Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy New Year! I am going to be honest. 2011 has gotten off to quite the rocky start for yours truly. I’m really not sure where things went wrong. 2010 ended quite nicely and BOOM. January hit with a vengeance. And so I have decided (as of twenty minutes ago) that instead of letting things spiral out of control and pout about it, I am going to take matters into my own hands. So there 2011.

It seems that every year, the entire world decides to become “healthy” in January. The gym is suddenly full of exercise fanatics which can be quite frustrating to the perpetually late gym class attendee who can’t find a place for her yoga mat (I’m not bitter or anything).  All of the foodie websites are filled with “healthy” recipes, and Food Network is all healthy resolutions all the time. I confess. I get swept up in these “healthy eating, work out more” resolutions, too. I mean, I have been making green smoothies for breakfast all week long (and wow, they are pretty freaking delicious!). You can imagine my delight when I came across Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain underneath the Christmas tree this year. I had been saying for the entire month of December that I would start eating healthfully again after Christmas (I say this every single year).

There was so much buzz about this cookbook on the blogosphere, and I was immediately intrigued. I had experimented with whole wheat flour before but had never even heard of some of the flours featured in this awesome cookbook. I mean it really is awesome. There is an entire chapter on amaranth flour and quionoa, and rye. And teff flour? Who knew it would bake up beautiful muffins, breads, and brown butter scones? Um, delicious. Boyce makes these new flours seem approachable, and her recipes look gorgeous AND nutritious. It’s like the perfect Christmas gift to use for New Year’s healthy resolutions ever. And you don’t even have to settle for bland diet flavors. It’s just nutritious. And that is my 2011 resolution. Eat more nutritiously.

My first Boyce recipe isn’t that adventurous, I know. But I am just getting started. And sometimes you just need a warm chocolate chip cookie on a cold, dreary winter day to make you feel better. Right? And this kind of works with my new year’s resolution. Whole wheat flour? Check. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

{makes about 20 cookies}

Dry Mix
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet Mix
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4- and 1/2-inch pieces

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper to promote even cooking and prevent sticking.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Pour the bits of grain back into the bowl that remain in the sifter.

Add the butter and sugars to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended (about two minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Add the vanilla and combine. Add the flour mix and blend on low speed until the flour is barely combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the chocolate to the batter and mix on low speed until evenly combined. Use the spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then scrape the batter onto a work surface. Use your hands to full incorporate all the ingredients (but do not overmix).

Scoop mounds of dough (about 2-3 tablespoons) onto the baking sheet. Leave approximately 3 inches between each mound. Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly brown. Transfer the cookies, on the parchment, to the counter to cool, and repeat with remaining dough. Boyce recommends eating these warm from the oven or the same day. They keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note: Boyce intends for this dough to go straight from the bowl to the oven. However, you can refrigerate some of the dough for later if you wish. Scoop the dough into mounds before chilling since the dough will be hard to scoop once chilled. Remember that cookies baked from chilled dough will be thicker than those made from room temperature dough. The dough—scooped, chilled, and wrapped in plastic—will last in the refrigerator for one week.

Check out Good to the Grain’s review on Food52’s Tournament of Piglets. The cookbook won after a rigorous, four round tournament judged by some of the top food writers and chefs!

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