We snacked a lot as kids, growing up. My mom was, and still is, Snack Queen. Some of the best snacking memories at home were after dinner, and after getting ready for bed. She never questioned if we had snacked too much or if it was too late for a snack. Out of nowhere, she’d have chocolate chip cookies in the oven within five minutes of someone saying they were hungry. My brother, sister, and I hung out by the Kitchen Aid on the island, waiting for the dough to be ready to eat. She always let us eat as much cookie dough as we wanted and never cared if only a couple cookies were actually baked. My dad and I tried to get to the dough before she added chocolate chips. (Insider fact: I don’t LOVE chunks of chocolate in my cookies!) Or we would pick out the chocolate chips.
We’d stand around the dimly lit kitchen, just waiting for those babies to bake, still snacking on the dough. We’d all be in our PJs, just playing and standing in the kitchen, as usual. It was probably after 9pm for sure. She never made us wait for the cookies to cool and she always put them straight on to waxed paper that was laying on the counter, to cool. We’d pour glasses of milk, start dipping, and keep the night rolling. Those are some of my best memories as a kid: the late-night talks and laughs we had as a family, huddled in the kitchen, waiting for and eating cookies before bed.
She also made one hell of a toasted PB & J if you wanted a bedtime snack. My sister insisted that she couldn’t cut the sandwich herself because it tasted better when our mom did it. She was right.
These cookies use the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe my mom used, but when I was making them recently, I was out of brown sugar, so I substituted brown rice syrup. Literally, not the same and I do not recommend using that as a substitute all the time, but I got lucky. Also, I originally made these for a friend who is a new mom and can’t eat dairy or soy. I replaced the butter with non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening.
While these are absolutely not the same as my mom’s chocolate chip cookies, they still make me think of our late-night cookie snacks.
- 1 c non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 3/4 c brown rice syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 oz. dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Guittard bittersweet, or Enjoy Life brand)
- Preheat your oven to 365F. Prepare sheet pans with nonstick spray, parchment paper, or silicone baking mats.
- Cream together the shortening, sugar and brown rice syrup until the mixture has a consistent look. Add in eggs and vanilla. Mix again to combine. Add in all dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt) and mix to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Make 2-tsp balls of dough, roll them in granulated sugar if desired, and place on the cookie sheets. Leave about 2" space between each cookie, as they spread during cooking. Bake about 9 minutes, or until the edges are firm to the touch but the centers are still soft. Remove from sheet pan and let cool on a baking rack.