October 9, 2016

Somewhat Healthier Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fat is good. Sugar is bad. That's the latest from the nutritional experts who also brought us, "Fat is bad. Let's not talk about sugar right now." We've recently found out this was because they were paid by big sugar to say it. Reading about this naturally made me crave something sweet, and fatty. Either way dairy farmers and sugar growers win in my house.

It also leads me to the conclusion that many thoughtful eaters have reached that when it comes to good nutrition you should let common sense and your body lead the way.  I definitely have a wicked sweet tooth but when I eat too much cheesecake or cupcakes or a big bag of red licorice nibs,  I feel a little sick and crashed and see it on bumps that crop up on my face and a poochy belly. So I know. Too much sugar is bad. 

But I gotta have it. And I love to bake. So I amended my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to cut down on sugar and, while I'm at it, cut down a little on the fat. Oatmeal and walnuts add gravitas and nutritional bragging rights while white flour and brown sugar keep it real. I browned the butter to make it more assertive and subbed bananas for half the butter which means I can also use less sugar because super ripe bananas are so sweet. These are thick and cakey—that's how I like them. Hope you agree. 

Healthier (?) Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 20-26 depending on cookie size (I use a big scoop)

1 stick brown butter*, chilled and broken into chunks
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 very ripe bananas**
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oatmeal (not quick cooking)
1 cup chocolate chips (dark, semi sweet and butterscotch or any combination you like)
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
2. Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until blended.

3. Sift in dry ingredients and mix with mixer until blended (will be thick).
4. Stir in oatmeal, nuts and chocolate chips. Dough will be stiff.
5. Scoop up golf ball size spoonfuls of dough and put on ungreased sheet pans. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks — they'll set up as they cool.

* melt a stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter over medium heat and bubble until browned with dark bits on the bottom. Transfer to heat-proof container and chill until solid. 

** I keep a stash of super ripe bananas in the freezer. Defrosted, they look disgusting but are perfect for baking. 

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