Vegan Anise Cookies Recipe
Are you looking for vegan anise cookies that are delicious, zero waste, and a little different?
I’m completely absorbed with making a really good vegan cookie. When I first started working with avocado last year, it was inspired by one of the best vegan cookies I had the pleasure of finding. It was a dark chocolate avocado cookie with Kohana coffee and it was absolutely divine.
Unfortunately, that company is gone along with that amazing cookie. Since then I have been determined to not only replicate that cookie (still working on that) but make a really good vegan cookie…period. It’s really become an obsession. I’m kind of like a bulldog sometimes. Once I get a hold of an idea I really can’t let go.
So after hours of experimentation and four batches of cookies, I think I have finally struck gold (or in this case star anise)! I am very proud and excited to share with you a vegan anise cookie recipe that is cakey, soft, and zero waste. Say hello to my Vegan Anise Avocado Cookies!
The base cookie has only 11 ingredients plus a few extra additions if you fancy them. And all of them can be bought in bulk if you have a great bulk section available.
These vegan anise cookies are great with:
- A cup of chai or an iced chai latte
- A cup of coffee
- A glass of hemp milk
- A cup of vegan hot chocolate
- A scoop of vanilla nice cream
Using Flax Eggs in Baking
When I was working on my vegan avocado brownies, I really learned how to use flax eggs in baking. If you’ve been following any of my other recipes, you know I’m not a full-fledged vegan. But since going zero waste and learning about the state of our planet, I made the decision to make all of our lunches, desserts, and snacks vegan. Not only is this healthier in most cases but so much better for the environment. So after finally succeeding at making a vegan brownie, I felt confident about trying to make vegan anise cookies.
The biggest difficulty for me has been using an alternative egg. Flax eggs cannot be treated the same as chicken eggs. They just don’t have the same properties. So most of my baked sweets have come out really flat and too gooey in texture.
The real trick is that flax eggs don’t have the same leavening and stiffening effect that you get from chicken eggs. So when you are using flax eggs in baked goods, you really have to aerate the batter. I found the best success with aerating them by using either my Vitamix blender or a hand mixer. If you have a really good food processor that might work too although I have never used a food processor for this myself.
If you are unfamiliar with flax eggs, they are really quite simple to make. Just add three tablespoons of water to one tablespoon of flax meal. That makes the equivalent of one egg. Let it sit for about 20 minutes or until it takes on a gelatin consistency.
You can also use the same ratio of water to ground chia seeds. To avoid the chia seeds clumping, I recommend adding the water to a glass jar first, then add the chia seeds, cap it, and shake vigorously for at least a minute. Chia seeds are highly hydrophilic so it only takes 5 minutes for the chia egg to be ready for use.
In this recipe, I have only used flax eggs so I’m not entirely sure if chia eggs will give you the same results but according to many vegan food blogs, these can be used interchangeably. I worked with chia seed eggs in the past but I’ve had better luck with flax eggs so far.
Take a look at my post on how to make flax (or chia) eggs, if you’d like to know more!
Tips for Using Avocado
When I was doing my research on the ratio of avocado to butter I found it to be 1:1. So theoretically, any recipe you like just replace equal parts butter with avocado (or only replace half). And from my experimentation, that seems to be pretty accurate at least as far as my brownies.
However, cookies are a bit of a different story. When I tried replacing the butter with avocado in equal portions, the cookies came out closer to a scone than a cookie.
The reason for this?
My best guess is avocado doesn’t melt when heated so without additional oil and liquid, the finished product will be dryer. To offset that, I added 2 tablespoons each of melted coconut oil and water while blending the avocado. I immediately noticed that the consistency of the mixture was much closer to whipped butter than when I blended avocado alone. And the finished cookie was much closer to what I had envisioned.
The other important thing to keep in mind when working with avocado is that you want to thoroughly blend it. You can mash the avocado by hand but the problem with doing that is there will be chunks of avocado in the finished product.
