Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since I am physically unable to skip dessert after almost every meal (with breakfast being the occasional exception), sometimes I find myself trying to sneak some nutrition into my sweets. Does it make a difference? Probably not. No amount of fiber is going to cancel out butter and chocolate. BUT, while we eat these whole wheat cookies, we can glare from beneath our whole grain highbrows, scoffing at the philistines and their refined white flour. Ha! Eat your inferior sweets with their deliciousness and their moisture and their irreplicably delicate textures. We will all live longer and laugh at you after you are dead.

Meanwhile, here's what you should know about baked goods with whole grain flours, as gleaned from a masterpiece of nutritional experimentation, King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking: in many, many cases, whole grain flours can be used in place of white flour in (specially designed) recipes. But the secret to achieving a palatable texture is often to let your dough, or your baked creation, sit at least overnight. This gives the denser flours time to absorb some liquid from the batter and soften up a bit, resulting in a more delicate chewing experience.

All this having been said, this cookie is good, but you can definitely taste the whole wheat. More precisely, I should say, you can feel the whole wheat lingering on your tongue. The ungodly proportion of chocolate chips to dough in this recipe goes a long way toward disguising the texture, but if you're a purist, you may be disappointed.

Let me also say, I was not disappointed. I really liked these cookies and will be making them again. If you make them, be sure to allow a FULL 24-hours' chill time for the dough.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 9 small cookies; adapted from KA's Whole Grain Baking (see above); start to finish 1 day + 20 minutes

3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/16 tsp (yes, just use half of your 1/8th) baking powder
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp agave nectar or corn syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 beaten egg (eat the rest for breakfast tomorrow)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. In a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and then stir in brown sugar. Cook until beginning to bubble (only took about 30 seconds in my microwave--work in small increments). Stash in the freezer 10 minutes to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Stir in vanilla, salt, soda, powder, agave/syrup, and vinegar; mix well. Add egg and stir until combined. Next, add flour and chips and mix until nice and blended. Cover and stash in the fridge until tomorrow. Batter will be very runny.
  3. On day 2, your batter will have magically become more of a dough. At this point, heat your oven to 375ยบ and drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Because they are whole wheat, the cookies will already be a little dark, so don't rely solely on color for determining doneness; give them a little poke with your finger. They shouldn't be raw but they shouldn't be too firm either. They'll continue to cook a bit out of the oven.

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