When adapting pastry recipes to accommodate food allergies or special diets, cookies are by far the most forgiving.  They are small in size, fairy sturdy in texture, and don’t need a lot of rise.  Unlike cakes and loaves, which tend to sink or crumble when eggs are absent, cookies require relatively little leavening (a little baking powder or soda works just fine) and aren’t picky when it comes to binding (pureed fruit, ground flaxseed, or even a little milk or water will suffice).

This chocolate chip cookie is adapted from the classic Toll House recipe and remarkably similar to the original.  I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks instead of butter.  They’re salted, so I reduced the salt in the recipe from 1 tsp. to 3/4 (you could reduce it further — I like a little extra salt in a chocolate chip cookies).  1/4 c. soy or rice milk replaces the 2 eggs.  Milk adds moisture but won’t bind like eggs, so to prevent excessive spreading I cut the sugar by 1/3 (I find Toll House cookies a little too sweet, anyway) and lowered the oven temperature by 25 degrees.  To compensate for the missing flavor of the brown sugar, I doubled the vanilla.  And since the new cookie dough has less volume than the original, you don’t need the whole bag of chips.

Classic chocolate chip cookies, egg- and dairy-free

Yield: 2 1/2 – 3 dozen

2 ¼ c. unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1 c. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or dairy-free margarine

½ c. granulated sugar

½ c. packed, light brown sugar

¼ c. soy or rice milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter or margarine and sugars until very light and fluffy, scraping beaters every few minutes.  Beat in milk and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Fold in chips.

Drop by spoonfuls, 2-inches apart, onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes, or until edges are golden and centers are just set.  Let cool a few minutes on the pan, then remove to wire racks.