New Paltz, NY
Vegan baked goods seem to run the risk of being compared to cardboard. So what’s a sweet-toothed herbivore to do? Thankfully, we’ve got Vegan O’Brien Baking Company’s chocolate-chip cookies. Crafted by Manhattan transplant Evan O’Brien, these giant cookies are 100 percent animal-free — tapioca starch and a vegetable oil-based spread are swapped in for eggs and butter. Not to mention they’re chewy, chocolatey, and mighty rich, just like their counterparts. O’Brien also offers a peanut chocolate-chip version for the especially nutty.
Based in New Paltz, O’Brien doesn’t yet have a storefront — though he’s hoping to expand. “It’s in the far back of my mind,” he jokes. For now, you can find his sweets at various shops in New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, and Manhattan for about $3 per cookie. A warning: “It may be vegan, but it’s still loaded with sugar and calories,” O’Brien reminds us. Fortunately, just one of these bad boys is enough to fill you. We recommend dunking them in a tall glass of cold milk (soy, of course).