Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am, generally speaking, a fan of whole grains. Not for reasons of health though, though I can use whatever help I can get in that area. I just prefer whole wheat bread and brown rice on most occasions.

I do, however, strive to eat healthier, just on my terms. Thus, the whole wheat chocolate chip cookie.

I know how to make chocolate chip cookies. I've made the ones from Cooks Illustrated (behind a pay wall), and they are very, very good. But they are too much, if you know what I mean. I admire the rigor with which the ATK team tests its recipes. However, I sometimes find their recipes overly elaborate for my aims, and the preferences of the cooks and tasters idiosyncratic.

Back to the cookies. I like the taste of whole wheat, but I like the taste of chocolate chip cookies better. I am not aiming for a compromise here.

I made the King Arthur Flour recipe here, exactly as written (except for the espresso powder--I don't drink or cook with coffee).

The recipe starts with creaming the butter and sugars. The recipe uses a blend of sugars: white, brown, and honey. Whole wheat recipes often include honey, and it works unobtrusively here.

The recipe also includes cider vinegar. The vinegar obviously makes the batter more acidic, but I don't understand why the batter should be more acidic, functionally speaking. This, to me, underscores why I use recipes specifically developed for whole wheat, rather than substituting whole wheat in conventional recipes. Flour is already a complex mixture of starches and proteins--adding fat, fiber, and vitamins in the form of wheat germ and wheat bran increases the complexity to a great degree.

The batter was very, very fluffy.

I dished the dough with my tablespoon scoop onto a silicone baking liner. It's a very yummy dough for eating straight :-)

I watched the cookies very carefully in the oven. Chocolate chip cookies specifically need to be soft, and the whole wheat flour makes it more complicated to determine doneness.

These are perfectly done. The cookies are completely soft and seem raw, but the edge of one of the cookies is browning. Leaving the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes after they are removed from the oven cooks the cookies just a little more and solidifies them enough to remove from the sheet.

After five minutes, the inside is cooked through and not wet. You can also see how the cookie dough has collapsed around the chips, an important part of a good cookie IMO.

The under-sides are not over-browned. You can't see it here, but there was a thin, smooth glass-like bottom, which I think is related to the honey.

I really liked the cookies. However, I am blessed to have two of the most sensitive tasters in the world right here in my own family. My husband though the cookies were "good" and my 7 year old son didn't eat them. The quest for a cookie that pleases the whole family continues!

How do you like your chocolate chip cookies? Are you interested in a cookie that uses whole wheat flour? Please let me know in your comments.


  1. Replies
    1. They were :-) I shouldn't make them again though, as I was the only one who ate them.