Saturday, April 13, 2013

Searching for the healthier cookie

I feel as though I am in constant search for that perfect recipe that makes chocolate chip cookies just a wee bit healthier. It's not so much that I'm a health nut or anything along those lines (although, we know I have a tendency to be a bit anal about these things), but it's more that my family (me especially) has zero self-control when it comes to freshly baked cookies at our disposal. In fact, as frightening as it might seem, it's not terribly uncommon for us to devour a batch of freshly baked cookies in a mere couple of days.

There's nothing healthy about eating a dozen or more cookies in one day, but with a healthier recipe, I'm hoping to save our systems from going into a diabetic shock or at least put some level of "goodness" in our bodies. So, I've been searching...and searching...and searching... I keep trying all these different low-fat or alternative recipes using sugar substitutes, vegan approaches, or gluten free ingredients. They are generally edible, or at least we have no issues eating them, but they are just no stand-in for the good 'ol fashioned Toll House recipe from the chocolate chip bag. A cup of butter and heaping amounts of brown and white sugar create the perfect cookie. But seriously... who can eat just ONE perfect cookie?! Not this gal...

I'm happy to report, I think I finally found my recipe! It's made with less than half the sugar (that could easily be substituted with applesauce or other favorites - agave nectar used to be my old standby until I starting reading that it isn't all that great for you), and it's 2 to 1 whole grain to white flour (not the recipe for my gluten free pals). I also added some ground up old fashioned oats to provide some good fiber, protein, and iron to the mix, and some chopped nuts for a little more protein. What I liked most about this recipe is that the cookies are REALLY good, they aren't too terribly sweet, and the grains add a moist consistency that I love. The recipe also leaves room for me to try some other substitutes if I'm really feeling like I need to go healthier.

I found this recipe online, and changed just a few things around based on what I had available in the pantry or my personal taste. It was really fairly easy, so you should absolutely give it a try.

Here's the recipe for my latest attempt at a healthier cookie:

Minutes to Prepare: 30

Minutes to Cook: 15

Number of Servings: 50


2 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. white flour

3 tbsp. ground Old Fashioned Oats

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. white sugar (or substitute with your favorite sugar alternative)

2 large or medium eggs (or equivalent amt of egg white)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. water

1/2 c. semisweet or dark chocolate chips (I prefer dark!)

1/4 c. chopped peacons (or other nuts, if preferred)


Step 1:

Combine all dry ingredients (except for the sugar, nuts & chips) in a large bowl.

Step 2:

Beat the softened butter,sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs one by one.

Step 3:

Add the dry mixture to the mixer gradually, alternating with the water, until it is all mixed thoroughly.

Step 4:

Add chocolate chips and nuts. Mix in well.

Step 5:

Place in small scoops on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes at 350. Let sit on cookie sheet for another 2 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.

NOTE: These cookies "poof" rather than "spread", so you can place them fairly close together on the cookie sheet. If your scoops are the size of a soup spoon or smaller, you should be able to fit 24 on a large baker's half sheet cookie pan.

Makes about 48 cookies, after allowing a little bit of "snitching" from the bowl!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!





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