Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Baking with whole-grain flours: Chocolate Chip Cookies
One of my recent cookbook acquisitions is Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Wheat Flours. Kim Boyce is a former pastry chef, who has been experimenting with using much more whole-grain flours instead of refined white flours/wheat flours. The book is divided into 13 chapters, each focusing on one grain/ingredient - whole-wheat flour, amaranth flour, barley flour, buckwheat flour, corn flour, kamut flour, multigrain flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, rye flour, spelt flour, teff flour, as well as a chapter on jams and compotes. Plenty of good stuff in there to keep me busy baking over the summer!
The first recipe I tried was for chocolate chip cookies. Way too sweet for my Estonian tastebuds (as most American cake recipes out there), but delicious enough for me to give it another go just a few days later. I've changed the quantities into metric, and used only about 2/5th of the amount of white sugar in Kim's recipe. This had no effect to the flavour - these were still very sweet and delicious cookies. My cookies were much smaller - one heaped Tbsp of cookie dough yields one large cookie. If you want to follow Kim Boyle's advice, take three Tbsp of dough per cookie :)
These stay nice and crisp for about three days in a air-tight cookie jar.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields about 30 cookies
225 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
150 g dark brown sugar (dark muscovado)
100 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
420 g whole-wheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.5 tsp finely ground sea salt
200 g dark chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate (I used Callebaut)
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
Place butter and sugar into the mixing bowl fitted with the beater blade or paddle attachment. Mix until just combined.
Add eggs, one at the time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix and then stir quickly into the egg-butter-sugar mixture.
Finally, add all the chocolate and stir until combined.
Take tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough and place heaps on the baking sheet. Leave plenty of room between the heaps of dough, as it spreads during baking. (I baked about 8 cookies at a time, 4 baking sheets in total).
Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes, until the cookies are nicely golden brown on top.
Take out of the oven, let cool for a minute, then carefully transfer the cookies to a metal rack to cool completely (they'll crisp up during the cooling process).