Bake, Pop, Bake: “Healthy” Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
What’s gotten into me? I’ve been baking stuff the last few weeks. And not just merely adding eggs, water, and oil to what Betty Crocker prepares; I’m making stuff from scratch.
I used to dislike baking for 3 reasons: 1) I sucked at it, and concluded that testosterone limits baking abilities, 2) parchment paper was EXPENSIVE and felt so wasteful–show of hands, anyone else try to reuse a sheet of parchment paper only to burn your cookies? and 3) I LOVE sweets, esp. brownies and soft/chewy cookies, and all the recipes I find yield something like 30-60 cookies, which means I’m tempting myself w/ diabetic shock. So why do I like it now?
1) Got this book from the library and it explained baking.
Apparently, like the super secret Chinese menu at restaurants, which has all the really good food, bakers have their own lingo and their own secrets. For example, if you use cold butter, your cookies will probably be flat b/c not enough air is whipped into the butter. But they don’t state this outright in most recipes; they simply state: combine wet ingredients, then whip in the dry ingredients.
2) My wife recently bought the Silpat, which is essentially reusable parchment paper and that really appeals to my Asian sensibilities (read: cheapness).
So I adapted their recipe for thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies (p. 777) and they turned out REALLY good, IMHO.
Note the title calls these cookies “healthy.” If I were talking to you in person, I’d use air quotes when saying the healthy part. 1.5 sticks of butter + tons of sugar isn’t healthy; but adding ground flax seeds and quick oats makes it relatively healthy, or “healthy.” I’m pretty much a fatty, and since I’m injured, I’m probably going to emerge from this blizzard w/ no less than 3 chins. So for me, adding flax seeds and oats make it “healthy.” If you run marathons or eat kale regularly, you probably wouldn’t consider these cookies healthy. Hence the air quotes. Onto the recipe!
- Preheat oven to 325
- You’re gonna need 2 baking sheets + 2 silpats for this recipe: it yields 18 BACs (Big @$$ Cookies)
- Microwave 12 tablespoons of butter for 45 seconds. Remove, stir, and throw back in for 15 seconds. All the butter should be melted at this point. Allow it to cool until it’s warm to the touch.
- Put 2 large eggs into hot tap water for 5 minutes or so – this allows them to come to room temperature. See, just like Chinese restaurants don’t tell you about snow pea leaves, baking recipes don’t tell you these things.
- Whisk 2 Cups and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (don’t use the stuff that’s in your fridge – trust me), 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl, and 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds, and set aside.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix the butter with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of light brown sugar. Mix this really well. You’ll know you’re done when your forearm is tight.
- Toss one of the eggs in there. With the other egg, separate the yolk, toss the egg whites, and throw the yolk in. If you’ve ever eaten hot pot, you should have no problem separating the yolk.
- The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract – I only had 1, so that’s what I used.
- Mix the eggs + vanilla w/ the sugar + butter just until it’s combined. Don’t overdo it; exercise restraint.
- Add the dry ingredients from the other bowl and mix it.
- Add 2/3 cup of quick oats and 1.5 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Mix until the oats and chips are distributed well throughout.
- Roll the dough into fairly large balls – 9 per baking sheet. I baked 9, and froze 9 for later. The book talks about making the edges jagged or something. Meeh, too much work for me.
- Throw the cookies in there for 16 minutes.
- Try not to eat all 9 BACs at once.
Verdict: These cookies were good! Crisp on the bottom, chewy throughout, and you can detect the flax and oats, which makes it seem “healthy.” I even gave my daughter some and she loved it! So much so that when I said she could only have 1/4 of one, she was pretty distraught. To make up for it, I showed her how awesome milk and cookies are together. She was very pleased. They were so good, this was all that was left:
Just kidding. I put them in an airtight container so that they stayed soft and I saved that one for the wife.
Finally, if you freeze cookie dough balls, the book says you don’t even need to thaw them. Just add a minute or two to the baking time. Wow…I think I’m starting to like this baking thing. Only time will tell if my wife will truly love me more when there’s more of me to love.
So remember, if Pop can bake these, you definitely can!
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