I can’t remember which blogger first put this book about baking with whole grain flours on my radar, but I was sufficiently intrigued to jump onto my library’s website and request it immediately. Good to the Grain devotes each chapter to a different type of grain, including I confess a few I hadn’t previously heard of (teff flour anyone?). The first chapter was well within my comfort zone though with its focus on whole wheat flour. I’m more likely to use my stash of whole wheat flour for homemade breads than anything else, so it was fun to branch out a bit with my baking. I decided to start out with the basics – chocolate chips cookies! I’ve found that I prefer white whole wheat flour to regular so that’s what I keep in my house and it’s what I used in this recipe.
My cookies are thicker than the ones in the book and others I’ve seen on food blogs, mainly because I made the dough one night, scooped it into mounds on baking sheets and stuck them in the fridge to be baked the following day. If you prefer thinner cookies just bake the dough immediately after putting it together. The first thing I noticed about this dough was its fragrance: stronger than any chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever made and slightly nutty. Once the cookies were baked, the fragrance had mellowed a bit but they retained the nutty, earthy flavor. They are generous in size and wonderfully soft. My favorite thing about them was the pairing of the bittersweet chocolate and the whole wheat flour. When it comes to “regular” chocolate chip cookies I usually eat around the chocolate (weird, I know – I’m all about the dough), but I couldn’t get enough of the chocolate in this whole wheat version. I liked the cookies best warm from the oven, so I wound up reheating the leftovers in the microwave for about 10 seconds before eating them. Even Shane gave these cookies a thumbs-up, which is saying something as he’s really not a big fan of whole grains.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and both sugars on low just until blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour to the bowl and, with the mixer on low, beat until the flour is just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Finally, add the chocolate to the dough and mix on low just to evenly distribute it.
Use a large cookie scoop to portion about 3 tablespoons of dough into a ball for each cookie, spacing them approximately 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the edges are set and the tops have cracked and browned. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a minute or two before transferring them to wire racks.
Yields about 20 cookies