Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies (or, my new go-to recipe.)

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been reading about Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain for months and I finally got a copy of my very own for Christmas.  The hype surrounding this book has been intense and I was really hoping that the recipes would be even half as good as people as people said they were.  The verdict after making these cookies: the hype is well deserved and the book is worth it just for this recipe alone (but there are also a bunch of other recipes that look equally amazing, so, YAY!)

The idea behind the book is that whole grain flours have more flavor than white flours and the recipes are designed to make the flavor of the various grains shine.  This recipe does that perfectly.  The whole wheat flour adds a rich, nutty flavor to the cookies that contrasts perfectly with the dark chocolate.  Gist and I both agree that these are the best cookies to come out of my kitchen (it doesn’t hurt that they also have the perfect crispy-chewy texture.)

I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, the only thing I changed is that I processed the wet ingredients in a food processor instead of a stand mixer.  I did this because 1. I don’t own a stand mixer but 2. I did get a Cuisinart for Christmas and I love it and want to use it as much as possible.  In the future I will either use my hand mixer or cream by hand (hello arm-strength) or use the Cuisinart.

The recipe has you sift the dry ingredients together.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together a combination of butter, dark brown sugar and white sugar, and add eggs and vanilla.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

And add the dry ingredients to the wet (just like regular cookies.) I did this by hand because I wanted to make sure that everything didn’t get over-mixed.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Using chopped-up chocolate also helped to make the cookies extra-awesome (even though it was a pain – I hate chopping chocolate.) When Gist and I were doing our Christmas crafts we learned that you should never use chocolate chips as melting chocolate because they are formulated to hold their shape in cookies; the chopped chocolate got all melty and awesome during baking and really added to the flavor and texture of the cookie.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Look at how dark and rich the batter is:

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are also huge, “palm-sized” according to Boyce.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe makes 20 enormous cookies – I baked five, and refrigerated the rest of the dough. I baked off some of the refrigerated dough (which Boyce says will keep for a week) two days after I made the cookies and the dough only gets better with age.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces (Boyce calls for unsalted butter, I only buy salted butter.)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼- and ½-inch pieces

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (Although you can butter the sheets instead, parchment is useful for these cookies because the large chunks of chocolate can stick to the pan.)

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.

Add the butter and the sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend on low speed until the flour is barely combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  I added the cubed cold butter and the sugars to my Cuisinart and processed them until they were smooth, then I added the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla and processed until everything was combined.  I then transferred the wet ingredients to a mixing bowl, and added the dry ingredients in thirds, combining by hand and being careful not to over-mix.

Add the chocolate all at once to the batter. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is evenly combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then scrape the batter out onto a work surface, and use your hands to fully incorporate all the ingredients.  I mixed the chocolate in to the batter using a rubber spatula and my hands.

Scoop mounds of dough about 3 tablespoons in size onto the baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between them, or about 6 to a sheet.

Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly dark brown. Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment, to the counter to cool, and repeat with the remaining dough.

These cookies are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. They’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

This dough is made to go straight from the bowl into the oven. However, for freshly baked cookies anytime, you can refrigerate some of the dough for later. Be sure to scoop out the balls of dough before chilling, as the cold dough is too difficult to scoop. Also remember that cookies baked from chilled dough will be thicker than those made from room-temperature dough. This dough — scooped, chilled, and wrapped in plastic — will last in the refrigerator for one week, assuming it doesn’t get eaten first!

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Author: Marianne

Hi my name is Marianne Gries, welcome to Art is the Handmaid of Human Good. I use this space to write about and share pictures of things that interest me. That includes my life in Lowell, my bike commutes, the food I cook and eat, the beer I drink, my dogs, home improvement projects, vacations, knitting, and interesting things and places I see and visit. Thanks for stopping by!

3 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies (or, my new go-to recipe.)

  1. These cookies look awesome! Do you love the rest of the cookbook just as much?

  2. You know, I gave up cookies, donuts, cupcakes, etc about 9 months ago. But by the looks of these cookie,s I could happily break that trend of mine!

    How’s the rest of the cookbook?

  3. I know I know! These are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had! I love this book–it’s really amazing and in a sea of so many cookbooks really has something new to say.

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