This is the kind of cookie you want when you
a) want to feel like you’re being healthy even though you’re still devoted to butter
b) desire a more substantial cookie (these vs regular chocolate chip cookies are akin to cake doughnuts vs Krispy Kreme glazed: both delicious, but one has a little more substance)
c) crave a more complex cookie, rather than one made with your generic white flour
d) all of the above
(Can’t you tell it’s exam time?)
My rationale behind these cookies is generally “d,” as all the options apply. Look, I know that no one’s bidding for us to reinvent the wheel on chocolate chip cookies, but I think this is a nice option. As I’ve said, they’re complex: the whole wheat flour adds depth and a wholesome wheat-y flavor (shocker, I know), and the melty shards of bittersweet chocolate, and, if you like, toasted pecans round it out nicely. Texturally, they have a coarser crumb than your average cookie, yet still maintain crispy edges and a softer middle. They pair perfectly with a glass of milk or mug of tea, the rare and lovely fall weather we’ve been graced with in New Orleans, and your favorite sweater (and you, of course).
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain
I added some toasted pecans, but that’s completely optional. I would definitely chopping your own chocolate though, because chocolate chips aren’t the same as having melty shards and chunks of bittersweet chocolate.
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4- 1/2 inch
1/2 cup pecans, toasted (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, dumping back into the bowl anything that remains in the sifter (like kosher salt). If you’re feeling lazy, yes, whisking is fine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars. Scape down the sides of the bowl, and add the eggs, one at at time, beating to combine. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the chopped chocolate and pecans (if using) and stir just to combine.
Scoop dough in about 3 tablespoons sized balls. Leave about 3 inches in between the cookies, as they’ll spread out. Flatten the tops slightly with your fingertips.
Bake the cookies for 16-20 minutes (the size of your cookies will determine baking time, so if you went smaller, check earlier), rotating the baking sheets halfway through. They should be dark brown, barely set in the middle, and have cracks on the top. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Storing: Boyce recommends eating these the first day. Undoubtedly that’s when they’re the best, but I found that these were good keepers, even up to a week later. They’ll get harder and more crumbly, but definitely still good (especially for dunking in milk).
As always, you can freeze the unbaked dough, letting it soften and then adding a few minutes to the baking time.