Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Soft Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are four types of chocolate chip cookies:  Flat n' chewy, hard, soft, and icky.  Everyone has their cookie camp.  I make mine soft.  If you want to make them chewy, use the Tollhouse recipe.  Everyone else does.  It's a good cookie.  I'm all for it.  Also, other people like them hard.  I don't know what's wrong with those people.  And then some cookies are icky.  Like the hard "chocolate chip" cookies made of chalk dust that people get at Italian bakeries.  Ugh.

I was a Soft Batch kid, not a Chips Ahoy kid.  But I had some Soft Batch cookies a couple years back and there is some sort of acidic sweet chemical flavor that is no longer working for me. And they're dusty too.  I don't know what happened.

Either way, I've been working on a whole wheat recipe for a while.  I think whole wheat will only work with the thicker, softer cookies, because they're cakier to start with, and if you think too hard about it, muffin-ier.  So whole wheat works here.

Anyhow, I made you some cookies. 

I buy good chocolate chips, because I'm a spoiled girl.  I don't know, a couple years ago I had a [candy] bar and it was like wax and I asked myself what I was doing eating chocolate.  Sous Chef Brian had never been a chocolate fan, and I started buying "good" chocolate and all of a sudden he was all nomming on my secret stash, so I'm a convert, and I eat a lot less chocolate because I can afford a lot less chocolate.   So start with something you really like.  
I like these.

Ok, you don't really have to start with them, but me, my kitchen is going to be stocked with all of this stuff all the time, like, it'd be really shocking if I was out of vanilla or flour or something.  So I tend to know I have all the ingredients on hand, except for those chips, I might not have the chips.  So by "start with" these, what I mean is "make sure you have chips."   Start with something else.  Preheat to 400.  Also, get a lot of butter.  Room temp, not melty. 

That picture does not do justice to what a cup of butter really is.  It's half a pound.  It's two sticks.  It's quite a bit.

So cover it in sugar.  I said these were whole wheat, I didn't say they were health food.   One and a quarter cups.  I creamed them together in the mixer but you can do it by hand too. 

Also, two eggs.

And some unphotographed vanilla. 

Beat that all together.

Sure, you can come over and install lights in my mixer if you want.
And the dry stuff.  Whole wheat flour, a little bit of AP, baking soda, salt.  Mix that together.

Then mix that all in.

And get those good chocolate chips.  And stir them in. 

There was a time months ago when I was making chicken, and I got all stressed out because I spent a lot of my time yelling at the cat to keep her away from the meat.  When I make cookies with Sous Chef Brian, I spend that time yelling at my husband to keep him away from the raw dough.  It's amazing how little power the word "Salmonella" has in my house.   Make your own choice about raw dough.  I bet it's delicious, I wouldn't know.

Alton Brown tells us to use scoops for this, but I don't make enough cookies to justify a measuring scoop for dough.  I've tried using an ice cream scoop, but those are freaking huge cookies, so I use a spoon, like the one I use to stir my coffee, and I overload it.  I also love parchment for this, but hate throwing things out after one use.  You could use a silpat too.  

For soft cookies, you want to go tall, rather than wide.  I think this is about a tablespoon and a half per cookie, but I didn't measure.   I did about a third of the dough, which gives me 12 cookies.

Into the oven at 400 for about 10 minutes, checking at 8.  You want the edges golden and the middle still kind of pale and closer to raw.  Soft, I mean.  Also, I'm looking for a firm golden bottom at this point. 

And soft and melty inside.   I don't really let them cool.  I wait until I feel like molten chocolate won't burn my lips, and then get into it. 

But what about the other two-thirds of the dough?   Much like my home fries, I think that cookies are best as a make-ahead food.   For home fries, it's because I might not feel like cooking in the morning.  In fact, I won't.  For cookies, the deal is that when you NEED a cookie, you may be in no shape to bake.  Maybe you're having a bad day.  Maybe it's a bit late to be using the mixer.   So I try to always have frozen cookie dough on hand, just in case. 

Lay out some parchment.

If you don't have a Sous Chef Brian in the room to hold that one corner and keep it from rolling up, use a dot of water underneath the paper. 
Drop 1/3 of the dough (1/2 of the leftover dough) on to the parchment and pull two edges of the paper together.

Pinch the ends of the parchment together, those top edges, and squeeze down to compress the dough, using your hands to try to make it even across the width.  Open up the paper.  Does it look like the refrigerator dough you get at the supermarket? Good. 

Roll it up in the parchment like an old-timey candy. 

Do the second one too. 

Trim the edges, and for bonus points, label the cookies.  Put the rolls into a gallon zipper bag, or wrap in foil or plastic. 
I called these "chocolate chunk" in the freezer because it's big chips, but it's the same cookie you see above. 
Next time it's time for cookies, open up one of these rolls and slice your cookies onto your parchment.  Thin slices make thin cookies, so aim thick to keep them soft.  

serving suggestion

print recipe

Soft Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Big, fluffy, soft chocolate chip cookies
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour (AP)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 400. Cream butter and brown sugar together, beating vigorously or with a mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry goods: flour, baking soda, salt. Slowly beat in to butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla mixture.Stir in chocolate chips until well distributed.Drop dough by spoonfuls (1.5 - 2 tbsp each) onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are browned, middle is soft. Cool. Eat.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 36

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