One of my favorite childhood memories with my mother is baking Original Nestlé® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies. My mom always measured everything out in advance—which I’d later realize as being super helpful in good culinary practice. To make the cookies, we actually rolled the dough into perfect little balls because that’s the way my mother preferred them. Then I’d plop a little stool smack dab in front of the oven window and be the very important lookout person to tell her the second the cookies were ready. And yes, I was the first one to get to taste test the freshly-baked cookies (usually more than once!) to make sure! (Thanks to this month’s Recipe Redux theme, “First Cooking Recollections,” for allowing me to reminisce!)
Today, I no longer use the famous cookie recipe. I’ve created well over a dozen versions of chocolate chip cookies over the years. Many are rather fancy or use ultra-trendy ingredients. This is my latest; it’s basically a back-to-basics style, family-friendly cookie with a noticeable hint of specialness. It’s got dark chocolate and whole grain goodness along with flavor intrigue from spices and an extra pinch of salt to make them even tastier. But no matter which recipe I use, the delightful memories remain. Now … let’s take a cookie break!
Calories saved: 20
Why it’s better for you? Darker chocolate. More antioxidants. Less than 100 calories a cookie!
- 1 1/8 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup grapeseed or avocado oil
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 large organic eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (at least 60% cacao)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line three large baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper; set aside. (Note: Bake in batches on one or two baking sheets, if necessary.)
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Stir together until combined the oil and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Stir the flour mixture into the oil mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate until combined.
- Drop the dough by tablespoon onto the sheets, 10 to 11 cookies each. Bake (in batches, if necessary) until desired brownness and crispness, about 13 to 14 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, immediately sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and let cool completely on the baking sheets on racks. (Note: Cookies will further crisp as they cool.)
Per serving: 90 calories, 5g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium, 12g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 8g sugars, 1g protein
The “Before” Version
Per serving: 110 calories, 7g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 15mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 14g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 10g sugars, 2g protein
- When possible, use whole-wheat pastry flour cup-for-cup in place of all-purpose flour to punch up whole grain goodness.
- Go with darker chocolate chips, such as bittersweet rather than semi-sweet, for potentially more cocoa polyphenols.
- For added flavor interest, consider adding spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper. By the way, don’t worry about 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne in an entire cookie batch; it provides flavor depth but won’t make your cookies taste “hot!”)