegan crunchy chocolate cookies stuffed with halvah

One of the advantages that vegans who live in Greece have is that, because of the fasting on the one hand and of the traditional Mediterranean diet on the other, they can find plenty of lenten, plant-based foods and treats that are also vegan, at any time of the year. One of them is halvah, which, although is a delicious dessert by itself, it works also great in recipes such as my favorite fluffy ice-cream made with halva.

This time, as I was in a baking mood, I used halvah as a filling in one of my favorite recipes for chocolate cookies with olive oil. I came up with the recipe for the cookies once when I wanted to make chocolate cookies but did not want to use margarine. Having no alternative at that time I used olive oil. Finally the recipe was so delicious that since then, this is the one that I bake the most for our coffee or tea. Indeed these chocolaty bites are so crispy and yummy that no one is going to believe it’s vegan.

Wanting to make a little more interesting my original cookie recipe, I decided to enrich them with a tasty stuffing and I never regretted it! The halva and the chocolate are combined in an interesting way and every bite melts in the mouth, like a tasty surprise that you don’t expect but you will definitely welcome it as particularly pleasant!

Crunchy chocolate cookies with halva filling - Τραγανά μπισκότα σοκολάτας γεμιστά με χαλβά - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

(for 25-30 cookies )

For the cookies

  • 100 g (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp ) olive oil, cold
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp ) vegan milk, cold
  • 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 125 g (1 cup) whole-wheat flour
  • 150 g raw cane sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the filling

125 g tahini halva, cut into cubes (I used vanilla, but feel free to choose your favorite flavor)

Crunchy chocolate cookies with halva filling - Τραγανά μπισκότα σοκολάτας γεμιστά με χαλβά - Vegan in Athens

Method

  1. In a bowl mix with a wooden spoon the olive oil with the sugar, the vegan milk, the cocoa powder and the baking powder.
  2. Gradually add all-purpose flour while stirring. Once incorporated, gradually add the whole-wheat flour. Knead for a while, until all the ingredients are well mixed but do not overdo it as your cookies will become tough.
  3. Form a ball with the dough, cover with film and leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Take walnut-size pieces of the dough, press each with your hand to form a ½ cm width disc and put into a piece of halva. Fold the edges of the dough over the halva, push with your fingers to seal and to shape a proper cookie.
  5. Place the cookies on a lined oven tray, spaced 2 cm apart. Bake at 170 oC for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven). Leave on a wire rack to cool and keep in an airtight container.

Crunchy chocolate cookies with halva filling - Τραγανά μπισκότα σοκολάτας γεμιστά με χαλβά - Vegan in Athens

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Vegan Greek Easter cookies with lemon and saffron - Κουλουράκια με λεμόνι και σαφράν, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens

Vegan Greek Easter cookies with lemon and saffron

During Easter holidays, I have plenty of time to do the things I like the most, as to plant basils and other herbs in my pots, prepare sweet and savory recipes and bake delicious goods!

Today I wanted to experiment with the vegan version of traditional Greek Easter cookies, as they remind me a lot of my childhood and bring to my memories all the wonderful colors, sounds and fragrances of the spring.

As I was looking for the perfect, fragrant, tasty and crunchy cookie, I experimented with three different recipes: in the first I used baker’s ammonia (ammonium carbonate) together with baking powder, in the second I used only baking powder and in the third, I replaced the wheat flour with buckwheat-flour, in order to make a gluten-free version!

Vegan Greek Easter cookies with lemon and saffron Κουλουράκια με λεμόνι και σαφράν, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens

I liked all of them, but it is worth to mention the following: the fluffier and lighter texture had those made with ammonia, although their taste certainly did not differ from the cookies made only with baking powder. Also, the gluten-free cookies made with buckwheat flour had a characteristic aroma and flavor thanks to buckwheat -an ingredient that according to my opinion is great when used into sweet recipes. Because they do not contain gluten, a little more effort is needed to shape them but they are certainly worth-trying whether you are on a gluten-free diet or not.

If you prefer orange flavored cookies, simply replace lemon zest with orange zest and lemon juice with orange juice.

Vegan Greek Easter cookies with lemon and saffron - Κουλουράκια με λεμόνι και σαφράν, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

(for 30 cookies)

  •     125 g vegan margarine or homemade vegan butter
  •     2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegan milk
  •     1 tbsp squeezed lemon juice or orange
  •     100 g raw brown sugar
  •     5-6 saffron stamens
  •     zest of 1 lemon or orange
  •     a few drops of natural vanilla
  •     1 tsp baking powder
  •     1 tsp ammonia or an equal amount of baking powder
  •     2 ½ cups (about 340 g) all purpose flour (or buckwheat flour for the gluten-free recipe)

3-4 tbsps vegan milk for brushing

Vegan Greek Easter cookies with lemon and saffron - Κουλουράκια με λεμόνι και σαφράν, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens

Κουλουράκια με λεμόνι και σαφράν, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens

Method

  1. Heat the milk and add into the saffron. Allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl mix with your hands the butter with the sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice, the milk and saffron mixture and continue mixing until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the lemon zest, the vanilla, the baking powder and the baker’s ammonia. Finally slowly add the flour and knead with your hand until incorporated. Depending on the flour you may need 1-2 tbsp more or less. soft.
  4. When you finish kneading, we form a little ball with the dough, the cover and leave in the fridge for half an hour to rest.
  5. Divide the dough into about 30 walnut size balls.
  6. Take one dough-ball and shape a log of about ½ -1 cm diameter. Then you can form a ring, pressing the ends of the log together to seal, or you can fold the log in half and twist.
  7. Place the cookies on a lined oven tray, spaced 2 cm apart. Brush with milk and bake at 170 oC for 20 minutes or until golden. Leave on a wire rack to cool and keep in an airtight container.

 

Vegan Greek Easter cookies with lemon and saffron - Κουλουράκια με λεμόνι και σαφράν, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens
My buckwheat, gluten-free cookies before baking!
Vegan Greek Easter cookies with lemon and saffron - Κουλουράκια με λεμόνι και σαφράν, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens
My buckwheat, gluten-free cookies after baking!

 

 

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