I own a ridiculous amount of cookbooks. If somehow the internet ceased to exist, I would have enough recipes on hand to cook three meals a day for the rest of my life. Many of these cookbooks are used for reading and inspiration rather than recipe following. There are a lot of people out there who know a lot about this cooking stuff, and I want to know what they know.
There are books that I do use for their recipes and these are mostly baking books. Cooking can be a bit fluid. A little of this, a little of that and it's more than likely going to turn out just fine, but baking is a little more finicky. You've got to pay attention to the way the ingredients work together, making sure they interact properly, giving you the desired result. I have three or four books that I turn to often, with one in particular that has kind of grabbed a hold of me. Because of this book, 75% of my freezer is packed with alternative flours like amaranth and dark rye. I have corn flour and barley flour and two bags of oat flour. While it may sound like I'm stocking up for a gluten-free baking extravaganza, I'm actually just really into Kim Boyce's book, Good to the Grain. I had made the oatmeal sandwich bread from her book many times, and I absolutely love it (that reminds me, I need to start a batch this afternoon), though I never really made anything else out of the book, mostly because I didn't have the alternative flours she uses on hand. It wasn't until I visited her bakery, Bakeshop in Portland, that I started to hoard whole grain flours and couldn't wait to bake every single thing in that book.
These whole wheat chocolate chip cookies are actually made with 100% whole wheat flour, not for the health benefits, but because the whole wheat flour adds a nuttiness and a chew that you don't get from all purpose flour. They're also huge, which I kind of like. When you want a cookie, eat a cookie. Because they're hefty, I think they would hold up pretty well with other mix-ins like walnuts (if you're that type of person).
whole wheat chocolate chip cookies // makes 20 cookies
(very slightly) adapted from Good to the Grain
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used bittersweet chocolate chips with excellent results)
- Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and pre-heat to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Add the butter and sugars to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a 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.
- 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.
- 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 16-20 minutes, rotating the pans 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 warm, but will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also wrap the cookies in plastic wrap and then place in a zip top bag for up to 2 weeks.