The best vegan cookies…ever!

 Holy comments! You guys must really like popchips 🙂

And the winner is:

Comment #39:  Erin says: February 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm  I love that speed workout – I need to try it sometime. My favorite chip flavor is definitely sour cream and onion. Yum!

Erin – email me your shipping info and I’ll have popchips send the goods 🙂

So last night, I attended my 4th consecutive CPTC Thursday road workout. After what seemed like an entire year of frustration and injury, I’m finally starting to feel in “racing shape” again. I’m still a little nervous about doing twice weekly workouts and a long run, but so far so good. I haven’t been so vigilent about my PT exercises, but I’m trying to give myself some extra TLC in other ways (sleep, lots of fruits & veggies, stretching). And the foam roller and I have been seeing a lot of each other lately! Last night was a pretty brutal workout, but I felt GOOD. As I was grinding out the last tough mile, I thought to myself: “This is FUN! I love running hard and pushing myself to the limit”.

CPTC Thursday Night Road Workout

  • About 1.5 miles to warm-up
  • 8.1 mile tempo run in 59:28 (average pace = 7:20)
  • Ran the first 4.05 mile loop at roughly marathon pace – 31:00 minutes total, averaged about 7:39 per mile
  • Ran the second 4.05 loop at half-marathon pace – 28:28 total, averaged about 7:02 pace
  • About 2 miles to cool-down

11.5 miles total – yikes, that’s a lot of miles for a mid-week run!
Wore the lunaracers – no blister problems. I think they’re a go for the NYC 1/2 marathon next month. I love these lightweight racing shoes – they make me feels so fast!

Nike lunaracers

By the time I returned home, it was almost 9pm and I was ready for food in a major way. I wasn’t up for cooking anything elaborate, so I just threw a bunch of leftovers into a bowl and called it a junk salad. It was actually pretty yummy!


In the bowl:

  • romaine lettuce and homegrown sprouts
  • dried tart cherries and walnuts
  • triscuits topped with melted cheddar cheese
  • homemade dressing made with 1 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar, spoonful of dijon mustard, and a spoonful of lingonberry jam whisked together until combined

I gobbled that down and they had a bunch of yummy (vegan!) cookies. They just might be the *best* vegan cookies ever. Are you ready for the recipe?? A few weeks ago I mentioned how enamored I’d become with Momofuku’s compost cookie. I made it my mission to create an animal product-free version for a vegan friend and while the results are not exactly the same, these cookies are pretty dayum good 🙂


  • 1/2 cup packed earth balance (not the same as smart balance, FYI)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 Tbs ground flax
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 BIG handful of chips, roughly crushed
  • 2 oz. pretzels, roughly crushed
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

earth balance

pretzels and potato chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
  • With a mixer, cream together the earthbalance, sugar, and instant coffee powder
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and the water until smooth, add the vanilla extract
  • Fold the flax mixture into the earth balance & sugar 
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (oats through chocolate chips)
  • Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated
  • If the batter isn’t holding together well, try chilling the batter for about 20 minutes
  • Scoop rounded Tablespoons of batter on to the cookie sheet and bake for about 10-13 minutes or until golden brown
  • Cool on the baking sheet for a minute or so and then transfer to a wire cooling rack

cookie dough

vegan compost cookies

Vegan compost cookies

Vegan compost cookie

Nutritional stats (per cookie – approximate): 95 calories, 4g fat, 13g carbs, 1.5g protein, .5g fiber.

More of your “Ask Me Anything” question answered:

In your opinion, what bakery serves the best cupcakes in NYC? I’m a sucker for frosting, so I’d have to say Magnolia Bakery. Although the Reese’s PB Cup cupcake from Crumbs is also really delicious….

How many calories do you eat a day when you’re running vs. a rest day and what is the break down of foods throughout the day? I don’t usually count calories, but I’d have to estimate that on a rest day I consume about 2,000 calories and on a hard workout or long run day it’s closer to 3,000. On my FAQ page I discuss what I usually eat in a typical day.

