I’m back home just a couple of days from the intense and intensely interesting Good Food trip to the Pacific Northwest and I still don’t want to let go of the memories so I remember our visit to Kim Boyce‘s lovely Bakeshop in Portland and decide to bake her Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. I can feel you rolling your eyes. You don’t understand, I’m often not a cookie fan. They can be too sweet. But the deep flavor wheat germ lends to the cookie changes everything. The first time I made this recipe from Kim’s James Beard award winning book Good to the Grain I wanted to sing an aria to her genius. Really it was the first chocolate chip cookie I couldn’t stop eating. Using whole wheat flour tempers the sweetness of the sugar and chocolate which for me is a good thing.
But this time around I was determined to do justice to the very special flour I was using. This was whole wheat flour “milled” by producer Gillian (a veteran of many spinning classes) and me (a veteran of the two wheeler) laboring on a exercycle hacked to turn a grain mill. It was a blast, cycling away under a marquee tent on the grounds of an apple orchard at the Washington State University Mt. Vernon Research Center and the result was silky, super fine whole meal flour. Watch us spinning for flour below and keep scrolling for my interview with founder of the grain mill Jack Jenkins.
I made a few tiny changes to Kim’s recipe. First of all I measured “lightly”. Instead of using the scoop and swoop method I stirred the flour then spooned it into the measuring cup before swooping. Then I used three sugars instead of two, a little white sugar because I’m didn’t want to veer too far from this most excellent recipe. But mostly I used a deeply flavored, super dark Muscovado sugar along with with some granular Turbinado. The grains of the Turbinado don’t completely melt and there’s a hint of sandiness as you bit down on the soft cookie. I threw in a handful of walnuts I had in the pantry. To keep cookies soft I just under bake a little bit. With this recipe under baking results in a pretty sexy cookie. There is a deep, almost savory flavor from the whole wheat and the Muscovado, the sandiness adds textural interest and the pools of chocolate from chopping a bar up yourself rather than using a “chip” are, well pools of chocolate.
Follow Kim’s recipe below. You won’t be disappointed.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain
Yields about 20 cookies
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4 – and 1/2 -inch pieces, or bittersweet chips
1. Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (Although you can butter the sheets instead, parchment is useful for these cookies because the large chunks of chocolate can stick to the pan.)
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.
3. Add the butter and the sugars to 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. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend on low speed until the flour is barely combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
4. Add the chocolate all at once to the batter. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is evenly combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then scrape the batter out onto a work surface, and use your hands to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
5. Scoop mounds of dough about 3 tablespoons in size onto the baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between them, or about 6 to a sheet.
6. Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly dark brown. Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment, to the counter to cool, and repeat with the remaining dough.
7. These cookies are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. They’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.