Tag Archives: whole wheat

Better Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesYou will never find health food masquerading as dessert on this website, but I freely admit that some of my recipes are more nutritious than others. For instance, these Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with 100% whole wheat flour, so they have more protein and fiber than your average cookie, along with some nutty whole grain flavor. They’re also full of butter, brown sugar and chocolate though, so don’t get it twisted—these are dessert, not a side salad. Nobody comes to this site for the vegetables.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesIf you think you’ve seen these on here before, that’s because you have…or a version of them, anyway. I posted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies back in the winter of 2016. I stand by that recipe, although my personal cookie tastes have changed since then, as has my general baking philosophy.

…can’t believe I just said I had a “baking philosophy.” Oof, that’s pretentious.

But seriously, in the intervening five years I’ve learned a few things about leaveners and flour and cookies in general, and that knowledge and desire for simpler, better home baking has led to a lot of good things. You know, like four dozen soft & chewy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesThe ingredient list for these cookie is similar to the old recipe, but it’s been simplified. There’s less flour, I nixed the cornstarch, shifted the leaveners, and swapped all the white sugar for dark brown.

I’ve also fully eliminated the chill, which I rarely do in cookie recipes. Chilling cookie dough helps to produce thicker, puffier cookies, but these bake up nice and soft without any break in the action. If you want a slightly thicker cookie, or need to take a pause between mixing and baking, feel free to chill the dough for an hour or two before baking them off. For me though, these crisp-edged, soft-centered whole grain cookies are perfect without any lag time.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesFor those of you wondering if whole wheat flour makes these taste healthy, it’s a resounding “no” because they’re not any less indulgent than the chocolate chip cookies you’ve eaten your whole life. The whole wheat flavor is absolutely there, but so is all that caramelly brown sugar, butter and chocolate. The whole wheat simply adds a subtle toastiness that amplifies the classic flavor we all love.

So, yeah. Health food, these are not. But delicious? You bet.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 4 dozen cookies

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in dark brown sugar, followed by eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, beating until completely combined. Mix in chocolate chips.

Scoop dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments (I used a medium cookie scoop) and roll into balls, setting them two inches apart on the prepared pans. Bake 10-11 minutes until they look just slightly underdone. Let cool on the sheet pans for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsIn five years, I’ve deleted exactly three recipes from this blog. I’ve kept terrible photos, absurdly lengthy writing and even some personal stuff on here, so you may be wondering why I’d remove whole recipes. The answer is simple: because they were bad. Not “not perfect,” not “unoriginal.” Just bad. They didn’t taste good and/or work properly, and those are basically the only two requirements for me to put a recipe on here, so I deleted them. Among the group were a batch of Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins that were truly atrocious, and which I have finally found the time to rework into something delicious.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsNow, I didn’t intentionally write a terrible muffin recipe. There were circumstances. I wrote the old recipe for Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins when I was five days off the break-up a four year relationship. That was my first mistake—don’t try to do good work when you’re heartbroken.

My next mistakes were not adding enough fat, eggs or dairy. My best friend made the old version a few years back and the only word she used to describe them was “lumpy.” Yikes. I took down the recipe shortly thereafter and put the words “Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins” on my to-bake list once again.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsTwo weeks ago, I found myself five years more experienced, very over that boyfriend, and with a large bag of mostly-unallocated whole wheat flour. Armed with that and a newfound favorite muffin recipe, I set out to fix my past mistakes. Dare I say I nailed it?Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsThese Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins are soft and just sweet enough, with plenty of chocolate chips and whole grain flavor. Butter, sour cream and eggs keep them moist and balance the potential for heaviness that comes with using all whole wheat flour. They also get a little lift from starting in a 400F, then continuing at 350F until they’re fluffy, puffy and perfect.

Thank goodness for second chances.Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes 12 standard muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk, room temperature (not skim or nonfat)
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin, or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat eggs. Whisk in butter and vanilla, followed by whole milk and sour cream. Add wet ingredients to dry, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Dot the tops with additional chocolate chips, if desired.

Tap full pan on the counter five times. Bake for five minutes at 400F. Do not open the oven door. Reduce baking temperature to 350F, and bake an additional 15-16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Serve.

Muffins are best the day they are made, but may be kept covered at room temperature for a couple of days. They will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsWhole Wheat Chocolate Chip MuffinsWhole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsI planned to post this recipe a year ago. I can’t tell you why it didn’t happen–I had written the recipe and a whole post. All I had to do was take some photos and hit “publish,” but instead I just let the file get buried in the digital depths of my iPad, never to be seen again…

Whole Grain Banana Muffins…until two weeks ago. I was searching for these Whole Grain Banana-Chocolate Chip Bars, but this recipe caught my eye instead. Long story short, I’ve made these Whole Grain Banana Muffins twice since rediscovering them, and let me tell you: they are freaking delicious. I mean, most banana baked goods are–mashed banana just has a way of making things wonderful–but these muffins have a little something extra.

