whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

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. 

whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

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 


Dry mix

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Wet mix

  • 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)


  1. 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. 
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Scoop mounds of dough, about 3 tablespoons in size onto the baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between them, or about 6 to a sheet. 
  6. 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. 

house guests: whole grain banana hazelnut muffins

If you're at all like me (and let's hope for the sake of human kind, you aren't), you go a little nuts before you have house guests. I clean the house top to bottom, even the places I don't think anyone else looks besides me. All the cleaning would be quite enough work in and of itself, but I also like to have the house stocked with some quick snacks and a few meal components to make life easier on myself when mealtime rolls round. In the next week, I'll share a few of my favorite ways to prepare for house guests with some recipes and tips on making your guests feel right at home. 

banana hazelnut muffins

It's not often that we have house guests, but when we do, I like to pretend I run a bed and breakfast. Complete with guest baskets in the bathroom and fresh linens for a cozy nights sleep, it's all the fun of running an actual B&B minus the 'stranger danger' factor. The thought of having complete strangers sleeping in our house has always freaked me out, so this is sort of like playing house without actually having to pay the rent. We stock the pantry with homemade granola and the fridge with yogurt and fruit and rich hazelnut milk. I like to make the bulk of our meals ahead of time, that way, I keep my time in the kitchen short so I can spend time at the table, eating and drinking and catching up with our friends.

breakfast bowl

Breakfast is my favorite meal with house guests. There is something so inclusive about sharing a meal in your pajamas. Everyone begins the day on the same plane. No one is wearing makeup and we all have smelly breath and disheveled hair. We all need the exact same thing: a good bite to eat and a hot cup of coffee. Making breakfast for a group can be daunting since many items are made to order which can keep the cook in the kitchen until the last waffle is pressed or the last omelette is flipped. By that time, the bacon is gone, the coffee is cold and everyone is starting to think about hitting the shower. Instead, I like to set out a platter of baked goods, yogurt, fruit, granola and complimentary condiments. I find a big bowl of yogurt covered with granola, fruit, and a dollop jam to be just about the best. Add in a banana nut muffin with butter and a sprinkle of salt and I'm done. Just send me back to bed to dream sweetly of hazelnuts dancing on bananas in a sea of yogurt and honey. 

banana hazelnut muffins

This week I made hazelnut milk, just in time for our friends to fly in from Norway. It's just as good as it sounds and I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to buying nut milk in a grocery store. Not only was it incredibly easy, it was so darn delicious that I just don't think it can be topped. All that to say, I used the left over hazelnut pulp (what you're left with after you strain the milk out) in these muffins. It adds a nice texture and a subtle hazelnut flavor, a bit more than you would get by just using the chopped hazelnuts. If you happen to make hazelnut milk (do it!), go ahead and throw the pulp in when you whip the bananas and sugar together. If you don't have hazelnut pulp, just follow the recipe as-is and go make yourself some hazelnut milk to enjoy with your freshly baked muffins. 

whole grain banana hazelnut muffins

makes 12 large muffins 

(loosely adapted from this recipe)


  • 2 cups whole grain pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 overripe bananas, divided
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil (or any mild flavored vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (no need to toast them)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tin. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 
  3. Mash two of the bananas with a fork and set aside. Add the other two bananas to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed until light brown and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the dry ingredients until just moist (do not over mix) and fold in the mashed banana and chopped nuts with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. 
  4. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full and bake until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 18-20 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. They can be enjoyed warm from the oven, especially with a pat of butter.