Vegan dessert. Prior to becoming a vegetarian, the very idea struck fear in my heart. What is dessert without dairy? In high school, a well-intentioned vegan friend of mine had subjected me to a slough of rather tasteless, artless vegan desserts, and it has taken years to undo the damage.
When I suffered a five week stint as a vegan, the only thing that was an actual challenge, besides eating meals out, was finding vegan sweets that could compare to their dairy-stuffed counterparts. Even living in Los Angeles, a veritable haven for vegans and their desserts, I felt at a great disadvantage in the world outside my own apartment. That month I had to form an even tighter bond with my oven and stovetop. The very first vegan dessert that I made and loved was a very simple, easy, chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookie. Now longer a vegan, I still make this cookie recipe, not just because it is tasty in its own right but because, lacking eggs, I don’t have to worry about salmonella poisoning as I shovel the raw dough in my mouth.
These chocolate-dipped bonbons are dreamed up for all the other raw cookie dough lovers out there. They’re small, but the chocolate coating gives them a richness that makes eating just one a fully satisfying experience. While the original recipe for the dough calls for water to be added to the wet ingredients, I prefer substituting coffee for a more intense flavor. I also add coconut oil (solid at room temperature) to the tempered chocolate to give this bonbons a summery twist.
While the following recipe uses my vegan cookie dough, this treat could easily (though less sanitarily) be made with any eggy, buttery cookie dough. Animal-lover that I am, I like to make things cruelty-free where easily possible, but I’d fault no one for preferring the deliciousness of real animal fat.
For the Cookie Dough
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (substitute carob chips or regular chocolate chips)
1/2 cup raw sugar (substitute granulated sugar)
1/4 organic vegetable oil
1 /2teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup coffee
For the Chocolate Coating
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1. In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add chocolate chips. Make a well in the center and set aside.
2. In a medium size bowl, mix sugar and oil. Add the vanilla and then add the water. Again, mix well. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet to the well in the dry. Fully combine but don’t overwork the batter. If batter is too crumbly, add a splash more coffee or water.
3. Working the dough with your hands and compressing them hard between your palms, form small balls. Due to lack of animal fat, the dough needs a firm handling to hold together. If using popsicle sticks, press into dough. Place bonbons on a tray covered in wax paper, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until frozen.
4. Temper chocolate by placing it in a microwave safe bowl and microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is fully melted. Mix in coconut oil.
5. After removing frozen cookie dough, dip each into chocolate, covering entirety of the ball (at this point, the popsicle sticks are very useful). Let dry on wax paper either at room temperature to serve as a truffle, or freeze to make them into bonbons.