Wednesday, January 19, 2011

As Healthy As A Cookie Can Get...Whole Grain Chocolate Surprise Cookies

Its mid January and this is the time that people start to lapse on their resolutions a bit and get back into old bad habits. Since I am pretty much determined not to do that but still want to maintan a normal life and eat the things I love I will be trying to find the balance between good and bad in the foods I love to eat. Instead of completely giving up cookies maybe  theres a way to make them a bit healthier. I tried my experiment out on my beloved Chocolate Surprise Shortbread Cookies. I switched around a few ingredients and prayed to the baking gods that It would come out edible. To my surprise the cookies came out really tasty! My sister noted that they tasted considerably "healthier" but that they were good. So enough about how they came out let me tell you about the ingredients switch. I used majority brown sugar instead of white granulated and then I swapped out some of the regular all purpose flour for some whole grain oat flour which is way better for you in terms of having more fiber and vitamins per serving. Heres the proof.
less calories but less fiber and vitamins   
Take a moment to compare the amount of fiber and vitamins
Also note the serving size you can have 1/3 cup oat flour instead of a measly 1/4 cup all purpose, it'll cost you 20 calories but dont forget your getting more fiber and vitamins. Now for the chocolate...instead of the semi sweet bar I baked with last time I opted for a 85% cocoa Green and Blacks Organic chocolate bar.
Sorry for the crinkled look, I balled it up to throw out and forgot I didn't take a pic.

This was originally bought as a stocking stuffer for me from my mom for Christmas but this isnt your average dark chocolate, its one of the most intense chocolates I've tasted containing almost no sugar. Although I'm no stranger to Green & Blacks or dark chocolate, this was a bit much for me so I opted to use it in my baking instead. I broke the chocolate into its precut pieces and kept in the fridge until I was ready to add them to the cookie dough.
Freezer cookie balls note the darker color from the brown sugar and oat flour!
I followed  the same procedure for rolling the balls except that I didn't leave the finished balls to chill on a sheet pan, I stored the cookie balls in a bowl in the freezer for a couple minutes to cool.
When the cookies went to bake I noticed that they didnt spread as much as the original batch which is more than likely due to me switching the majority of white sugar for brown sugar, which in my opinion doesn't spread as easily. To correct that problem I just used a spatula to flaten out the cookies a bit. After the cookies cooled a bit and I bit into them I was delighted that they came out perfect...intense chocolate flavor, crunchy outside, chewy inside, and a hint of sweet. I hope you all enjoy!

Whole Grain Chocolate Surprise Cookies
makes 20 cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup oat flour
2 oz dark chocolate broken into 20 pieces

1. Combine sugar and butter in mixer until fluffy, add in vanilla and beat for one more minute
2. Add in flours and mix on medium low until combined.
3. Using a cookie scoop or your hand, scoop half of the dough you need for one cookie, add a piece of chocolate to the center then cover with some more dough to finish the cookie.
4. Continue shaping out all your cookies and lay them on a sheet pan or bowl to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or freezer for 5 minutes.
5. While the cookies are in the fridge preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your baking pan. (if you have a large enough fridge you can lay you cookie balls to chill on the sheet you will bake it on)
6. After 15 minutes have passed remove your cookies from the fridge and bake in the oven until cookies are browned on the edges, about 15 minutes.
7. remove pan from oven but don't remove cookies right away, allow cookies to sit for about a minute to firm up and then remove with a spatula.
8. Cool cookies on a rack and then move to cookie jar or container.

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