What events did you run as a member of your college track team? Which college PR are you most proud of? During my first few years of college I mainly focused on the 1500m  for indoor and outdoor track, but by senior year I made the switch over to the 5K. The college PR I am most proud of is my outdoor track 5K (18:52.73) It’s the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to a runner’s high. It was one of the best days of my life 🙂

As an experienced runner, what do you think about barefoot running? After reading Born to Run, I’m much more skeptical of all the fancy cushioning and stability features that modern running shoes offer. The human foot is a pretty amazing thing,  so it seems like we might actually be designed for barefoot running. HOWEVER, few of us have been running barefoot since childhood (like our ancestors did), so I think it’s important to ease into barefoot running very slowly. I’ve started wearing lightweight training shoes (Nike lunaracers) for workouts and some easy runs and I plan on incorporating some barefoot strides in the grass come springtime.

How do you get motivated or stay motivated to run in such cold weather? Good question! I am not a big fan of winter, so cold weather running is tough for me too. I’ve found that good gear helps (tights, running jacket, hat, mittens, etc.) and having a  buddy to run with in the morning motivates me on days when I’d rather by hibernating 🙂 It’s already mid-February, let the countdown to spring begin!

Last, but not least:

Want to experience less pain during and after running? Tart cherries might be the answer!

Live in NYC? Check out this awesome runner’s map.

Happy Weekend! Anything fun planned??

  • Seeing as how I love earth balance and popchips, I need to make those!

  • Tricia

    NICE workout! That’s the best feeling to slam dunk a run like that.

    Question for you…what are the benefits of using Earth Balance over Smart Balance?

  • Those cookies look delicious. Major proprs for the mid-week long run!

    I concur with your “best cupcake in NYC” answer wholeheartedly.

    By the way, next weekend for Gaines class totally works for me!

  • Tricia – earth balance is vegan while smart balance is not (it contains whey).

  • Tricia

    Ok thanks! I wasn’t sure if there was anything other than that. 🙂

  • Magnolia definitely has the frosting thing on lockdown! As someone who works for a running company, I agree with you on the whole lightweight running shoe thing- to a point. For people who are pretty neutral runners and at a fairly average weight, they could run with corn husks strapped to their feet and probably be right as rain. However, some people just NEED more support and cushioning to be able to run! That being said, I run in a pretty lightweight no nonsense shoe for most distances and love it!

  • Great run…it’s been sunny here (Seattle) all week, but I am nursing a sore ankle and wasn’t able to get out for a run:( I’m hoping for an easy, short run this weekend to get back into it.

    I was in NYC a month ago and we never made it to a cupcake place…so sad! Have you tried Alice’s Tea Cup? I just posted some pics on my blog…the scone and tea are amazing!!!

  • ohhh, I want to go to Momofuku Milk Bar so badly. But I want crack pie! And that is a GOOD workout. I think I’ll try it out next week.

    This weekend I’m heading to a “coffee cupping” seminar to learn about coffee. and drink coffee, yay!

  • I LOVE those compost cookies! I am so making these! I was actually googling compost cookies the other day, and while indulgent and delicious, I’ll take the original for a treat and make a version that may not be quite like the same but healthier for every day purposes and still delicious!

  • Your cookies look awesome…quite the ingredients! The vegan cookies I make always have applesauce in them — I am going to have to try these for sure.

    Your workouts are great — definitely some good ideas. How do you plan out your marathon training? Do you use your own custom plan or combine others?

    Happy weekend!

  • Katie – My Tuesday/Thursday workouts and long run miles come from my Central Park Track Team coach, but I basically just run according to feel for the other days. If I’m feelin’ good I’ll run longer, if not I’ll take a rest day 🙂

  • love the q+a! i have been wondering about the lighter weight shoes…i tried the old nike ones and did not love them. perhaps the new ones are better?

    ummm those cookies! i LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of adding pretzels. sweet and salty is best, no?

