Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

These Chewy Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies are deliciously gooey and vegan without the need of butter. You only need a few simple ingredients and one bowl to make. Best yet, no chilling required!

Close up of chocolate chip walnut cookies piled together on parchment paper.

That might sound sacrilege, but I have my reasons. When I first went vegan a really long time ago, my area didn’t really have vegan butter options in our local grocery store. Not only that, when I would drive 45 minutes out to our local Whole Foods to get some vegan goodies, the vegan butter would be super pricey ($6 a container).

So yeah, when I first learned to make vegan cookies, I had to make a lot of modifications, but I stumbled on one of my favorite cookie recipes in the process. So while it might not have been desirable, I made it work for me. And considering a jar of natural peanut butter costs about $2.50 where I’m located, it seemed like a logical choice for a butter substitute.

Side note, the first thing I wanted to learn to make when I was vegan was cookies. Mostly because I’m a cookie monster, and if I hadn’t figured out a delicious vegan cookie recipe, I don’t know if I would have convinced myself to go vegan way back when.

Gently pulling one cookie apart with my hands and the chocolate slowly pulling apart.

Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

  • Super easy to make. You just need one bowl and some pretty common ingredients to make these cookies.
  • Soft, chewy and still have a buttery taste to them. Even though these cookies are made without butter, they still manage to have a delicate, chewy and buttery taste to them.
  • The walnut and chocolate chip combo is both delicious and nutritious. Walnuts provide a good source of omega 3s and since we are using chocolate that is more rich in cocoa powder, we’re reducing a little bit of the added sugar too.
  • Perfectly sweet. The balance of the dark chocolate, salt and molasses makes these cookies just the right amount of sweet without going out of control.

Key Ingredients & Swaps

Flour: I have tested this cookie recipe with whole wheat pastry flour and all purpose flour. If you are gluten free, I’d suggest opting for delicious gluten-free cookies tested by dedicated recipes. I personally really love these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, you won’t be disappointed!

Sweeteners: We are using a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup. If you’d like to make this refined sugar-free, you can replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar or date sugar.

Rising Agents: To avoid a flat cookie, we are using baking powder and baking soda.

Molasses: This small amount of molasses might seem insignificant, but it does impact the flavor of the cookies. It makes them taste a little more buttery and gives that extra depth of flavor. If you really can’t get blackstrap molasses, you can replace with equal amount of maple syrup.

Chocolate Chips and Walnuts: Opt for dairy free chocolate chips like Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. For a cheaper chocolate option, get a good quality non-dairy chocolate bar and chop into nice little chunks to add to your dough. Not a fan of walnuts? Feel free to leave them out.

Salt: While I don’t usually mention salt in these ingredient lists often, it does help to balance some of the bitterness of your chocolate as well as enhance the sweetness of your chocolate chip cookies in this recipe. If you have access to nice flaky salt, it goes great sprinkled overtop at the very end.

How to Make Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

These cookies are made using just one bowl. Mix your sugar and wet ingredients together until well combined.

Carefully measure your dry ingredients and add them to the wet ingredients. Fold the mixture together using a spatula until you get a nice slightly sticky dough. And just as a reminder, these cookies do not need to be chilled.

Using a measure spoon or cookie scoop, scoop your dough into your hand and roll into a dough ball and place on your lined baking sheet, then lightly flatten the dough with your palm to help them spread while baking.

Place the cookies in the oven to bake and don’t forget to let them cool before enjoying.

  • Spoon and level your flour. If you do not have a kitchen scale to measure your flour, I highly recommend that you spoon your flour into your measuring cup and level it to make sure you are adding the appropriate amount of flour. Too little or too much flour may impact your resulting cookie in a negative way.
  • Sift your flour. I use a mesh strainer to sift my flour. It makes a difference as you end up not having to worry about large clumps of flour not mixing well in your dough.
  • Don’t skip the blackstrap molasses. I’ve always kept a jar in my fridge for different recipes. And while you can replace the molasses in this recipe, it provides such a nice flavor to these cookies. I’ve made with and without, but they taste so much butter with it included.
  • Let your cookies cool on the baking tray. When you take your cookies out of the oven, your cookies will be soft. Do not touch them and just let them cool. The cookies will continue to bake on the tray and firm up slightly so that they are still gooey, but won’t fall apart.
Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies after baking in the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my cookies dense and cakey?

You may have used too much flour. It’s highly recommended that you spoon and level your flour if not using a kitchen scale to measure. Too much flour leads to a more cakey, bready cookie.

Can I freeze my cookies?

These cookies are perfect for freezing. If you need to freeze these cookies, place your cookies back on your parchment lined baking sheet after they cool and place in the freezer to freeze for at least an hour. After they have frozen, remove from the baking tray and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Can I leave the walnuts out?

While I love walnuts, I understand that you might not love them, and that’s okay! Feel free to completely leave them out or replace as desired. These still make for a truly delicious chewy vegan chocolate chip cookie too.

Is it okay to make these cookies bigger?

You are more than welcome to make your dough balls bigger in size before baking. You may need to increase the cooking time by 3-4 minutes depending on the size. Just remember to give the cookies enough space to spread as they bake.

Cookie broken in half to reveal the gooey chocolate chips and walnut stuffed soft cookie dough center.
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Close up of one of the chocolate chip walnut cookies.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These Chewy Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies are deliciously gooey and vegan without butter. Simple ingredients and no chilling required.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup natural runny nut butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (spoon and level your flour using a measuring cup)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine your brown sugar, maple syrup, nut butter, molasses, almond milk and vanilla extract. Mix really well until fully incorporated.
  3. Sift your flour into the mixing bowl and add in your baking powder, baking soda and salt. Carefully fold your ingredients together until a soft dough forms. Finally, fold your chocolate chips and walnut pieces into the dough.
  4. With a cookie scoop or measuring spoon, measure 1-2 tablespoons of dough out into your palm and roll into dough balls. Place each dough ball on your lined baking sheet and lightly press down on them to flatten slightly and help them spread out.
  5. Place the baking sheet in oven the oven for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

If you do not have a kitchen scale to measure your flour, I highly recommend that you spoon your flour into your measuring cup and level it to make sure you are adding the appropriate amount of flour.Β 

Sift your flour. I use a mesh strainer to sift my flour.

Don’t skip the blackstrap molasses. It helps give these cookies the right flavor.

When you take your cookies out of the oven, your cookies will be soft. Do not touch them and just let them cool. The cookies will continue to bake on the tray.Β 

For best results, use a runny nut butter.

If you tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, then let me know what you thought in the comments below! And if you loved it, don’t forget to rate it too. Feel free to follow on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok for the latest nutrition tips and recipe videos.

β˜… Catherine

4 Comments

  1. Really good flavour!! Loved it but I wish min flattened out like yours but overall really delicious. I’ll be making this for the next potluck πŸ’œ






    1. Sometimes this can be impacted with the type of nut butter you use. Sometimes if it’s not runny enough they might not spread out as much. I like to usually test one out in the oven first before cooking the rest. If you follow the same ingredients you used, then definitely flatten them out a bit before baking and this should solve the problem before that potluck. thank you so much for making these Angelique!

  2. I made these cookies for a Christmas party –– everyone loved them! (Including me, who made another batch later on) They were chewy and delectable! I particularly like this recipe because the ingredients are wholesome –– nothing wrong with vegan butter, but sometimes you want something that doesn’t weigh you down, haha.

    Thanks Catherine for your hard-work and recipes πŸ™‚






    1. Awww the kindest message to receive! So glad they were enjoyed. These are a favorite so that means a lot to hear. πŸ™‚ Happy holidays!

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