Friday, December 17, 2010

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are certain things that I like, I've come to realize, that not many other people seem to like. I try to keep my mouth shut about my love of:
  • 19th century Victorian novels
  • Elizabethan dramas in iambic pentameter (The Royal Shakespearean Company RULES!)
  • Running
  • Really dorky news shows on NPR, like the Brian Lehrer show
  • Walking in cities, rather than taking cabs, so I can check out off-beat stores like the ''Left hander's" store in London. Even though I'm not left-handed.
  • Whole wheat anything.
Now, I know I'm supposed to say: "oh, I FORCE myself to use whole wheat because it's healthier." But to be honest, I have a kind of unusual palate, I guess. I wonder if it's because I never ate white bread growing up. My mother made even my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on rye bread. When I was in elementary school. 

I still don't like rye, but I find whole wheat to be much more interesting, flavor-wise. I know I should think that having a teeny weeny taste of a 'real' chocolate chip cookie with white flour is better than a big bite of a whole wheat cookie, but I don't. I also like the fact that whole wheat things, even though they aren't necessarily less caloric, don't give me that nauseous sugar hangover that overly sweet things tend to bring on, after an hour or so.

A number of people have asked me if I you can only make whole wheat peanut butter cookies (because the peanut butter is so oily and moist, it tends to reduce the gritty texture of the whole wheat many people find objectionable)--or if you can also make whole wheat chocolate chip cookies entirely with whole wheat flour. No all purpose or 'white whole wheat' flour involved.

 Well, I did, and I liked them!  I adapted the recipe from the Hillbilly Housewife, who writes that these are are perfect for people who are 'real uptight about food and nutrition.'   My goodness, it's like they were made for me!

I love this recipe because it only uses one type of sugar (light brown) as well as one type of flour. (I'm uptight, yet cheap and lazy about buying lots of different kinds of flour).  The recipe is even easier than the Toll House recipe, which uses both white and brown sugar.


"The creamed"

1 cup of butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups of light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten

"The dry"
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspon baking soda

"The add-ins"
Instead of 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, I cut up a large bar of Ghirradelli 86% cacao for half the batter and made the other half with half a cup of white chocolate chips and half a cup of salted mixed nuts.

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cream the softened butter and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and the baking soda. Stir until well-incorporated, almost the texture of wet clay. Then add in the flour, about a 1/4 cup at a time.

3. It's suggested that you chill chocolate chip batter for 36 hours in the refrigerator before baking--I didn't, but to be honest it probably would yield superior results, particularly for whole wheat flour which requires more time to absorb moisture. I have impulse control issues, however, and wanted to bake these right away.

4. I divided the batter and folded in the dark chocolate into one half, and the nuts and white chocolate into the other half.

5. The original recipe makes 3 dozen, but I made 18, since I was giving these as a gift and wanted them to look large and spectacular.

6. Bake for 12 minutes for normal-size cookies, about 20 if you made your cookies extra-large, like mine.

7. Cool and remove from the parchment with a spatula.

8. I had to chill the cookies with the cut-up cookie bar for the chocolate to 'set.' While not as pretty as pre-made chocolate chips, I admit I prefer 'real' chunks of extra dark chocolate, taste-wise.

Packed and ready to be gifted!

I also made some more saltine nut brittle.
One batch with dark chocolate and salted mixed nuts, the other with white chocolate.  Just to show that my apparent love of healthy eating is a veneer. 

Stop me before I nut brittle again!  It's becoming an addiction.  I have the sudden urge to make it for everyone I know, kind of like Truman Capote's dotty but lovable relative made fruitcakes for everyone--including President Roosevelt--according to his short story "A Christmas Memory."

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