I think I’m losing my mind. I had to post an entry listing the recipes that I want to post over the next few days. Or maybe I’ve just been cooking/baking too much…
Is that even possible?
Mind loss aside, I was pretty excited about these cookies. You see, I have a love-hate relationship with cookies.
Ok, mostly hate.
I’ve mastered the art of the diet cake, the diet drink, the diet dinner, and, to some extent, even the diet nut butter (sort of). I have not, however, ever come close to mastering the diet cookie. And believe you me this…it’s not for lack of trying.
I’ve made plenty of diet cookies over the years: some were little rocks of half burnt/half undercooked misery, some tasted like a spoonful of baking soda…some of the better ones were just little cookie-shaped cakes on a baking sheet. Although the latter isn’t bad, it’s not (by any stretch of even my overactive imagination) a cookie.
So that would explain the excitement.
The great freezer clean-out set off a baking frenzy in me. I think it was long overdue, having shut my creativity in a box ever since I “changed my major”. After the edamame was gone, there was the leftover quinoa (that I made for the quinoa-edamame cutlets) that needed a use and then there were the bananas I bought for the quinoa cake and so on.
But we all know that’s just my excuse. This past week has been like finding myself. To be honest, I was a little worried about what I would do in my apartment all by myself over break. My “family” told me they had other plans and I should find my own life and the few friends I have in the area spend the break at home with their families. It wasn’t being lonely I was worried about (I hardly ever get lonely or, rather, I’m always lonely so it barely phases me anymore)–it was the time, so much time…what would I do to pass the time?
I suppose it was this fear of empty hours that spurred my frenzy. Regardless of what it was, I’m sure it was much better than spending my break somewhere else, pretending to be happy for someone else or following someone else’s rules. Instead, I spent my break in my kitchen, doing what I wanted, whenever I wanted. It felt strange….
Ah! But I digress (as usual). This post was supposed to be about these cookies; not cookie-shaped cakes, but real cookies! I haven’t figured out the spreading part quite yet (but a lot of cookie recipes call for pressing the cookies before, right?), but these cookies are chewy, moist and don’t taste like baking powder.
If you need some help with the science behind YOUR cookies, I would recommend Alton Brown (as always) and this site, which is one I used quite often when working out the kinks in this recipe.
Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 9-10 cookies
- 1/4 c. mashed Fiber One Original Bran (mash it till it has the consistency of flour)
- 1/8 c. (2T.) wheat bran or oat bran or wheat germ (see note)
- 1/4 t. baking SODA (see note)
- 1/4 t. baking POWDER
- 1/4 c. applesauce or mashed banana or yogurt (see note)
- 1/8 c. egg substitute of choice or beaten egg (I went with eggbeaters)
- 1/8 c. peanut butter or light butter (NOT the spreadable butter in a tub)
- 1/4 c. sugar substitute/sugar (the sugar doesn’t really play a part in the texture here so feel free to use sugar substitute packets)
- 1/2 t. — 1 t. vanilla
- chocolate chips, to taste (about 2T. for me)
→Preheat the oven to 350*F.
In a bowl, melt the butter and add the sugar substitute (melting the butter gives this cookie its chewy texture).
Add the applesauce and egg.
In another bowl, mix the fiber one, baking soda and baking powder.
Add the wet to the dry and mix. Add the chocolate chips.
Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet sprayed well with nonstick spray and bake for about 20 minutes (I kept checking, which I’m sure changed the time/temperature a little)
Ok, now the fun part. Playing with the recipe. Without going into too much detail, here are the basic rules for this to work.
1. Wheat bran leads to a drier cookie and would be a good option if you sub 1-2T. of the fiber one for cocoa to make a chocolate chocolate chip cookies
2. If you decide you want to use wheat bran but just have plain chocolate chip cookies, use banana or yogurt instead of applesauce, which will also help with moisture content.
3. Peanut butter has a higher fat content than butter so it will increase the moisture.
4. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL has to do with acidity of the dough. Yogurt and cocoa powder are both acidic ingredients. If you choose to use these substitutions, INCREASE THE BAKING SODA TO 1/4 + 1/8 TEASPOON.
Some of my flavor combinations so far:
- Peanut butter banana: mashed banana + peanut butter instead of butter
- Chocolate cookies: cocoa powder instead of wheat bran + applesauce
- Pina/fruity Colada: light pineapple (or other fruit flavored) yogurt instead of applesauce and imitation coconut instead of vanilla
- Pumpkin pie: pumpkin instead of applesauce and add 1/2t. pumpkin pie spice to the dry ingredients
- Indian spiced: swap the vanilla for rose water and add 1/2t. cardamom to the dry ingredients
- Cookies and cream: cookies and cream protein powder instead of wheat bran
These are just a few of the myriad of possibilities. Does anyone have any other suggestions?