Thursday, June 2, 2011

healthy-ish chocolate oat cookies with toasted flaxseeds

surely i am not alone in wanting to eat cookies that are tasty but not terrible for you. i mean, i like things that are not healthy as much as the next person, but sometimes i want something a little more wholesome. as you can see in the above picture, these chocolatey cookies have butter and sugar, but they also use part whole wheat flour and toasted flax seeds, which are full of all those omega thingies your mom wants you to get more of (and i don't know about you, but i am not all that interested in drinking fish oil even if, as my mom strenuously claims, it "doesn't taste that bad." sorry mom, not buying it).

anyway, short story long, these are moderately healthy-esque but also taste good. i also used this as an opportunity to bust out my new food scale. i wish more recipes were in weights, because that way you can just dump everything in the bowl and not have to muck about with cups and teaspoons and whatnot. but i did the measurements in both for those who do not have a scale yet.

as one might expect, it is hard to take a picture of cocoa-based cookie dough without it looking really gross. that's why we have this nice black and white picture. you're welcome.

the scale i have was around $25 on amazon and it does weights in grams, ounces, etc. i think it measures up to like 11kg, which is pretty impressive considering its small stature.

most cookies start with creaming butter and sugar together in a mixer. i can never stand waiting for butter to soften and also it is still really cold here, so likely it would never soften anyway.

so i melted it. i'm sure that changes the texture somehow, but since i was winging it anyway, it seemed like a good thing to try.

actually, first i toasted 1/4 cup of whole flax seeds. this took about 5 minutes in a small pan at medium heat. they start smelling toasty and some begin popping and then you take it off the heat so they don't go all over your kitchen.

this is the point at which your dogs will wake up and become very interested in what you are doing.

then melt the butter, either in the pan in which you toasted the flax seeds or in the microwave.

then add both sugars (i used brown and white, but you could probably also use raw sugar, hippy) and stir to combine. then add the eggs, assuming the butter isn't crazy-hot still. if it is, let it cool a little before adding the eggs. you could probably use ground flax mixed with water instead of the eggs, if you wanted to make these vegan. i am not sure what the proportions are, but the internet can easily tell you, i am sure.

add the salt, the vanilla and the chocolate extract, if using. i used vanilla paste, which is thicker and vanilla-seed-y, but extract is totally fine - we just didn't have any. also i happen to have some chocolate extract that was given to me, so i add that to chocolate things a lot, but it also isn't strictly necessary.

it is probably best to put the other (dry) ingredients in a separate bowl and mix them and then add them to the egg/sugar/butter thing, but i just added them and stirred it. the cookies still rose, so i don't think doing it that way breaks them or anything.

this dough is much easier to form into cookies if you let it rest for an hour or so in the fridge. you can make them right away, but you have to use two spoons to kind of shape them and it's rather sticky. so i would recommend the fridge for a bit. you can watch an episode of murder, she wrote while you wait!

then, preheat the oven to 350. i used a normal cookie sheet and put a dozen on at a time. i made them pretty smallish, like an inch or so in diameter. i baked them for 8 minutes, turned the pan around, and baked them for another 4 minutes. then you can cool them on a rack, if you have one, or in the pan, if you are me.

the day they are made they are crispy on the edges and then if you leave them in a closed thing overnight they get soft and chewier. i thought they were tasty, mike claimed to like them, and my friend stacey seemed to think they were okay, but she wasn't like freaking out over the taste. you could probably amp up the cocoa by another 1/4 cup and the chocolate flavor in general by adding chocolate chips or something, but that is straying away a little from the healthy.

these are basically pretty simple little cookies that are not terribly sweet or terribly decadent. they are good with milk or tea as a nice afternoon snack, or would also be nice with your morning coffee.

1/4 cup/1.45 oz whole flax seeds
1/2 cup/1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup/3 oz brown sugar
1/2 cup/3.7 oz granulated sugar
2 eggs (~ 4.4 oz total)
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons/0.35 oz vanilla paste - extract weighs less, i think, but it's not like too much vanilla is ever a problem anyway.
1 tsp (0.10 oz) chocolate extract (optional)
1 teaspoon (or so) salt - i used kosher salt
1/2 cup/1.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon/0.05 oz baking soda
1 teaspoon/o.15 oz baking powder
3/4 cup/2.7 oz oats
3/4 cup/3.85 oz whole wheat flour
1/2 cup/2.3 oz white/all purpose flour

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