Now, if you are fine with that then, by all means, do it. But I felt like the chunks would mess up the texture in the finished cookie. To avoid any chunks, I would recommend either using a really good food processor or a stand-up blender to make the avocado smooth as silk. I could not get the chunks out using a hand mixer but if you can then that is just as good. The end result you are looking for no matter what you use is a completely smooth avocado paste.
Additional Tips for Making Vegan Anise Avocado Cookies
Here are a few other tricks I’ve picked up over the years when making vegan anise cookies at home.
- If possible, let any cold ingredients sit at room temperature for 30 mins before use.
- I used ground star anise for my recipe. There is anise seed but it is a completely different plant altogether. I have never used anise seed in this recipe but according to All Spice Rack, you can substitute it with 1 tsp. ground anise seed and a pinch of allspice, or ½ tsp. anise extract. However, I highly recommend sticking to star anise if you can though.
- I loved adding dried cherries and roasted hazelnuts to this recipe but neither is necessary for a good anise cookie. If you don’t have or like hazelnuts, both walnuts and roasted almonds worked really well too.
- If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can replace it with either light brown sugar or granulated sugar in equal amounts.
- Avocados vary in size. Most of the time one large avocado is all I needed but other times it was more like 1¼ to 1⅓. To get a precise measurement, I placed the avocado in a bowl and mashed it with a fork. Don’t worry about lumps, this is just to get an accurate measurement. I then filled a measuring cup with the amount needed and then transferred that to my blender. It may seem like a bit of a pain to do but this will ensure that you get the best results.
- I found that the batter was much easier to shape when I stuck it in the fridge for about 15 – 20 minutes. This isn’t necessary but it makes the batter less sticky.
- These particular cookies do not change shape much in the oven (what you see is what you get). So I recommend that you flatten the cookie just a tad for even baking. The best way to do this is either dip a fork or spoon in melted coconut oil or rub a light layer in your palms to keep the batter from sticking. Press down lightly on the cookie ball to flatten it.
- You can enjoy these cookies once cooled but they taste much better if left to sit for a few hours to overnight. This allows the cookies to soften and the flavors to really come through.
I think that about covers it! Let’s get to baking!
Looking for other zero (or low) waste and vegan sweets? You might want to check out my vegan avocado fudgy brownies, vegan chai milkshake, coconut macadamia granola with blueberries, spicy maple and rosemary pumpkin seeds, and vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips!
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Vegan Anise Avocado Cookies
- Baking tray
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cup and Spoons
- Wooden Spoon
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat or unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 large avocado, mashed (approx. makes 1 cup)
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp. filtered water
- 1/4 cups maple syrup
- 1 1/4 cups coconut sugar or firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
- 1 tsp. anise, ground
- 2 flax eggs
- 1 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cups hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
- 1/2 cups dried cherries
Flax Eggs (makes 1 egg)
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seed (also called flax meal)
- 3 tbsp. filtered water
For Flax Eggs
- Combine flax meal and water in a small bowl.
- Let it sit for 20 mins. before use.
For Anise Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- Place the avocado, coconut oil, and water in the blender. Blending on high setting until it is smooth.
- Add the vanilla, maple syrup, and flax eggs in the blender. Blend on a high setting for about 1 min.
- Transfer the avocado mixture to a medium bowl along with the sugar, anise, and cinnamon. With the electric mixer beat on a high setting until thoroughly blended and then another minute scraping the sides occasionally.
- Add the dry ingredients half at a time to the wet and with a wooden spoon mix until blended.
- Fold in the walnuts or hazelnuts and cherries into the batter.
- For easier shaping, store the batter in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Drop or roll batter into 1 1/2" balls onto a baking tray. Bake at 350F for 15-20 mins.
- Let the cookies cool for about 3-5 mins. on the tray and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Store in a sealed container. Will keep for 5 days or longer if stored in the fridge.
Did you give this recipe a try?