Saturday, 8 October 2011

Healthifying a Craving: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My cravings aren't always butter-related.  Often I crave sushi, or heirloom tomatoes, or noodles.

But if we're going to be really honest here (and I think we should be – this is a safe space for honesty and cravings), I have to admit that the majority of my sudden desires involve copious amounts of sugar, egg, flour, and yes, butter.

But that doesn't mean I can't be healthy, right?  I mean, I work out every day (sometimes), and I eat my veggies (most days), so what's a cookie here and there (or every day that end with 'y')?  It's all about balance, that's what I say.  And if you can balance your diet within one recipe, all the better!

That's where these cookies come in.  They're indulgent, and rich, and sweet, and they'll definitely hit the spot.  But they're also healthy (sort of), because they're made with whole wheat flour.

The flour isn't really there to provide a wall of faux healthfulness behind which lurk butter, sugar, and chocolate – it's intended to add a depth of flavor and a nutty sophistication to an old favorite.  And it certainly does, but it also provides a nice faux wall...


Basically, whether you're looking to make a treat that teeny bit healthier or you just want to update a classic, you should make these cookies.  But don't make them exactly as I did... I only had whole wheat bread flour in my cupboard, and I'm lazy (as we all know – hey, this is a safe place for honesty!), so I used that instead of going out and buying whole wheat pastry flour.  And the cookies were still delicious, but they definitely had a hint of pokiness from the roughness of the flour.  So I don't recommend going that route.  Just go buy some new flour. 

Do as I say, not as I do.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies:
     halved and adapted for laziness/available supplies from The Amateur Gourmet  (Note: Adam's instructions are much more involved than mine, so if you like to follow more directions rather than fewer, click the link for his transcription of the original recipe)

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together:
     1.5 cups whole-wheat flour
     3/4 teaspoon baking powder
     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In another large bowl, cream:
     8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter
     1/2 cup packed brown sugar
     1/2 cup raw sugar  (the original recipe calls for 1/2 dark brown and 1/2 white sugar, but my brown wasn't very dark, so this was my compromise and I think it worked pretty well)

Beat in, stirring after each addition:
     1 large egg
     1 teaspoon vanilla 

Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Scrape down the bowl and stir in: 
     1/2 cup (heaping) chocolate chips

Shape the cookie dough into balls (you can use one of those fancy store-bought scoops if you want – I used a tablespoon and my hands) and place on the lined sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are golden and smell amazing.

Cool for a couple of minutes and then snarf!

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