If you are in my Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook feed, then you were bombarded by step by step photos on Saturday as I made these cupcakes for Paul's birthday. Annie suggests garnishing the cupcakes with mini chocolate chips (which, since even regular chocolate chips are basically impossible to find in Stockholm, I didn't bother looking for) and a mini chocolate chip cookie. As it happens, our across-the-hall neighbour, Lars, shares a birthday with Paul and happened to be having a wee gathering in our courtyard garden on Saturday. That in mind I decided to whip up a full batch of my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe and bake the bulk of them, regular sized, for Lars, reserving enough dough to bake some mini cookies to garnish my cupcakes.
Given the 'please let treats be treats!' rants that I so often go on and my refusal to hide vegetables in cookies or beans in brownies, it may surprise you that my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe is whole wheat. Truthfully, it surprised me too, but one bite into the first warm cookie from the first batch of these I ever made and the recipe instantly replaced the former Tollhouse cookie recipe that had been my previous go-to. I don't think I've made that recipe since, but I have made these many, many times.
These whole wheat chocolate chip cookies come from one of my favourite and most used baking books, Good to the Grain, by the lovely and talented Kim Boyce. If you don't already own this book and you like to bake, you need to get it and start working through it. I, in fact, own TWO copies of this book, since, when I had to leave my books behind and live in Vancouver for six months to finish up my nutrition degree, I decided I simply couldn't live without it so ordered another copy to live there. So, whether I am at home in Stockholm or in my mother's kitchen on the west coast, I am never without this book. It's that good. Listen to me, I' m being serious; get it.
Let me also tell you about my chocolate chips. Many months ago, Leanne posted a recipe on her blog which prompted me to leave a whiny comment about how I can't find chocolate chips in Stockholm. Leanne thought that was sad, and so she sent me some. For real; a woman who I had never met in 'real life' spent a good amount of money to send chocolate chips across the Atlantic and up up up to my Swedish kitchen. That dazzling act of kindness spurred many lengthy emails back and forth, a return package loaded with Swedish goodies, and, what I feel is a true friendship. We're like a modern day Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. I sincerely hope that, just like those two, we one day get the opportunity to meet in person.
Leanne is, at any moment, about to give birth to her first child. As I've baked these cookies with the last of the chips she so kindly sent me, I'd take a plate round to her, would that I could. This virtual gift will have to suffice for now, but please, please, somebody bake her up a batch (they're easy, Physicist, you can do it!).
One year ago: Rhubarb Muffins
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe:
This recipe makes a LOT of cookies. If I'm making a batch at home just to have around the house, I very often make only a half batch. Boyce's instructions makes much fewer and much larger cookies - about 20 the size of your palm. I use a #70 cookie dough scooper which drops down about a tablespoon of dough. At that size it bakes up into about 5 dozen much smaller cookies. That's the size I like them, and the baking time I've suggested here is for the smaller size. For the mini chocolate chip cookies I made for the cupcake toppers I used a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop the dough and baked them for just a few minutes.
Recipe from Good to the Grain
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 oz / 240g cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch / 1 cm pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz / 240g chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chopped into pieces
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl use a whisk to mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (not the whisk, mom!) mix the cold butter pieces with the sugars until well blended, about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Give the bowl a good scrape down and ensure everything is well combined, then add the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the wet mix all at once, and blend until just barely combined. Next add the chocolate and mix until evenly combined. I like to finish the mixing with a wooden spoon; Boyce recommends turning the mixture out onto the counter and using your hands to knead everything together.
Use a spoon or cookie scooper to scoop even rounds of dough onto your prepared cookie sheets, leaving enough room for the cookies to expand.
Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes, rotating the pans half way through baking. Best is to pull them from the oven when you see them browning around the edges but you still think the middles are slightly under done. Cool on a wire rack.
These cookies are best when they are still warm from the oven, with a big ol' glass of milk.
Know what you're eating: what's good about this? What isn't good about home made chocolate chip cookies? And seriously you guys, these ones are the best. Yes there is whole wheat flour, so they may be marginally more healthful than a cookie made with straight up all purpose, but there is butter and sugar and chocolate in there a plenty, so please don't fool yourself into thinking you're eating a health food. Enjoy your cookies! Damage control: How about this healthy and fiber loaded Wild Rice and Chickpea Salad for dinner? Ever wonder about the burnoff? According to this article, you'd have to run at 8km / 5 miles per hour for 30 min to burn off a chocolate chip cookie. Woah!
Do ahead: Cookie dough can be made in advance and kept in the fridge, covered, for a few days. Or you can scoop it into balls and freeze them to be pulled out and baked at a later time. Baked cookies will keep in an air tight container for a few days, or frozen for much longer.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012