Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I did all the right things

We had a stretch of thunderstormy days a week or two ago. April showers. The clouds rolled in and rumbled a bit, and stayed for more than a week. Ditches filled with rain and we stayed indoors for the most part. By Sunday, when the forecast was showing rainclouds next to each of the next five days, most people around here were growing restless, contemplating a move anywhere south of here.

But not me, I didn't mind the rain that Sunday. I did all the right things.

I drank coffee late into the morning and tea in the afternoon, and wore my slippers all day. I pushed the windows open with rain splashing down and took a nap that was too long. I wandered around the apartment and avoided my heap of clean laundry on the futon in the office, my work laptop propped next to the door, the lineup of dirty mugs with old tea bags in them next to the sink. I said Oh crap, it's already 6:30 and ran to the grocery store, then made a big pot of the chicken dumpling soup that I've made 340 times this year and Adam still asks for it. I lounged on the couch and didn't even look at my running shoes. I baked chocolate chip cookies.

You can't complain about a day like that.

Now, these cookies: I'd like to have one go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I just can't do it. I like too many different styles to commit to just one: pale and soft, dark and chewy, studded with oatmeal - they're all good by me. This one that I read about on Orangette fits nicely in my repertoire. The magic ingredient here is whole wheat flour; it makes the cookies perfectly dense with a hint of nuttiness and just a pinch of saltiness. They are the least sweet and buttery, cookie-doughy of the versions I have made (although there's plenty of sugar and butter in these) - and I mean that in a good way. These are all about the chewy factor.

It's a good one for your recipe box, and your next rainy day.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (if using regular table salt, cut this about in half)
2 sticks butter (8 oz), softened
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease them with butter.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and white sugar, about two minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low to incorporate (I recommend adding about 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time and beating until combined after each addition to give your mixer a bit of a break). Add the chocolate chips, and beat to combine.

Scoop dough into mounds of about 3 tablespoons and place on the baking sheet, leaving a few inches of space around each cookie. Bake 16-20 minutes until the cookies are browned and have set around the edges.  Do not over bake, or they will be a bit tough. Allow to cool for a minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Enjoy with a glass of milk on a rainy spring day.


  1. Dear Beans, hoping my wife can get some more recipe ideas for this winter. Are you blogging again soon?