Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies from Good to the Grain

two cookies

During my childhood, my mother was notorious for slipping whole wheat flour into baked goods in place of white flour. In her hands, this led to pie crusts that fell to pieces when sliced (I imagine her tendency to reduce butter amounts also contributed to this problem) and less-than-light quick breads. Thing was, baked goods were fairly rare indulgences, so we gobbled these offerings up despite their minor issues of crumb and structure and counted ourselves supremely lucky.

chocolate chip cookie recipe in Good to the Grain

Twenty years later, I’m a little chagrined to admit that this apple hasn’t fallen far from her tree. I’m always looking for ways to transform baked goods into something just slightly more healthful and whole grain flours are part of my regular baking routine (particularly whole wheat pastry flour – I love that stuff). Because of this, I am particularly smitten with Kim Boyce’s lovely new book Good to the Grain.

chopped chocolate

I’ve had it in my coffee table stack of new favorites for a while. I bought little bags of teff, buckwheat and millet flours, waiting for inspiration to strike. And then tonight, I was finally moved by the bag of King Arthur Whole Wheat flour on the kitchen counter and a plaintive request from Scott for a sweet treat. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies it was!

cookies to freeze

These cookies come together quickly. I started them at 9 p.m. and we were munching within the hour. They are sweet (don’t think that the whole wheat flour makes these a health food – 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar does not a low-cal cookie make) but are nicely balanced by the addition of 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt (the flakier the better). I baked up about half the recipe, the remaining dough got scooped and frozen for future late-night cookie attacks.

stack of cookies

I’m looking forward to digging into more of the recipes and trying out those bags of flours that are still hanging out in my kitchen.  I have a funny feeling I have yet to discover my favorite flour. (And, if you’re curious, the remaining cookies are cooling their heels in a jar on the counter. Would you expect anything else from me?)

Also, a little note from the Food in Jars shop. I recently added these very snazzy aprons to the items in my little store. They’re quite cute and will make you the most fashionable baker/canner/cook on the block. What’s more, there’s a coupon available now through Friday that will score you 20% off on one of these bad boys. Just type in 20Tayga during checkout to get the discount.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces chocolate, chopped into bits (Kim calls for bittersweet, I used semi-sweet, because it was what I had)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats.
  2. Whisk the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars. Once they are creamy, add the eggs and vanilla. Beat to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in two batches and mix. Finally, add the chopped chocolate and just stir to incorporate.
  5. Scoop balls of dough that are approximately 3 tablespoons worth. I used a quarter cup scoop to make it easy. These are big cookies, so six per sheet is plenty. Bake for 16-20 minutes, rotating the pans so that they each spend half the bake time on top and half the time on the bottom.
  6. When the baking time is up, remove the cookies from the sheets and let them cool. Eat with milk and do your darnedest to resist the siren call from the remaining cookies.

Notes

From Kim Boyce's cookbook Good to the Grain.

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31 Responses to Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies from Good to the Grain

  1. 1
    Christine says:

    This brings the memories flooding back, let me tell you. Tell me I wasn’t the only kid to pack whole wheat carob chip cookies to birthday parties and we’ll be friends forever ;-)

  2. 2
    kickpleat says:

    I will definitely be making these cookies very soon. They sound wonderful!

  3. 3
    GrassNaps says:

    I love chocolate chip cookies made with whole wheat flour. Much more than the regular stuff – it adds more depth. My favorite cookie of all time (thus far) is made with both whole wheat pastry flour and rolled oats. Not light on the calories by any means, but if you’re gonna eat a cookie, you’re gonna eat a cookie.

    I, too, have been collecting flours and await the proper inspiration. Enjoy your delicious looking cookies. /jeal :)

  4. 4
    alwayshungry says:

    I have no idea how many chocolate chip cookie recipes I have already browsed through over the years but THESE ONES,…, well they inspire me.
    :p
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. 5
    regina says:

    yum! We bake a LOT here so anything I can do to make it a little more healthy (or at least convince myself that it is better for me) is a good thing….and have you tried to make injera with your teff?

  6. 6

    these are certainly on my baking list – love that book! you have to try the buckwheat pancakes :)

  7. 7
    kaela says:

    Funny, I just posted my own WW choc chip cookie recipe, the one that I endlessly tweak trying to perfect the texture. Similar to the above in amounts, although mine has less flour and less sugar.

    I wonder, if you simply cream the butter and sugar, why she has you slice it into squares? I thought at first you were going to run into the flour, pastry dough style, and I thought “Here’s something new!”

    At any rate, the book sounds fabulous and it’s on my list. I never use white flour anymore, and I’ve experimented with red wheat, white wheat, spelt and triticale, but it would be great to find a baking resource that has tested out different varieties of flour.

    • 7.1
      Jenny says:

      Regarding the butter being chopped… It is my belief that it’s to bring the butter to room temperature more quickly. It also prevents the butter from clumping as one big mass when mixing.

  8. 8
    JillyB says:

    I have been wanting to try these! Have you ever played with the amounts of sugar in chocolate chip cookies? I just made a batch and the two cups of sugar tasted WAY too sweet to me! I want to reduce the sugar a little bit, without messing up the texture.

  9. 9
    Marisa says:

    Christine, you were definitely not the only kid packing whole wheat cookies. I’m still haunted by those memories of carob.

    Regina, I haven’t made injera yet, but I’d like to give it a try sometime. My recipe to-do list is so long that I don’t know when I’ll get to it, but someday!