  • Weekend plans include beer and tater tots tonight (healthy, no?) and having friends over for dinner tomorrow. Throw in a long run and some yoga and I think we’re done. OH! The BAFTAs are on sunday. I’ll be doing that…cos I’m a film geek 🙂

    LOVE the sound of those vegan cookies lady! Have a great weekend.

  • Those cookies sound awesome and that workout sounded even better!! I am loving the Ask Me Questions…and I am totally in awe of the 18:52 5K time…holy crap Megan that is movin!!

  • Chips in a cookie? I’m skeptical… 🙂

    I’ve got a really busy, fun weekend planned – I’m blogging about it as soon as I get home from work!

  • Holy yum those cookies look good. I especially like pretzels, hazelnuts and dark chocolate chips added to it!

  • Ooo, I love finding vegan chocolate chips! I didnt know WF sold them by the bag, i’ve seen ’em in bulk bins though. Have you tried making this recipe with carob chips? I actually kind of prefer the flavor sometimes (or sometimes I’ll mix carob and dark chocolate) it has a nuttier, kind of salty taste!

  • Love your questions and answers. I agree with the winter running, and how finding the right gear (and a running partner!) can help a lot. And usually if I can get past the first mile, the weather doesn’t bother me as bad from that point on. 😀

    The vegan cookies sound awesome!

  • Ada

    Yum, those cookies look delish and I must admit I disagree with your cupcake preference, Cupcake Cafe is totally where the money’s at;)

  • Did you say Reeses’ PB Cups Cupcakes?!! I want to live in NY solely for Crumbs now….and huge bow down to that track time!! Years ago – when I actually ran – my PR was the late 19’s – but that was on the road…the track sucked it at like 21 something…haha – hate the track and it hates me apparently 🙂

  • tipper

    I have to say as a fellow distance runner who does similar mileage and events to you, I am shocked that you would eat a salad and cookies after a 10-mile workout involving a tempo run. I have noticed several other posts on this blog that suggest to me that you aren’t really eating enough, or the right things, for someone running at such a level. Can you speak to this in a future post, please?

  • Hi Tipper,
    Thanks for your concern. I have never claimed to be the perfect eater – I live a busy life and I try to do the best I can with fueling and running. I have enough energy to run the kind of mileage and workouts I want to do and I’m at a healthy weight for my height. The post that you commented on is one small representation of my overall diet. I didn’t post the breakfast, lunch, or snacks I had that day, so I think it would be hard for you to determine that a salad and cookies was not enough fuel. When I finish the Thursday night workouts, it’s quite late, so I make an effort to front load my calories. The salad was quick and easy (and it wasn’t just lettuce – it included at least 450 calories of whole grain crackers, cheese, and olive oil dressing) and the oatmeal cookies were homemade and not terribly unhealthy. Every body and every runner has different needs for training. What works for me, might not work for you, so please keep that in mind.

    Thanks, Megan

  • Young

    These cookies are scrumptuous! I was intrigued by the pretzel, popchip and coffee mixture. I couldn’t find the vegan dark choc. chips so I ended up using vegan semi-sweet chips, I used less than 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to balance the sugar content. Even after chilling the dough for 20 minutes, I found the dough still too crumbly. I think perhaps I added too many popchips and pretzels.
    I used my hands to shape silver dollar sized patties and after 13 minutes they were done. Try this recipe! You will not be disappointed. For the instant coffee powder, I used a “freebie” packet of starbucks instant coffee, it worked really well. The coffee adds such a nice surprising element to this sweet and salty treat.

    Thanks Megan for recipe.


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     Found this site by searching for “best vegan cookies”.

    As an athlete, I want to recommend a VEGAN diet to anybody reading this blog!

    For people who are serious about the environment, human health, and top physical performance, veganism is a no-brainer!

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  • I tried your cookie recipe and it was delicious! I blogged about it here:


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