Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wholesome{ish} Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was my family's official cookie and dessert baker growing up. Someone gave me a children's alphabet cookbook when I was about six and I was instantly hooked.

My saintly mother allowed me to destroy the kitchen almost as often as I wanted with my baking messes and was unwavering in her praise and encouragement of my efforts, which were ... humble ... at best. Cookies were my favorite thing to make and even though I've progressed in my baking skills quite a bit since that first cookbook, I still have a major weakness for a homemade cookie.

Recently, I went on a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Serious. Stuff.

So I tried a bunch of different recipes, looking for chocolate chip perfection. It had to be chewy and dense, but not mushy. It needed to have crispy, caramelized edges, but remain soft and moist at the center. It needed to contain the right amount of chips - too many and all you taste is chocolate. Too few and all you've got is a glorified butter cookie.

You can tell I thought about this way too much, huh? Yep.

At long last, I stumbled across this recipe over at Lovin' From The Oven and gave it a try. Oh, the buttery, vanilla-y, chocolatey perfection! Sooooo good!

So this week I gave this amazing recipe a little makeover. I substituted sucanat for the brown sugar and replaced half the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour.

Health food? Not really. But if you're going to indulge in a sugary treat, why not bump up the nutritional profile a little bit?

The white whole wheat flour worked so well in these, that I'm thinking I might use it exclusively in the next batch and skip the white flour all together. They definitely did not get heavy or dry the way some recipes do with whole grain flour.

I've read different things about using sucanat in recipes ... some sources say to use a cup-for-cup substitution. Some say to use slightly less or even to reduce it to 2/3 c. sucanat for every 1 c. of sugar. In the recipe below, I left the amounts of sugar as written in the original recipe. When I tested it with sucanat, I used about 3/4 c. of sucanat and just under 1/2 c. of white sugar. Experiment and see what works best for you!

Wholesome{ish} Chocolate Chip Cookies
 ~adapated from My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies at Lovin' From the Oven

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sucanat (or slightly less)
1/2 cup white sugar (or slightly less)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 - 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer fewer chips, so I use 1 cup)

Whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt and set aside. Cream together the melted butter, sucanat and white sugar. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Stir in the flour and mix just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Drop cookie dough by 1/4 cup scoop onto greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets (You can make them smaller if you want - just reduce the baking time a bit). The cookies should be about 3 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown. Rest on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.


Rebekah Pike 
Rebekah is happiest with her nose in a book and enjoys making the most of her pint-sized, apartment kitchen. After leaving work in media production to become a full-time mommy, she began exploring the sustainable living movement, reconnecting with the back-to-the-earth ideals of her hippie parents. She met her husband, Darian, in 2005, working as a camp counselor in Oregon's rugged outdoors. Most of their time is spent chasing after their two year old daughter, Ashlynn, and doing serious “research” at Portland's restaurants, coffee shops and markets.

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