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsIt’s not some new product or anything. No, that’s not my style. There are no unusual ingredients in this recipe. Instead, its one little almost-no-effort step that makes these muffins truly spectacular:

Before you do anything else, spread the oats and walnuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in a 350F oven for 5-7 minutes.

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsYep, that’s it. That one little step is the difference between good muffins and great ones.

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsOther than that, this recipe is exactly what you’d expect. Mix together some dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and leaveners) and some wet ingredients (oil, eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and just 2/3 cup light brown sugar). Whisk it all together with exactly ten strokes of the bowl. Add the toasty oats and walnuts and use a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) to fold everything together for another 10 strokes. Throw in some chocolate chips if you like, and fold for another five strokes.Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Why do we need to count strokes of the batter? This keeps the gluten from over-developing and making the muffins tough. When the gluten in the flour meets the liquid ingredients, it’s activated, meaning it starts forming the bonds that give baked goods structure and texture. If we stir/fold too much, we’ll end up with tough, chewy muffins, and nobody wants that. For tender muffins, keep your mixing to a maximum of 25 strokes.

Divide the batter amongst about 16 prepared muffin cups and bake for 16-18 minutes. Then let them cool in the pans for about ten minutes before turning them out and digging in.

These Whole Grain Banana Muffins are much more than the sum of their parts, y’all. They’re soft, tender, not too sweet, and full of nutty whole grain goodness from the whole wheat flour and toasted oats. Oh, and of course there’s all sorts of good flavor from the mashed ripe bananas, toasted walnuts, and chocolate chips! That’s my kind of breakfast treat 💗Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Whole Grain Banana Muffins
makes about 16 standard muffins

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I like canola)
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a standard muffin tin or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Toast the oats and walnuts. Place oats and walnuts (if using) on a rimmed baking sheet and spread to cover the surface. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Do not burn. Place pan on a rack to cool a bit.

Make the muffin batter. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy (about 30-60 seconds). Whisk in light brown sugar, followed by oil, mashed bananas, and buttermilk. Add flour mixture and whisk 10 strokes. Add oats and nuts (which may still be warm) and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir an additional 10 strokes. Add optional chocolate chips and fold an additional 5 strokes. Batter may have a few small lumps.

Place about 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin cup; they should be about 2/3 full. Place full pan in the oven and bake 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan for ten minutes until removing to a rack to cool completely.

Bake any remaining batter, filling any unused muffin cups halfway with water to keep the pan from warping.

Muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Note:

If you do not have buttermilk, you may make your own. Place 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice) in a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk up to the 1/2 cup mark. Let mixture sit for five minutes, until curdled. Proceed with recipe as written.

Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Blackberry Pie

Blackberry PieI hope you have a place like Swans Island.

Blackberry PieI don’t necessarily mean an island off the coast of Maine with one store and a population of 300 (but I highly recommend it). I mean a place that you find endlessly enchanting. For my parents, it’s Santa Fe. For my older sister, it’s Isla Mujeres, Mexico. For me, it’s this little island four miles out to sea. I just can’t get enough.

Blackberry PieThe appeal of this place isn’t the broad spectrum of activities–in fact, it’s the opposite that keeps me counting the days between trips. Whereas in New York I am constantly bombarded with people and noise and tasks that must be dealt with right-this-second, on Swans Island, a car passes the house once every ten minutes, the only consistent sound is that of a bell on a lobster boat floating a mile away, and there is literally nothing I have to do. As Swans Island has limited phone and internet access too, this is a place where it really is possible to get away from it all.

Blackberry PieBlackberry PieFaced with a lack of activities, each of my friends and I have found ways to pass the time. Almost all of the things we do together (hiking, beaching, cooking, etc.) take place in the afternoons, so we each have to find a way to while away the mornings. Adam has been tearing through a book, VJ has put together 2.5 puzzles, and I have been wandering the sides of the road with a saucepan in hand, foraging for berries.

Blackberry PieThe last time I was here, I found mostly blueberries and raspberries–Blue-Razz Pie was the result. This time, the vast majority of the berries have been blackberries, so Blackberry Pie it is.

Blackberry PieBlackberry PieBlackberry PieThis pie, y’all. It’s made with my Whole Wheat Pie Dough and a super simple blackberry filling. Just fold some sugar, cinnamon, lime, and cornstarch into a few cups of fresh blackberries and it’s good to go. Now you can concentrate on the top crust.

