Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chocolate chip cookies that won’t clog your arteries (or your child’s)

Getting Jordan involved....he has to learn this

note: this is NOT the soy will get hockey  pucks with those

I like the cookie scooper to shape these
compare this to butter and traditional shortening.....even if you aren't a vegan-this is so much better

This flour is not the over processed white flour and its use results in a homemade rich flavor

I was a very picky eater during my childhood.  Sometimes my mother had to make two dinners because I refused to eat what she made for dinner for my father.  Later I ended up having one picky child (now known as a foodie and founding food photographer) and one with EE and multiple food allergies.  So for those who believe in karma, this was a natural outcome of what I put my mother through (who was a great cook).  But for those who like to think positive, this actually worked out.  My foodie daughter appreciates my cooking (and cooks some great dishes as well).  She  always praised my cooking; to me this is the ultimate reward for all the work.  Because of my son’s health issues, I learned a lot about ingredients and their impact on your health.  So I vigilantly eliminated some ingredients from our home.  For a while we had to live 'top 8 allergen free' (wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, treenuts).  I learned how to make gourmet meals without these allergens.  Getting wheat, soy and eggs back in Jordan’s diet made life a lot simpler.  But processed flour does not have the same effect on your body as less processed flour.    I’m still avoiding dairy.  If Jordan was able to have dairy, it would only make life easier with respect to not having to worry about cross contamination (‘made in facility with’ or restaurant situations).  Now that I know the effects of dairy (no not just the fat, but the evil casein), I will always cook without dairy.  Substitutions are easy once you experiment with various techniques.

When I did use butter I made cookies with butter only. I hated the ‘side taste’ in margarine cookies or margarine/shortening/butter mix cookies.  These cookies do not have this ‘side taste’-I’m not sure how to describe that taste.

This modified chocolate chip cookie recipe is not loaded with fat and bad protein.  The flour is not as processed either as white flour.  A basic rule is, the less processed food you put in your body, the better off you are with respect to your health and weight.   Yes, there is sugar here, so I wouldn’t eat a dozen of these (although it wouldn’t be hard). 


These cookies can also be easily converted to a gluten free and vegan version by another mix of flour (see below) and substituting Ener G Egg Replacer (or the apple sauce mix commonly used) for eggs.

·       1.5 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life-only one guaranteed to be allergen free without cross contamination)

·       1 cup Earth Balance Natural Shortening softened (the one in the GREEN box-2 sticks, although I like Spectrum shortening for some things, I think this works better for cookies, they end up being shaped just like butter cookies.  Don’t use the vegan soy sticks…you will get hockey pucks)

·       3/4 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar-unprocessed one)

·       3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

·       2 large eggs (I buy the free range ones…they are more nutritious)-if you are avoiding eggs, you can use the Ener G Egg replacer and still get great flavor

·       2 teaspoon(s) vanilla  (again, I use organic)

·       2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour-I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat pastry flour (see photo)
·       If you are avoiding gluten, I used to make this with a gluten free flour mix that combined sorghum flour with rice flour (I have to find that recipe….it works great for substitutions)

·       1 teaspoon baking soda

·       1/2 teaspoon salt  

Note:  this is mostly traditional cookie dough mix-the main substitutions are the vegan shortening, the unprocessed flour and the less processed sugar.  With the less processed flour, the cookies end up with a heartier homemade flavor.

Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside (again, no need to sift).

In large mixing bowl, beat shortening and with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color.   You may need to stop the mixer and scrape sides more often than you do with butter.

Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
Gradually add the dry mixture into the dough while beating at low speed
Stir in chocolate chips.
Use cookie scooper to add to ungreased cookie sheet (or use another method to drop the batter-I like the shape that I get with this technique)
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes.  The cookies are still fairly soft, then with a spatula/flipper, move each cookie to the cooling rack where it will solidify further.

I have a countertop convection oven that I think makes really great cookies (reduce baking time when making in a convection oven).

You can also use this basic cookie recipe for heart shaped cookies or a cookie cake (I will add the slight modification to this blog)

If you are not allergic to nuts, you can add some walnuts to this recipe also.  Unfortunately that is not an option for us now (and nuts are healthy).

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  1. Yep, I am a foodie now thanks to your amazing cooking skills.

  2. That's good to know. Being a foodie makes one aware of what food really is.