Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Definition of Health Food



This might be a shocker to some of you, but sometimes I eat cookies for breakfast. When I don't have cookies sometimes I'll substitute cake, brownies, a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream or, when I'm really desperate, a handful of chocolate chips--a breakfast of champions you might say. I know what you're thinking--does this girl have any nutrients in her diet? I assure you I do have a balanced diet (see brussels sprouts post), and most days I actually eat real food for breakfast like bran flakes and orange juice and apples, but I don't hesitate to mix things up. I mean, where is written that brownies can ONLY be eaten as an after dinner dessert? With that being said, I decided to make healthy cookies so that at least I can feel a little less guilty about eating a sugary, chocolatey concoction before 8am. "Healthy cookies" is sort of an oxymoron I guess, but let's just say I decided to make them a little healthier....

Mainly, I wanted to use whole wheat flour because I'm always trying to get more whole grains in my diet and this seemed like a pretty easy way. I also wanted to try using the white, whole wheat flour so I thought this could be a good way. This recipe is for whole wheat chocolate chip peanut butter cookies and its really pretty simple.  I think it could probably be altered even more to eliminate half of the butter, but that will have to wait for another try. I prefer to under-cook my cookies just a tad so that they remain gooey and soft with swirls of melted chocolate, perfect for dunking in milk or eating plain (for breakfast or dessert). Rolling these cookies into 2 inch balls allows them to bake into a perfect consistency that's soft and gooey in the center while slightly crispy at the edge. I am not a fan of cake-like cookies myself so these really struck my fancy.

This was also a dry-run for next week when I am going to make cookies for one of my classes. Today my professor mentioned how she used to have a tea and cookies breaks when she was in graduate school and suggested that we consider reviving this tradition. I immediately started thinking of recipes that would be perfect for a mid-morning class, perhaps something not too sweet and a little more wholesome, more like a granola bar? Stay tuned for that.


Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 c. peanut butter
2 1/2 c. white, whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips

Cream butter, white and brown sugar in a bowl until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, blend until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and peanut butter, mix to combine. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Cool dough in refrigerator until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Note:
I used commercial peanut butter, but substituting natural peanut butter and adding toasted peanuts would definitely add more peanut-ey flavor. Additionally, sprinkling some salt on top before baking would really bring out the flavor.

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