It often seems that the many fruits and vegetables of Vermont overshadow the other foods produced here. Take grains, for instance. Did you even know you can find them locally? Gleason Grains of Bridport and Nitty Gritty Grains of Charlotte are two (but not the only) grain producers in Vermont worth checking out. In Rutland, you can find several of their flours and grains for sale in the bulk section of the Rutland Area Food Co-op at very reasonable prices.
While we have talked a little about cooking with grains, we have yet to get into flour. Perhaps it’s because we don’t often cover baking. Yet it’s an equally important knowledge base for the Everyday Chef. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a freelance baker. Knowing how to make one’s own baked goods – whether it be breads, cakes, muffins, or cookies – is much better for your health and is more economical. Whether we admit it or not, most of us eat baked foods, and rather than simply lumping them into the junk food category, why not learn how to improve them?
That said, I thought I’d share my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe made with whole wheat flour. Baking with whole wheat flour is not exactly the same as white flour and you shouldn’t have the same expectations. However, you can often substitute a percentage of white flour for wheat, without a significant difference (anywhere from 50 – 100%). Just keep in mind that this won’t work in all cases. But you should absolutely give it a try and do some experimenting.
Whole wheat flour has around four times more fiber than white and contains higher amounts of potassium, magnesium and zinc. I’m not about to say that these cookies are a health food, but they are a healthier option than many alternatives. The wheat flour and oats help give these cookies a nice crispy texture that I really like. This recipe produces large thin cookies, so be sure to leave plenty of room on your baking sheets, as the recipe suggests.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 3/4 cup / 9 oz rolled oats
- 1 cup / 4.5 oz whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup / 1 1/2 oz wheat bran (or germ)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 cup / 8 oz unsalted butter
- 1 cup / 6.5 oz natural cane sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 cup / 6 oz firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10 oz / 285 g semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350F, with racks placed in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, bran or germ, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Either by hand, or using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar for 3+ minutes, scraping down sides a few times along the way. Incorporate the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla – scraping the sides of the bowl another time or two. Add the dry mixture, and stir until everything barely comes together. Then stir in the chocolate, mixing until it is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Use a small ice-cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to make uniform dough balls. Arrange each cookie at least 3-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. They’ll flatten out quite a bit. For extra crisp cookies, bake until deeply, deeply golden on the bottom, about 15+ minutes. Rotate the pans once about 2/3 the way through baking – back to front, top to bottom. Like your cookies a little chewier? Bake for less time. Cool on a rack.
Makes about 2 dozen large cookies. Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 15 min