I am always looking for ways to incorporate whole wheat flour into baked goods. I also like to add a dash of cinnamon whenever possible—into ground coffee, onto toast, and of course, into recipes like this one. And I like to lessen the sugar content of baked goods just a little bit—it helps to bring out the other flavors, makes me feel a touch better about indulging, and usually tastes better to me.
Enter these chocolate chip cookies. They are adapted from a Toll House cookie recipe in How to Cook, by Raymond Sokolov. I replaced half the white flour with whole wheat flour, adding a slightly denser flavor and nuttiness to the cookie. I used ¼ cup less white sugar, and added ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. This has been my go-to cookie recipe for a few years now.
I lined the cookie sheet with my Silpat mat, which eliminates the need to butter the pan and allows the cookies to bake up into nice little well-shaped circles. The mat was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law. The recipe book also happens to be a gift from them—part of a care package they sent me when I first moved to NYC and was nestled way up in Washington Heights in a tiny subletted room.
So, here are my instructions for a moist, flavorful cookie that tastes a bit like a chocolate-chip cinnamon roll.
1. If possible, leave the butter out at room temperature until softened (this takes a level of planning which I rarely attain). In a pinch, microwaving it a bit will do, though I have a vague sense that Sokolov would disapprove.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Beat the butter with a whisk or electric mixer until, according to Sokolov, it is “a smooth smear, slightly aerated, and therefore more welcoming to other ingredients.” Then, beat in the sugars until quite smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until the dough is light in color.
3. Stir the flour, salt, and cinnamon together. Put the baking soda in a mug and add a small amount of hot water. Mix to create a “slurry.”
4. Beat half the flour mixture into the butter and sugar, then add the “slurry” of baking soda. Beat in the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Unless you’re using a baking mat or other method, grease the cookie sheet. Though Sokolov recommends a teaspoonful of dough for each cookie, I like to use a tablespoon for each (a teaspoon might be best if using a traditional buttered cookie sheet). To avoid the cookies running together as they bake, I like to leave a couple of inches of space between them. I also find that it helps to wet my fingers in order to separate the dough from the measuring spoon.
6. Set the timer for about 10 minutes. I like the cookies to be golden brown, but not too crisp around the edges. I had enough dough for two batches, or about 16 cookies.
What is your go-to cookie recipe?