These vegan chocolate brownie cookies will blow your mind. They’re fudgy, intensely chocolatey, and have the most gorgeous shiny, crackly crust. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to make – and require no egg replacements or aquafaba.
3 1/2tbsp(50 mL) sunflower oil(See also the troubleshooting tips in the Notes section.)
2/3cup+ 1/2 tbsp (140 g) superfine/caster sugar
1/3cup(80 mL) water
1cup+ 1 tbsp (130 g) plain all-purpose flour
1/4cup(30 g) cocoa powder
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line two baking sheets with greaseproof/baking paper.
In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water (or in the microwave), melt together the dark chocolate and sunflower oil. Set aside to cool until warm.
In a separate heat-proof bowl (if using the microwave) or in a saucepan (if using the stovetop), mix together the sugar and water, and heat them together until the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside to cool until warm.Tip: You don't want the mixture to start to boil, the water to evaporate or the sugar to start caramelising – you need to heat it only to the point where the sugar is fully dissolved and no further.
Pour the sugar syrup into the melted chocolate and whisk well until combined.
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk well until you get a smooth, fairly thick batter.Tip: It's very important that you use both the chocolate and the sugar syrup while both are warm. This ensures that the final batter has the consistency of thick brownie batter – you don't want the batter to be dry or crumbly, it shouldn't resemble chocolate chip cookie dough! The batter should be spoonable and slightly runny, you shouldn't be able to shape it with your hands.
Use a "2 tablespoon" ice cream/cookie scoop to portion out the batter – you should get 12 cookies in total, 6 per baking sheet. (Scoop all the cookies at once, since the batter tends to firm up when standing at room temperature.) Make sure to space them out generously, as they spread out during baking.Tip: Make sure to invert the scoop as close to the baking sheet as possible, so as to form a circular mound of batter.
Bake the cookies one baking sheet at a time, in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 9 - 10 minutes, until they are slightly puffed up and have a shiny, crackly crust.
Immediately out of the oven, you can correct the shape of the cookies with a round cookie cutter, slightly larger than the diameter of the cookies. Use the cookie cutter to gently nudge the sides of the cookies towards the centre, until you get perfectly round cookies.
Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 - 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Storage: The vegan brownies keep well in a closed container at room temperature for about 1 week.
Troubleshooting (updated 24/12/2020)
Since publishing this recipe in May 2020, a few people have had trouble with it – the cookies not spreading and/or lacking their characteristic crackly, shiny crust. After some experimentation, it seems that this could be due to the following factors:
The type of oil used – I've had 100% reliable and consistent results with this recipe when I use (organic) sunflower oil. Using vegetable oil, on the other hand, produces inconsistent results – one day, the cookie spread out in the oven and are nicely shiny, whereas baking them the next day gives cookies that are dull and don't spread at all. Therefore, I strongly recommend you use sunflower oil to make this recipe, ideally an organic one.The main reason for this appears to be the water content of the oil: the sunflower oil I can get in the shops here in the UK seems to be lower in water than the vegetable oil (note that the water content is very low in both, but the small difference does seem to have an important effect).
Making sure you use the sugar syrup and the melted chocolate when both are still warm – Don't allow them to cool all the way to room temperature. You want both of them to be warmer than lukewarm but also cooler than hot.
Scooping the cookie "batter" immediately rather than letting it sit on the kitchen counter – Don't allow the cookie "batter" to sit around after you mix all the ingredients together. Scoop it IMMEDIATELY onto your lined baking sheets. If you allow it to sit on your kitchen counter, it will cool down too much and the chocolate in the batter will firm up and set, which will result in cookies that don't spread as well and that lack their beautiful shiny crust.
The consistency of the cookie "batter" – Your final mixture should have the consistency of thick brownie batter and not the texture of cookie dough.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).