Sunday, May 30, 2010

My not-so-sinful "Mrs. Fields-eque" chocolate-chip cookie recipe

It has taken me YEARS to figure out the secret to soft, chewy, non-gummy, and non-burnt cookies.  Amazingly, this discovery also coincided with learning to use redeeming substitutes to decrease the caloric content while increasing the nutritional value of what would otherwise be "empty junk-food."  Bear in mind you may not have all the substitutes I use (some are expensive sugar and wheat alternatives, but I've attempted to make accommodations for what you have in your pantry).

Note: you will need either a food processor or at least a blender to complete this recipe.

In large bowl, cream together:

1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet cream butter (room temp or melted)
1/2 cup white sugar (I use Xyletol)
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use Coconut Palm Sugar)

Combine in medium bowl:

2/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or two 4-oz jars strained baby carrots
2 eggs, lightly beaten (or three egg whites)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a (3rd) large bowl, mix together:

2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
2 1/2 cups whole oats, ground to a fine powder (I used 2 cups oats and 1/2 cup oat bran)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthum or guar gum if using gluten-free flour blend

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is the key to those soft cookies!  Lower temp, longer bake-time!) Lightly grease cookie sheet (I use extra-light olive oil).

Add liquid ingredients to creamed butter/sugar mixture and beat on high for 30 seconds.  Then add dry ingredients and stir on low speed just until blended.  Add 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Stir on low speed to distribute.  Do not overblend--cookies will be tough!!

Drop by rounded tablespoons (ok, I use soup spoons) in balls about 2" apart.  Bake on center rack for 18 minutes.  Remove immediately and cool on wire racks.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

For the record, I have no idea what the nutritional value here is.  However, I do know that my ingredients make for about 1/3 the glycemic index of traditional ingredients (even if you use the traditional ones, you're still at about half); while the bean-flour based gluten-free blend ups the protein.  Meanwhile, those strained carrots sneak some veggies into your cooking ... not a bad trade-out!

Happy baking!

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