Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Healthy Cookies?

About a year ago, I purchased the King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking Cookbook in an attempt to incorporate those healthy whole grains into my not-so-healthy baking hobby.  When I opened the book, I realized that whole grain baking involved more then just whole wheat flour- who knew? The techniques are sometimes counterintuitive and it often involves sneaky additions like vinegar in the strangest places.  I took some children on a trip and I decided to make a nice treat for those who decided to behave.  Since I'm trying to inspire healthy food choices in these kids, why not sneak in some whole grains in an innocent chocolate chip cookie? (not that that makes up for the butter, sugar, and oil, but at least it adds some nutritional value).  They ate them happily and asked for more, which is a good sign.  They passed my taste-test too, crispy and light, not the expected heavy taste that you sometimes get from whole wheat flour.  These cookies use barley flour a well as whole wheat, which, according to King Arthur, lends a mild flavor.  The only caveat is that they call for a LOT of chocolate chips.  I'm not complaining or anything, I'm just saying, these cookies will be LOADED with chocolate, so cut back if you like more cookie to chip balance. 

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp espresso powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tb cider vinegar
1 lg egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup barley flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment OR a silpat) 2 baking sheets. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil, sugars, vanilla, espresso powder, and salt till smooth. Beat in the vinegar, egg, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the barley flour and wheat flour, then the chips. The dough will appear oily, and because of the quantity of chips, it won't be completely cohesive; that's ok.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the cookies are an even golden color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transfering to wire rack. Yield: 30 cookies

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