Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies

  


I really hesitate to use the word "healthy" in conjunction with these cookies. Mostly because they have a lot of sugar. But also because I believe I have not compromised one bit on taste. I mean, if you are going to have a chocolate chip cookie for dessert, have a real cookie. One delicious cookie is so much better than two cookies that taste healthy, if you know what I mean. Perhaps these cookies would be best described as "less unhealthy chocolate chip cookies," but I thought that a very poor post title.

My kids love a little treat now and then, and to avoid having to resort to store-bought packaged treats, even if they are from Trader Joe's/ Whole Foods, I often make these homemade cookies in bulk and freeze them. One little cookie is dessert enough for my little ones.

Mrs. Field's Remix

This recipe started with the Mrs. Field's Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. But it has half the butter. I have the Mrs. Field's Cookie Book and I do that with all her recipes: just halve the butter right from the get-go. Not because I'm especially fat-conscious, but just because the cookies seem so greasy and spread out otherwise.

I've tried decreasing or replacing the sugar with an alternative and I didn't like it. You can fudge the sugar down a bit (I usually just under-fill the measuring cup a bit -- nothing precise), but not much. I once used all organic cane sugar, and added back in some molasses (for the brown sugar), but did not like the texture at all, because my C & H organic can sugar from Costco has a pretty large granule, much bigger than conventional white sugar and brown sugar. For my last batch I used the organic cane sugar for the white sugar (I don't buy bleached white sugar anymore) and conventional or organic dark brown sugar.

My other big modification is to swap out almost half of the white flour for white whole wheat flour. I actually prefer the cookies with a significant portion of whole grain flour for two reasons: 1) they freeze better (whole wheat freezes so well and defrosts fast too) and 2) they don't make me feel as ill when I binge on them. I don't know about you, but if I eat a lot of refined sugar, I often feel slightly nauseated or even downright yucky afterwards. I'm guessing the whole grains help my blood sugar not spike as badly or something.



The quality of your chocolate chips is key. Use cheap chocolate and your cookies will taste like wax. I never economize on chocolate. I've always used Ghirardeli chips, but lately I've been using the Kirkland brand semi-sweet fair trade chocolate chips from Costco with excellent results.

I have changed the temperature and cooking time with every home I've lived in. Most ovens do not have the most accurate thermostats so it always takes a little tinkering to get it right (an oven thermometer helps of course). With my current oven, I bake at 335 for 15 min, but I've also done 350 for 13 minutes, and 310 for 16 minutes. The original recipe says 300 for 18-22 min., but that never worked for me (probably related to halving the butter). I like my cookies a bit thick and slightly chewy, not all the way spread out. I believe a higher temperature will make your cookies spread out more and become more crispy.

Benefits of Homemade

By making cookies myself, I save money, reduce packaging waste, and can afford to use better ingredients (like organic flour and eggs). I also think it is nearly impossible for a store-bought cookie (particularly one meant to have an extended shelf-life) to replicate the taste of a homemade cookie. I've never had a supermarket cookie that came even close.

So here you go. My 100% delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies, made slightly less unhealthy.

Eco-novice's Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I like 3/4 cup milk chocolate chip and 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips) 
Mix dry ingredients. Blend sugars and butter, then add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Then mix in the chips.
Place tablespoon-fulls on a greased baking sheet. With a large half-sheet baking pan I can fit 18 to 20 cookies per sheet. Bake at 335 degrees for 15 minutes until a deep golden brown. Makes 3+ dozen smaller cookies.

Try higher temp and shorter time for more spreading, lower temp and longer times for less spreading. Cookies are done when golden brown (although slightly darker than you might be used to because of the whole wheat). I always check to make sure the bottom of one cookie is a nice deep slightly crispy brown.



Eco-novice's Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies (Double Recipe)
3 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 T + 1 t vanilla 
2 1/2 to 3 cups chocolate chips (I like 3/4 cup milk chocolate chip and 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
Mix dry ingredients. Blend sugars and butter, then add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Then mix in the chips.
Place tablespoon-fulls on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 335 degrees for 15 minutes until a deep golden brown.

If you make a double recipe, you can bake all the cookies at once and freeze a bunch. They taste delicious warmed up in the toaster oven, or even after just resting on the counter for 5 minutes. I often eat them straight out of the freezer. You can also form the dough into balls, freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then store them in an airtight bag until you want to bake them. Try baking at 300 for 20-22 min. Or leave them out on the counter for 30 min. and bake close to your normal temperature and time. I usually choose to bake in bulk and freeze cookies rather than dough. Fewer dishes and I also find that although cookies hot out of the oven are just wonderful, freezing the dough for several months or longer does seem to change the taste a bit.



Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I agree, sometimes you just gotta make cookies right, not healthy. Must try this recipe - looks delish.

    And frozen cookies - yes please!!

    ReplyDelete

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