Tuesday 15 July 2014

Wholemeal chocolate chip cookies

You'd think it would be impossible for someone like me, such a devoted devourer of baked goods, to discover anything new about the chocolate chip cookie. But you'd be wrong. For I've recently stumbled across not one but two game-changers. The first is evident in the title of this post: wholemeal flour. Now, I've got nothing against the plain white stuff, as the recipe index of this blog will attest. But wholemeal flour with butter, brown sugar and bittersweet dark chocolate chips is a total revelation, adding a layer of nutty, chewy complexity to a classic cookie combination. So the second revelation: you can freeze cookie dough. Not as one big lump - that would defeat the purpose - but as individually rolled balls, to be taken straight from the freezer, popped on a tray, sprinkled with sea salt and baked to order. 

This means you can have freshly made cookies any time you like. In just sixteen minutes. For unexpected guests. For totally expected cravings. For no reason at all other than to amaze your friends and distract them from the crossword puzzle they insist on enlisting your help in solving even though you are (despite being a writer) totally hopeless at them. A picture tells a thousand words. Say no more.

Wholemeal chocolate chip cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Orangette

I generally make a half batch of this (mostly because I feel horrified by the idea of 2 cups of sugar), but by all means make the full quantity. You may as well - you don't have to eat them all straight away! The instructions below assume you are making these to bake later, but if you do want to eat them immediately (who could blame you?), simply skip the freezing step by rolling the cookie dough into balls, placing on a tray lined with baking paper and popping them straight in the oven. If you don't have a stand mixer, this recipe is easily adaptable to a plain old wooden spoon, as long as your butter is nicely softened.

3 cups wholemeal flour
1 1/2 teaspons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate (baking) soda
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz dark chocolate chips

sea salt, for sprinkling

Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk to blend.

Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl, and blend on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the chocolate, and mix on low speed until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then use your hands to turn and gently massage the dough, making sure all the flour is absorbed.

With your hands, roll dough into balls the size of walnuts (about 2 Australian tablespoons or 3 American ones), place on baking sheets and pop in the freezer. After about an hour, when dough has hardened, remove them from tray, pop them into a ziplock bag, seal, and stash back in the freezer.

When you're ready to bake:

Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.  

Take however many cookies you like from your ziplock bag, place on a tray lined with baking paper (leaving about 3 inches between them), and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the cookies are evenly browned. Transfer the cookies, still on baking paper, to a rack to cool.

1 comment:

  1. I've wanted to make these wholemeal chocolate cookies for years but I've never got round to it. Now you've inspired me.