I couldn’t let Chocolate Chip Cookie Week pass without offering one of my original recipes. And I wanted to experiment with healthier versions of the old standard recipes. I analyzed three so called “healthy” chocolate chip cookie recipes from three different sources. The analysis:
• All three used regular sugar, but I decided to use honey.
• Two of the three recipes used butter. The other used canola oil, but Dr. Oz and other nutritionists are saying that coconut oil is better for baking. Done.
• One recipe suggested using only egg whites, but I think that nutritional ship has sailed. Dr. Oz and others say, “Eat the egg yolk!” There are all sorts of good vitamins included in that tiny package.
• None of the recipes suggested dark chocolate chips, but we know they’re healthier.
• I almost always use whole wheat pastry flour for cookies, so that was easy.
• My mother always added wheat germ to her baking,* so I do too.
• And of course I had to include old fashioned oats for fiber. Voila – a new recipe!
*True story – My mother’s father worked at Pillsbury when my mom was growing up. His wife, my maternal grandmother, Catherine Anderson, visited the plant one day and saw that they were throwing away the best part of the flour – the wheat germ. She negotiated with Pillsbury to let her cart away the “waste” and she repacked it as “Anderson Wheat Germ.” Later she sold the company to Kretschner Wheat Germ which you can still find on the shelves today. Pretty cool! I believe this was in the late 1930’s.
After I designed the recipe on paper, Liam, my 12 year old grandson, helped me whip up a batch. He and his sister Maddy, 9, and friend Liz, 8, tried them and gave me the thumbs up.
I used the large Ghiradelli chocolate chips because I love their flavor, but they were almost too big for this recipe, which is a bit crumbly. Try using a smaller dark chocolate chip, available in health food stores.
The coconut oil is very smooth and I was surprised that it didn’t leave any coconut flavor. However, the batter was oily when we scooped it onto the cookie and bar pans. However, I loved the end result and would definitely use it again.
Honey causes baked items to brown more quickly especially when cooked on a bar pan rather than a cookie sheet. So they took about one minute less to bake on the bar pan. I used both because Liam and I are scientists at heart.
Nana Clare’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
½ cup honey
½ cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 TBS wheat germ
1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (I roasted them first for 8 min at 300 degrees.)
Preheat oven to 350
Whip the egg, honey, oil and vanilla together with your mixer.
Add the dry ingredients.
Fold in the chips and nuts.
Scoop by tablespoons.
Bake 8 – 9 minutes.
Cool well before you try to move them from the pan.
These chocolate chip cookies can be enjoyed with very little guilt. The coconut oil, honey, walnuts and oats gave them a nutritious edge. We all felt they were every bit as delicious as the sweeter chocolate chip cookie recipes we made earlier in the week. Happy munching.