Monday, May 30, 2011
Soft whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies
There comes an time in every otherwise health-conscious person's life when they need to contribute something sweet to a buffet. For this otherwise-health conscious person, today was that day. I very rarely bake sweets... If they're around, I'll either eat them all, which is bad, or manage to not eat them all and let them to go to waste, which is also bad. So I always look forward to occasions like barbecues and pot-lucks as opportunities to bake something marvelously fattening, eat some, then get the rest out of my house and into several other happy bellies. Win-win!
And don't let the name fool you, these are not "healthy" cookies. These suckers are absolutely packed with sugar and butter and delicious chocolate. I just happen to like the nutty flavor brought on by using whole-wheat flour, so I've used it to replace half of the regular white flour. They're based on Eric Wolitzky's recipe, adapted slightly from here.
Apparently there are people out there that like their chocolate chip cookies crispy... This recipe is not for those people. These are big and soft, practically falling apart with with chocolate. And of course, you should buy the best ingredients you can find and afford - European butter, organic eggs, and high-quality chocolate chips will make all the difference in the final product. I think you get a lot of bang for your buck in this case since recipe makes approximately ten billion cookies. Or, like, four dozen. But that's a lot, seriously, these are some big-ass cookies. In the interest of full disclosure, I did freeze about eight cookie-sized blobs of dough in a Zip-loc for potential household emergencies of a cookie nature.
You will need a scale for this recipe, as volumetric measurements can be unreliable due to the variation in granule size from flour to flour and sugar to sugar. Measuring by weight ensures the proportions will be right. I like this scale. I use it way more than I expected to - it's the only way I can avoid making way too much pasta (I know, no such thing, but yeah... there really is such a thing).
340 grams unsalted butter, melted (Plugra and Lurpak are both great)
200 grams granulated sugar
400 grams brown sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
10.5 ounces unbleached white flour
10.5 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp kosher or sea salt
21 ounces chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet, which is really affordable at World Market. They're giant and fabulous, I love them)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The original recipe called for 325 and baking for only 14 minutes, but that was definitely too low and short for my oven. Yours may be different too.
Most cookie recipes start off by creaming the sugar with room-temperature butter, but in this case, melt the butter completely in a saucepan. Deposit the sugars into the work bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large bowl, if you're going to use a hand mixer) and pour the butter over. On a low speed using the paddle attachment, incorporate the butter into the sugar until just mixed, only about a minute. Then add the the eggs and yolks one at a time, allowing each to become incorporated. Combine all of the dry ingredients in another bowl, then slowly add them to the mixer bowl while still running at a low speed. Once almost all the flour is incorporated, add the chocolate chips and allow to just stir through - don't overmix. Drop the cookies in about egg-sized balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, flattening slightly. Try not to eat too much dough, I had sugar-induced heart palpitations for a couple of hours afterward and was not a happy camper... would still probably do it again, though.
Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown but still soft and chewy. Cool on a baking rack. Take (most) to your annual neighborhood Memorial Day barbecue and make new friends.