Why It Works
- The rich flavor and color of extra-virgin olive oil give these cookies their distinctive character.
- In a dough made with liquid oil, brown sugar works to keep the cookies nice and thick.
- An oat slurry provides water, protein, and emulsification, much like a whole egg, but with a subtle flavor that blends seamlessly with the dough.
- The varied shapes and cacao percentages in an assortment of chocolate chips provide more depth of flavor to the dough.
These vegan chocolate chip cookies get their color and richness from extra-virgin olive oil, which lends its unique flavor to the dough and underscores the bittersweet earthiness of chocolate chips. (See the note at the bottom of this page for guidance on choosing an olive oil.) The cookies bake up crisp around the edges, with a soft and chewy center, but feel free to bake them more or less for a crisper or softer texture instead.
- For the Oat Slurry:
- 1 1/2 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats (about 1/2 cup minus 2 1/2 teaspoons; 42g), not quick-cooking or instant
- 3 ounces water (about 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon; 85g)
- For the Dough:
- 6 ounces light brown sugar (about 3/4 cup, gently packed; 170g)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 3/4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil (about 2/3 cup; 135g); see note
- 2 ounces prepared oat slurry
- 1/4 ounce vanilla extract (about 1 1/2 teaspoons; 7g)
- 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups, spooned; 190g)
- 6 ounces assorted chocolate chips or chopped chocolate; see note
For the Oat Slurry: In a tall, narrow container just wide enough to accommodate the head of an immersion blender, combine rolled oats and water. Using an immersion blender, purée until thick and smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on the solids with a flexible spatula until they give up all their liquid. Discard the fibrous oat solids and reserve 2 ounces of the thick and gooey purée to use as directed below. This step should not be done in advance, as the oat slurry will continue to thicken over time, eventually becoming unusable.
For the Dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon until very well combined and free of any major lumps, about 1 minute. Add olive oil, prepared oat slurry, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Add flour and stir, using a flexible spatula, until well absorbed, then add chocolate chips and knead by hand to incorporate. The dough will seem a touch oily and strange; this is normal.
Portion the Dough: Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, divide dough into about 18 pieces, firmly compressing each portion into the scoop using the palm of your hand or the edge of the bowl. (If you like, the portioned dough can be refrigerated in a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months. Let stand at room temperature until quite soft, about 70°F/21°C, then bake as directed.)
To Bake: Arrange portioned dough on a parchment-lined aluminum baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between portions. If you like, garnish with a few extra chocolate chips on each cookie. Bake until cookies are puffed and golden from edge to center and firm around the edges but still quite steamy and soft in the middle, about 15 minutes. Cool directly on baking sheet until the crumb has set. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 days at cool room temperature.
The flavor and aroma of these cookies depend entirely on the quality of the olive oil, so be sure to use a brand with a flavor you absolutely love. This recipe can be used as a showcase for any style of olive oil so long as it's one you enjoy, but for the most "traditional" chocolate chip cookie, try an extra-virgin olive oil with a mild and buttery profile, rather than one that's peppery or sharp. For more information, see our guide to buying olive oil.
If olive oil isn’t your jam, regardless of how mild it may be, this recipe works equally well with hazelnut oil—which you might have left over from making our homemade Nutella.
For more information on selecting an assortment of chips, see our chocolate chip buying guide for recommendations. Chopped chocolate bars can be used in place of commercial chips, a swap that gives the chocolate a more assertive presence in the dough; I recommend using a similar assortment of cacao percentages and styles. See our top picks for supermarket chocolate bars for more information.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The portioned dough can be refrigerated in a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months. Let stand at room temperature until quite soft, about 70°F (21°C), then bake as directed. Leftover cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at cool room temperature.