Friday, September 09, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m sure you remember my quest for chocolate chip cookies, and the fact that I ended the month of May with a Texas showdown of the two top contenders from my new recipes. This time, for my 600th post, I decided to make the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce (and if you haven’t bought the book already, do so).

These whole wheat cookies are big (like the 36-hour cookies). I have to admit, though, that since I already use white whole wheat flour as my regular all-purpose flour, I didn’t notice that much of a difference between these and “standard” cookies. I did, however, feel slightly more virtuous as I ate them! The whole wheat does a lot to tame the sweetness of the cookies, while complementing the chocolate nicely. These cookies are delicious, which is all the more impressive since recipes that call for only whole wheat flour (as opposed to whole wheat flour as well as all-purpose white flour) are very rare, as trying to make a cake like that would probably result in making a brick. But not here; everything I’ve made from that book turns out great, and there are many more recipes I want to try.

I ended up changing the recipe a bit. You see, I didn’t read ahead, so I didn’t realize that the recipe calls for cold butter. Since I use margarine (no lactose), I should have put the margarine in the freezer ahead of time to compensate, but I hadn’t. I chose to let the dough chill in the fridge for 24 hours before baking it, which resulted in thicker cookies, and that was probably the intent of the unusual instruction in the first place. As a bonus, it intensifies the flavour. I also froze the leftovers once I had baked a dozen; I got 20 cookies in all.

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes (or use margarine that you’ve put in the freezer)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼- and ½-inch pieces (or bittersweet chips, but do try chopping)

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 °F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. (I used silpats; you can butter the baking sheets, but chocolate will still stick to them.)

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in sifter. Whisk to blend.

Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend on low speed until the flour is barely combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the chocolate all at once to the batter. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is evenly combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then scrape the batter out onto a work surface, and use your hands to fully incorporate all the ingredients. (I did this right in the bowl with a wooden spoon.)

Scoop mounds of dough about 3 tablespoons in size onto the baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between them, or about 6 to a sheet. (I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough.)

Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes (15 to 17 minutes did the trick for me, and I like my cookies chewy), rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly browned. Transfer the cookies, still on parchment, to the counter to cool, and repeat with the remaining dough.

These cookies are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. They’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (Or you can always keep raw dough in your fridge for up to a week, or in your freezer.)

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