Monday, February 20, 2012

Crunchy, Whole Wheat And Barley Chocolate Chip Cookies

A collective 'Gro..oan'!!! I heard it! I heard it! Considering that I gave you an over-doze of cookies last month, I am not very surprised to hear groans from you on seeing cookies here again! But then I guess, it would be hard to say 'No' to chocolate chip cookies which are crunchy and light, made with whole wheat and barley, less butter, some oil and no plain flour at all, making it a 100% whole grain cookie. Relatively healthy, but still delicious cookies you may want to fill your cookie jar with. And not feel very bad or guilty when your kids happily snack on them. Is there ever a time when there is no demand for chocolate chip cookies warm out of the oven? Not at my home, am sure, neither in yours! Strange as it may seem I don't enjoy my bakes very buttery, chocolate chip cookies included. Some amount of buttery-ness is welcome though. So when I came across this recipe in one of my bed-time reading books, which happens to be the King Arthur Whole Grain baking book a good number of times, I had to try it of course.

A pantry which does not stock on whole wheat flour is so very rare in this country. But barley is one grain, I never bothered to buy till I got the KAF book. Its rich in soluble fiber and minerals and brings along a host of other nutritional benefits with it. I have used it earlier in Graham Crackers and the flour certainly delivers the crunch factor as the book promises. Since I have not come across barley flour in our supermarkets here, I get a small quantity of barley milled and store it at home. You could get whole barley at most super-markets, failing which you can surely find it at your neighborhood wholesale rice trading shop.

The original recipe in the book uses a combination of brown and white sugars and a lot more chocolate chips. I have baked these cookies a few times and below is the version which I liked best, taste and flavor-wise. I have used only white sugar instead of a combination of both brown and white sugars, reduced the sugar and chocolate chips, omitted the espresso. Since the regular granulated sugar we get here does not dissolve easily (specially if the butter and oil in the recipe is less), I have powdered it and then used. You could alternatively use good quality caster sugar. Please find the original recipe proportions in the note below. I have halved the original recipe to give me about 20 medium sized cookies, which is a good enough quantity to bake in the sizes of ovens most of us bake in. Please feel free to double it if you wish. I prefer weighing the ingredients, flour, butter and egg (since I have used half an egg here) for best results.

Unsalted butter - 30 grams / 2 tablespoons / 1/4 stick (soft at room temperature)
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
White sugar - 1/2 cup, measured and powdered.
Pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Salt - Scant 1/4 teaspoon (less than 1/4 teaspoon)
Apple cider vinegar - 1/2 tablespoon
Egg - 1/2 (25 grams)
Baking soda- 1/4 teaspoon
Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Whole barley flour - 56 grams / 2 oz/ 1/2 cup approximately
Whole wheat flour - 56 grams / 2 oz/ 1/2 cup approximately ( I use Ashirwad)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips - 3/4 cup

Procedure: Pre- heat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 F.  Line a baking tray with parchment. Mise en place. Sift the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. (To use half an egg, I whisk a whole egg, then weigh 25 grams). Take the butter, oil and sugar in a large bowl. Beat till smooth. (I used my wire whisk to beat for about 2-3 minutes, this will be quite easy as the mixture will be very creamy) Add the vinegar, egg and vanilla. Beat to incorporate, about 30 seconds with the wire whisk. Stir in the flour mixture to mix, and then mix in the chocolate chips. The dough will be a bit on the softer side, but will turn firmer as it stands. It will also be a bit oily. Drop tablespoons of the dough, flatten slightly and bake  for 14-16 minutes. They will turn a golden brown around the edges towards the end of the baking time (if using both brown and white sugars, the cookies will turn a golden brown all over). Bake a small test batch to determine the baking time and your preferred texture. Allow the test cookie to cool completely before you taste to decide as the cookies will turn crunchy as they cool. Cool completely and store in an airtight container, but certainly not before eating some warm from the cooling rack...

Please note : The original recipe uses 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and 6 tablespoons of white sugar each (making a total of 12 tablespoons for the recipe of the proportions above) I have reduced it to 8 tablespoons ,i.e, 1/2 cup.  The recipe has 1 1/3 cups of chocolate chips (the above pictures were taken earlier) by the and 1/4 teaspoon espresso added too.  The amount of sugar I used was just right for me as the chocolate chips add to the sweetness of the cookies. You could also use chopped bits of dark chocolate in place of the chips or use a combination of lightly toasted walnuts and chocolate chips / chunks. I liked the texture of the cookies when the dough was flattened and baked rather than rounded tablespoonfuls of dough baked for a couple of minutes more.

The above pictures are of the cookies from the earlier attempt. They will be slightly flatter and have less chocolate chips if you go by the recipe above.

You could try using flax-egg or use cornstarch to substitute the egg here, it should work fine. Use 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 tablespoon warm water whisked together to replace half an egg.
Mix 1/2 tablespoon flax meal with 1 1/2 tablespoon warm water, let it sit for 5 minutes. Use the mixture to substitute half an egg. Please refer Champa's post here for more details.



Archana said...

Love these, they look so good ! And love the addition of barley flour here...

simran said...

awesome cookies!they are looking simply divine and sooooo healthy...barley is a new ingrd. for me...def. going to try and use it.thanks.

M D said...

With the amount of choco chips in there, I am sure I can't resist at just one. May I have some parcel please!

Unknown said...

Wow looks so tempting

Archana said...

wow i am speechless.

zareena said...

mmm.... loads and loads of chocolate chips. I can eat them in one go...

Deeps @ Naughty Curry said...

love this whole wheat version... i can never say no to chocochip cookies! looks deleciuos :) said...

Just looks awesome......very nice pics..... yum n delicious! said...

looks yummy n soft n crunchy dear.........u have a nice space vth beautiful n


Divya Shankar said...

Have to try this some time .. awesome post and recipe - Suma, you rock always :)
Ingredients fit for me completely as there is no maida in the list.