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.
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.
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!
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.
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
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats.
- Whisk the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- Add the dry ingredients in two batches and mix. Finally, add the chopped chocolate and just stir to incorporate.
- 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.
- 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.