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Guest Post: Leah’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 8, 2012

Guest Post today! This is from a new friend of mine, Leah, who is a doctor, wife, and mom, and knows the challenges of trying to eat healthful foods! Leah posted this recipe and her comments to a group of women trying to make changes toward a healthier lifestyle. I really liked it as an example of how we can make small changes, while still honoring that we live in relationships and communities where 1) not everyone may be “dieting” or trying to eat healthier, 2) people may be wary of items touted as whole wheat, 3) we still celebrate things. Trying to manage weight or swap out ingredients for healthier options shouldn’t ignore that it’s nice to have a treat sometimes. So, without further ado: Leah’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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By: Leah

Let me start my stating the obvious this is a cookie recipe NOT a health food recipe.  I am posting it here as a springboard to talk about moderation and the spectrum of what makes food healthy. Clearly we are all committed to being healthier people, which for all of us means moderating something. I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy. Instead I’m admitting that it is a lesson I learn over, and over, and over again! One cookie is not going to wreck a week, but eating the whole batch by myself is a different matter. That is why I sent about 2/3 of the cookies to work with my husband. Out of site and out of mind 🙂

This weekend I thought a lot about whether or not these cookies are healthy.  In the end; yes and no.  I believe that anything made from scratch is healthier than a store bought version. This is because cooking at home eliminates preservatives and high fructose corn syrup, and allows you to control your ingredients. These cookies go from there and step it up a notch.  The whole wheat flour and raw turbinado sugar are processed differently by your body than their white flour and sugar counterparts.  There will be a lower spike in your blood sugar (a.ka. lower glycemic index) and will take longer to digest because of the whole grain flour. They also give the cookies a delicious nutty quality.  Of course there is no escaping the fact that this is a recipe for cookies. In moderation or for a treat these are a great choice.  I would argue you should buy the best quality chocolate you can afford since this is something you’re not likely to make and eat every week. I bought my ingredients at Whole Foods and chose to use Ghirardelli semi sweet baking bars that I chopped up myself.  Taking into account that I did not use the whole bag of sugar or flour I estimated I spent about $15 on ingredients, and with 64 cookies to a batch that’s about $0.23 per cookie. Not so bad after all.

 

This recipe has been modified from one written by Jennie Perillo. (Side note: Jennie recently and unexpectedly lost her husband. She is a brave, humble, and honest women. Her blog reflects that, so have tissues handy when you read it.)

 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 64 cookies

 

Ingredients:

4 cups (490 grams) whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt (kosher or fleur de sel if you have it)

2 cups (400 grams)  raw turbinado sugar

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons (30 ml) molasses

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

8 ounces chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350º. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and fleur de sel.

In a separate, clean bowl, beat the butter, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until well mixed. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

If you can wait consider ‘dry aging’ the dough by covering the top with plastic wrap and allowing it to rest in the fridge overnight.

Use your tablespoon measure and place 1 tablespoon of dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes on the center rack of the oven. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for exactly 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely, or at least until cool enough to eat without burning your the roof of your mouth or tongue.

Weight watchers points plus (I can’t explain why, but for your reference)

1 cookie=3

2 cookies= 5

3 cookies = 8

4 cookies= 10

And how do I know that 4 cookies equals 10 points plus?  Because I had trouble moderating myself when they were warm and gooey out of the oven 🙂

 

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4 comments

  1. Great post! I’ve been debating the pros and cons of switching to whole wheat flour in cookies for a while now. I wasn’t really certain how it might taste, but these look like they’d be good!

    I did use whole wheat flour in pastry one time and it came out nice. Granted, it was only a small percentage of the total flour used, but it gave the pastry a little extra dimension when we ate it.

    Thanks again for posting this!


    • I’ve found that mixing in whole wheat flour in small batches is a good way to get folks used to the taste (with the intent of starting to eat more of it!). It is a nice extra dimension, isn’t it? And it’s dense, so I find I eat more slowly.


  2. This looks delicious Leah! Thanks for your thoughts on making healthy ingredient swaps and health foods versus treats, nice perspective. In reference to moderation, when we make cookies we make and scoop them, then put most of them into the freezer. When we are in a cookie mood we pull a few out and cook them in the toaster/convection oven we have. This helps with three things, 1 – no big batch of cookies to eat in a few days/walk-by cookie splurges constantly, 2 – fresh-baked cookies to eat every time, 3 – makes the effort and expense of making the cookies last a long time. Thanks!


    • Great idea, Sara! I am so guilty of the “walk-by cookie splurge” – so tempting!



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