    Kaela, I had similar thoughts about the butter when I first read the recipe. Honestly, I think it’s just a trick to make it so that you don’t have to let it sit and soften – but she doesn’t come out and say that.

    JillyB, I hear you, these are definitely a sweet cookie. I think you could cut it a little, but the more you reduce the sugar, the more of that sandy, crisp texture you surrender. However, if I made these again, I think I’d go at least a 1/4 cup shorter on each of the sugars.

  10. 10

    This just may be my newest go-to chocolate-chip cookie recipe – and one I can feel better about giving my kids.
    …oh and I can relate about the health-aware mother. We ate a lot of carob and nut butters as kids; chocolate was rare. I like to think I’m a balanced mom, but there’s definitely more of my mother coming out of me as I get older.

  11. 11
    Maggie says:

    I knew you’d like this book! I highly recommend the carrot muffins.

  12. 12
    Chiot's Run says:

    I’ve been wanting to get this book. Can’t wait, I make all of our cookies with 100% whole grain.

  13. 13
    Amanda says:

    Just made a batch but I was working with three children under 4 years old so it took a little bit longer than an hour….however, it was well worth it! I told the children they must wait until after dinner and I’ve been sneaking bits when they’re not looking:)

  14. 14
    margo says:

    what a hoot! My mom was the SAME! Now that I have WW pastry flour, I try not to look down my nose at her efforts.

  15. 15
    Sara says:

    I think I just found the dessert for our next staff lunch! YUMM!!

  16. 16
    Bonnie says:

    I love new ways to work my home milled wheat into our diets. These look great.

  17. 17
    Juice says:

    You had me at chocolate chip cookie…

  18. 18
    tigress says:

    hey marisa,

    these look wonderful! i just recently purchased this book too and am excited to bake from it.

  19. 19

    I love this. I’ve had this book on my mind for a while but wasn’t sure how the recipes would be. I’m starting with these and can’t wait to test them out on my kids.

  20. 20

    I absolutely love this book! I’ve made a few things and have fallen in love with all of them – esp. the rye flour recipes. My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe does have some wheat flour in them so curious to see how I like the all whole wheat recipe. Yours look fabulous!

  21. 21
    Pat in TX says:

    Try substituting Sucanat or Rapadura for the sugars, and use bottersweet chocolate. Cookies will be a tad less sweet and even healthier! Keep the butter, tho; its a natural substance. Will be trying theese – right after grocery shopping day!!

  22. 22
    Bruce says:

    I’ve been wanting to get this book. Can’t wait, I make all of our cookies with 100% whole grain.

  23. 23

    I just posted her Quinoa and Beet Pancakes. They were amazing. I can’t wait to try more things from the book, and I may start with these delicious looking ww chocolate chip cookies.

  24. 24
    Jas says:

    Delicious! I cut down on the sugar a bit and added some dried tart cherries. Really gives them a kick. The first thing you notice about the cookies is the super flavor …. Not the ww.

  25. 25

    […] But delicate pastries need not be made just with refined wheat flour, which is the central thesis of Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce (thanks Karen for the birthday gift!)  As a former pastry chef, the author set forth to make whole grain pastries that would be appetizing to people who weren’t even looking to eat less refined flours.  (Granted, we’re still talking pastries and such here, so there’s ample butter, eggs, and sugar.  But still).  As proof of this, I made the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and presented them to my husband as “just some chocolate chip cookies” and he loved them–we all did.  (Check out the recipe here). […]

  26. 26
    Ginny Kinne says:

    This recipe is HORRIBLE!!!! So horrible my family and I were forced to eat the entire batch of batter before ONE cookie ever made it into the oven… ;-)

    I’m serious.
    I’ve made these cookies a dozen of so times now, and the batter is SO good….

  27. 27

    […] Sometime last year, I got my mitts on a copy of Kim Boyce’s now famous Good to the Grain.  I remember that it was the first cookbook where I actually sat down and read the intro chapters — you know, the ones about equipment and ingredients, and technique; those chapters I normally skip through to get to the recipes.  When I was done with that section, I flipped straightaway to the recipe I’d automatically honed in on while flipping through the index: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. […]

  28. 28

    […] cookie recipe since.  It seems I”m not the only one who feels this way…Heidi, Molly, Marisa, and Noelle have all blogged about it.  These cookies are made with all whole wheat flour, but I […]

  29. 29
    Mary Ann Behiry says:

    I just finished making these. I used only one teaspoon of sea salt because I used salted butter. I also used organic brown and white sugars and organic eggs. Perfection!!!!!!!!!!! I did not make them as big as yours. Mine are normal size. I like that you used cold butter. This is the best way because then your cookies don’t spread all out and flatten. In fact these turned out nice and fat! I baked mine for about 11 minutes and they were golden on the bottoms. I always, always use parchment paper and airbake cookie sheets so I never have burnt bottoms. Thank you for a really perfect recipe!

  30. 30

    […] I found it in a recipe that called for whole-wheat […]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] But delicate pastries need not be made just with refined wheat flour, which is the central thesis of Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce (thanks Karen for the birthday gift!)  As a former pastry chef, the author set forth to make whole grain pastries that would be appetizing to people who weren’t even looking to eat less refined flours.  (Granted, we’re still talking pastries and such here, so there’s ample butter, eggs, and sugar.  But still).  As proof of this, I made the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and presented them to my husband as “just some chocolate chip cookies” and he loved them–we all did.  (Check out the recipe here). […]

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