Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back when my eldest was in 8th grade, we had to provide treats once a month or so for a bake sale. The students were raising money for their end-of-year trip. I was very into cooking at the time, so I enjoyed searching out new recipes to try, especially recipes that used whole grains and were also delicious.

About that time, King Arthur Flour came out with a whole grain cookbook and they published a chocolate chip cookie recipe in their catalog, also published in the book, that used barley flour. They also have this recipe available online.

Barley flour. I am a huge fan of barley. I am a fan of all sorts of grains, but especially barley. It has always bothered me how wheat-centric food is in this country. Yes, it has all the gluten going for it, but there are other grains!!! Grains with more flavor, and much more nutrition!

Home ground barley flour

I actually have a fancy shmancy grinder, but it's put away. Deep into some recess of my home, I'm not even sure where. I also have a Vitamix mixer. One of my best purchases ever was a Vitamix. It came with two mixing containers and one can grind grain. I use it to grind my own barley flour - so it's as fresh as can be and so easy to clean up. I've also used it to make bean flours, using dried beans. Bean flours are great. They are especially good for thickening up soups and gravies. This recipe calls for barley flour, which you can substitute with whole wheat. I never have, though, since barley imparts such a nice, nutty flavor. (You can also purchase ground barley flour from such places like Whole Foods, but make sure to keep it frozen or refrigerated because whole grain flours go rancid quickly.)

This recipe has some other special twists, such as the espresso powder, and the cider vinegar. When I first made this recipe, I did not have enough chocolate chips on hand, so I added milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chips to add up to the 2-2/3 cups required. I think it's best when you use a ratio such that there are mostly semi sweet chips, then a lesser amount of milk chocolate chips and an even lesser amount of white chocolate chips. Of course, do whatever appeals to you.

So, I made this once or twice for the 8th grade bake sale, and it sold well. Then, the following year, a good friend was entering the 8th grade Bake Sale Zone, and she asked me for suggestions. I gave her this recipe, along with my own 3-types-of-chips twist (though she developed the perfect ratio). She made a batch, which sold so well that she was asked by the Bake Sale Czar to make the same cookie every week all year. It's a seriously good recipe, but most of the King Arthur recipes are good.

Classic Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Light and crisp, absolutely packed with chocolate chips, this is the quintessential crunchy chocolate chip cookie. The addition of barley flour to the dough gives the cookies a pleasant, mild taste. To ensure crunchiness, be sure to bake these cookies thoroughly; they should be golden brown all over, without any hint of softness in the center.

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole barley flour*
  • 1 cup King Arthur whole wheat flour, Traditional or White Whole Wheat
  • 2 2/3 cups (16 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (as mentioned, I mix semisweet, milk chocolate and white chocolate chips together for an extra fancy cookie)

*Or substitute whole wheat flour for the barley flour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil, sugars, vanilla, espresso powder, and salt till smooth. Beat in the vinegar, egg, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the barley flour and whole wheat flour, then the chocolate chips. The dough will appear oily, and because of the quantity of chocolate chips, it won't be completely cohesive; that's OK.

Drop the dough, by tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the cookies are an even golden brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Yield: 33 cookies.


If you like to eat raw cookie dough, this is probably not the recipe for you. The raw dough is a bit oily, and kinda weird. It's much better when cooked.

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