Our family enjoys sweet treats (in moderation, of course). I feel good about providing my kids with treats that not only taste great, but are healthy, too. These chocolate chip cookies are a brand new recipe of mine and are quickly becoming one of our favorites. They’re crispy and delicious and get more flavorful by the day. As well, they’re packed with healthful ingredients like rolled oats, fresh Kamut flour (see my blog on the health benefits of Kamut), coconut, and dark chocolate. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
All ingredients should be organic when possible.
- 1 stick (4 oz.) softened no-salt butter
- 2 ounces coconut oil
- 1 egg
- ½ cup raw sugar (My favorite is rapadura)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 cups wholegrain flour (I use freshly ground kamut, but you can use gluten-free oat flour for a gluten-free version.)
- 1 cup Pamela’s pancake mix
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 3 ounces dark chocolate bar (70 or 72%), coarsely chopped
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, coconut oil and raw sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then slowly drizzle in the maple syrup and mix until light and fluffy.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, Pamela’s pancake mix, buttermilk powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the rolled oats and shredded coconut.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, one third at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Fold in the chocolate pieces and gently combine.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy clean up or lightly butter the cookie sheets. Spoon out heaping tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheets, approximately 2 inches apart, to allow room for the cookies to spread as they bake.
- Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Refined sugar, including “raw” sugar, is a highly processed product made by heating, clarifying, and dehydrating cane juice until crystals form. The crystals are spun in a centrifuge to separate them from the syrupy juice (molasses). Chemicals are often used during the clarifying process. The crystals are then reunited with some of the molasses in artificial proportions. Molasses contains vitamins and minerals and is recommended for a healthy diet, but the crystals themselves are essentially highly refined “empty carbs.” When these sugars are sold as organic, people often think this means unrefined, but all it really means is that the cane is grown with organic agricultural methods, and the sugars are refined in the usual method.
Rapadura (Rapunzel brand) is an exception, and in addition to pure maple syrup and honey, is my sweetener of choice. A delicious unrefined cane sugar with a subtle caramel flavor and color, rapadura is made by extracting the pure juice from the sugar cane and concentrating the juice over low heat. The dried juice is then ground to create a very fine, granular sugar that can be easily substituted in a 1:1 ratio for refined sugars. Because it has not been cooked at high heat and the molasses has not been separated from the sugar, rapadura has a much better nutritional profile than more highly refined sugars. It is also produced organically, and does not contain chemicals or anti-caking agents.
I grind all of our flours fresh from whole, organic grains using a KoMo Fidibus 21 grain mill. This compact, powerful grain mill has become an indispensible staple in our kitchen.
Grinding our own organic grains yields excellent quality, delicious flours. Many people don’t realize that whole grains don’t spoil because they contain little moisture and have a protective outer shell. But once a grain is milled, the protective coating is crushed, the sensitive interior is exposed to air, and the oils begin to oxidize. The fragile oils spoil quickly, and the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the grain degrade. For long-term storage, whole grain flour should ideally be kept refrigerated or even frozen—but most flour sold in stores has been sitting on the shelf for several months or longer.
In addition to a superior nutritional profile, freshly ground flour is full of flavor with a natural sweetness. My favorite all purpose flour, especially for baking, is kamut, an ancient relative of wheat with a delicious flavor. It’s the perfect flour for the cookies in this recipe. Enjoy!