A healthy chocolate chip cookie I *really* like

I'm not a big fan of labeling foods "healthy" or "unhealthy" except in extreme cases.  To me, I say we use common sense and maintain a happy relationship with food as something that nourishes us and provides us with a lot of joy.  When it comes to dessert, I say enjoy reasonably but also, fully.  So I'm not always particularly on the lookout for "healthier" desserts but I am always open to finding delicious recipes that are maybe a bit smarter and utilizes more wholesome ingredients.  It's kind of a win-win.
This recipe is one of those win-win's and I'm really excited to have tried it and to now be able to enjoy it going forward!  

When I first spotted these "best healthy chocolate chip cookies" on Food52, I might have instinctively done a quick eye-roll but their appearance quickly won my interest.  They just looked so good!  Eyeing the list of ingredients, I was happy to see some of my favorite things featured - almond butter, oats, walnuts, chocolate chips (of course).  I've been renewing my love affair with walnuts in baked goods in particular lately - thanks to making and becoming smitten with a copycat recipe for Levain Bakery style chocolate chip walnut cookies (maybe more on that another day), my whole family has come around to toasted walnuts in treats.
I did go rogue and went off-script a little with this recipe.  These cookies were meant to be "gluten-free" but I substituted a couple tablespoons of almond flour for white whole-wheat flour.  From past experience, I've just not been a fan of purely almond flour-based baked goods and I'm not adverse to a little whole wheat flour in my cookies and cakes.  Since I used salted almond butter instead of unsalted (since that's what I use regularly and have on hand), I adjusted the salt in the recipe down slightly.  Sprinkling additional salt on top of the cookies before baking is nice but I find it didn't really need it.  I was a little heavy-handed when it came to the chocolate chunks and walnuts I added into the cookies, and it was the right move. 
I was so happy these cookies baked up firm and sturdy, not wet and almost falling apart as "healthy" cookies sometimes can be.  I was really thrilled when I tasted them!  Coconut sugar lends a mild sweetness and the nutty flavors really come through, along with pops of dark chocolate.  The texture is crisp along the edges and moist and chewy in the center.

As I was eating these, I would say "I think the oats make it"...then I'd change my mind and think, "the walnuts make it".  I finally realized it's the whole package.  It's all the elements working really well altogether.  I'm satisfied eating one of these cookies.  It has me feeling good, not weighed down or sluggish.  This really is a cookie I happily get behind; I not only like it, I love it.  And the fact that the ingredients are a little wiser, and it's a smarter cookie option than most, is a truly wonderful bonus.


We all love an easy recipe, right?  This is one of those - no major equipment required and only a bit of stirring involved.  It's a cookie you can whip up on a whim, in mere moments.  
My best tips...toast the walnuts (it amps up the flavor tremendously), use high-quality chocolate (the kind you love to eat), and try these soon! 
Depending on size, you'll end up with about 8-10 cookies per batch.  Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop will yield relatively small, about 2 1/2 inch, cookies.  The good news is I find they freeze very well.  Once frozen on a baking sheet, wrap individually in plastic wrap, and store in a freezer bag.  It's always great to have chocolate chip cookies in the freezer, ready to go.  Plus, these cookies taste best fresh, enjoyed same day they're baked.

The bake time range is 10-15 minutes.  I find that about 12 minutes worked well for me.  A couple of extra minutes will make for a bit of a crispier cookie.  At the lower end of the range, you end up with a softer center.  The overall texture - crispy edges and chewiness - is one of the great things about this cookie.  
I am all out of these cookies but since I have all the ingredients I need on hand, I'll be making another batch, eating these cookies, and restocking my freezer with a few extra ones, very soon!

Recipe

Best Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Adapted from Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships by Liz Moody via Food52

- Approximately 8-10 cookies - 

1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup creamy almond butter, well-stirred (I used salted creamy almond butter from Trader Joes)
2 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour (for gluten-free option, substitute with additional almond flour)
1/8 teaspoon (or a pinch) fine sea salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts (I err on the side of being generous)
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Rounded 1/4 cup (I used 2 oz.) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat together the egg, vanilla extract, and almond butter until well combined.  Stir in almond flour, white whole wheat flour, salt, coconut sugar, and baking soda until mixture is smooth.  Add walnuts, oats, and chocolate, stirring well to incorporate the add-in's throughout the thick dough.  

Scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoon (or desired size) mounds of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, until cookies are set.  Baking time depends in part on size of cookies; you will get a crisper cookie baking them longer.  Remove cookies from the oven, let cool on baking sheet about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  

The texture of the cookies are best fresh so they're best eaten same day but can be kept uncovered at room temperature for 2-3 days.  You can also freeze the cookie dough and bake straight from the freezer. 



3 comments:

  1. Reading through the ingredient list and I know I would love these cookies too! Thanks for sharing, Monica.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt the same way, and I really adore these little cookies.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this fascinating post, I am happy I observed this website on Google. Not just content, in fact, the whole site is fantastic. pooh bear cookie cutter

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...