Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Birthday Cookies + Recipe

I believe I've found THE Chocolate Chip cookie of my life.  I do not think I will go back to the Toll House style chocolate chip cookies again.  I confess, I completely adore these whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce. We have been making them for about a year or so.  We've tried other recipes, but always come right back to this one. We've added cinnamon, increased the vanilla and played with the sugars a bit (the original is 1 c. of each kind of sugar and both ways are great). These are the cookies I took to one of my very best friend's baby showers.  These are cookies I would take anywhere.  These are the cookies my dearest newly 7 year old boy requested for his birthday after a weekend full of cake.  These cookies are delicious.  Using only whole wheat is a large part of the difference.  Don't skip that part or you're missing out on the true wonder of these cookies. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce
3 cups whole wheat flour (I sometimes use white whole wheat)
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes (she recommends cold, but I've had it work with either)
1 1/2 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I've been known to use the same amount of 2x Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract--we like vanilla).
1 tsp. cinnamon (I prefer Organic Ceylon Cinnamon)
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼- and ½-inch pieces, or bittersweet chips

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. (If you have no parchment, you can butter the sheets.)

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk to blend.

Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl, and blend on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the chocolate, and mix on low speed until evenly combined. (If you have no stand mixer, you can do all of this with handheld electric beaters and/or a large, sturdy spoon.) Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure all the flour is absorbed.

Size is an issue-- she recommends huge cookies that we've made with an ice cream scoop.  We tend to make about 1/2 the recipe in smaller 1-2 Tablespoon sizes as well and reduce the baking time slightly. Scoop mounds of dough onto the baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes (for large cookies), rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly browned. Transfer the cookies, still on parchment, to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

These cookies are very good while still warm from the oven, but I find that you can taste the wheat more – in a good way – once they’ve cooled.

Yield: about 20 (large) cookies or closer to 36 average cookies

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