Blackberry PieWhile you may top your pie however you like, may I suggest a lattice? They’re very easy and I love all the pockets of blackberry filling that peek through. Start by laying a few strips of dough parallel across the top of the filling. I cut my strips in different widths because I think it’s cute.

Blackberry PiePeel back a couple of the strips of dough and lay one perpendicularly across the filling. Then place all the strips back in their original positions.

Blackberry PiePull up the strips you didn’t move the first time and lay another strip across. Keep doing this until you don’t have any room left.

Blackberry PieBlackberry PieBlackberry PieCrimp the crust, brush it with egg wash, and give it a good sprinkle of sugar.Blackberry PieBlackberry Pie

Bake until beautiful and serve a la mode.Blackberry PieBlackberry Pie

Share with friends and definitely go back for seconds. It’s vacation, after all.Blackberry PieBlackberry Pie

Blackberry Pie
makes one 9-inch standard pie

1 recipe Whole Wheat Pie Dough or other good crust
4 cups fresh blackberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
juice of 1/2 lime

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
sugar, for sprinkling

On a floured surface, roll out one disc of pie dough to a 12-inch diameter and fit it in the pan. Trim the edges to 1/2-inch of overhang. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

In a large mixing bowl, combine blackberries, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, salt, and lime. Fold with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until everything is evenly coated. Transfer filling to prepared crust, discarding any excess liquid. Refrigerate.

On a floured surface, roll out the other disc of pie dough to a 12-inch diameter. If you’d like a lattice crust, slice the rolled dough into strips (see photos above for instructions). If you want a full top crust, lay the rolled-out dough on top of the filling and cut a few vents. Trim the edges to 1/2-inch of overhang, and crimp the top and bottom crust edges together. Refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Make the egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Use a pastry brush to brush the entire exposed crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes, tenting with foil if anything begins to brown too quickly.

Let pie cool completely on a rack. Slice and serve with ice cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Blackberry Pie

Whole Wheat Pancakes for One

Whole Wheat Pancakes for OneMost nights, I make myself a snack before bed. It ranges from eggs, to leftover cake and ice cream, to a salad bigger than my head. There are no rules except that it has to be delicious. My midnight snack is easily the best thing I’ll eat all day. That rings especially true for this past week–I’ve been all about these Whole Wheat Pancakes!

Whole Wheat Pancakes for OneWhere most pancake recipes make enough for an army…er, family of four…the now-two pancake recipes on this blog make just enough for one person. That’s right! This recipe makes just three pancakes: enough to kick my craving without a ton of leftovers to crowd my already-packed freezer.

Whole Wheat Pancakes for OneBut enough about quantity and my single lady eating habits! These Whole Wheat Pancakes for One are absolutely delicious. They are lightly sweet with plenty of nutty whole wheat flavor. Where many of the whole wheat pancakes I have had taste too, for lack of a better word, “healthy,” these are balanced with a touch of sugar and a hint of vanilla. They are the perfect compromise between whole grain and decadence.

Whole Wheat Pancakes for OneWhole Wheat Pancakes for OneOh, and the texture! A combination of buttermilk, baking powder, and oil keep these whole wheat pancakes just as fluffy and tender as your favorite buttermilk pancakes. This recipe doesn’t contain eggs, so these pancakes can easily be made vegan–just swap the buttermilk for a plant-based milk spiked with vinegar.

Whole Wheat Pancakes for OneWhole Wheat Pancakes for OneWhole Wheat Pancakes for OneWhole Wheat Pancakes for One are great with butter and maple syrup, but with all the beautiful fruit in stores right now, I recommend piling them high with strawberries, cherries, or anything else you like. This is a recipe for one, after all–serve it exactly the way you like it.Whole Wheat Pancakes for One

Whole Wheat Pancakes for One
makes 3 small pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
7 tablespoons buttermilk**
5 teaspoons neutral-flavored oil, plus more for cooking
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
butter, for serving, if desired
fresh fruit, for serving, if desired
pure maple syrup, for serving

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a liquid measuring cup, stir together buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir until everything is moistened. Some lumps may remain.

Heat 2-3 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pour batter in 1/4 cup increments for three small pancakes. Let cook 1-2 minutes, until some bubbles form on the surface. Flip pancakes and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove pancakes to a plate, top with butter and/or fruit and syrup, and enjoy.

Notes:

  1. If you do not have buttermilk, you may combine 1 teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar with 6 tablespoons of milk. Let sit five minutes before proceeding as written.
  2. If you want vegan pancakes, use 1 teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar and 6 tablespoons of soy or almond milk in place of the buttermilk.

Whole Wheat Pancakes for One