Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Cherries and Walnuts

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thanks for indulging me these past few days with my cauliflower soup trifecta, including the basic (yet still fabulous) roasted and wonderful combinations including broccoli and artichokes. I actually have one more cauliflower-based soup to share, but I’ll hold off on that on for a few months.

Today, “c” stands not for cauliflower but for cookie. Here, we take everyone’s favorite, chocolate chip, and give it a nutrition boost by subbing in white whole wheat flour for white flour to retain the healthfulness of whole grains and using dark chocolate rather than milk or semi-sweet, which has less sugar and more of the bioactive components and antioxidants that are found in dark. That’s my normal recipe, by the way, when I just want a basic chocolate chip cookie. And by “my” recipe, I mean the famous Nestlé toll house recipe. I’ve made many other recipes over the years, of course, but I really do find this a solid chocolate chip cookie that never fails and is always delicious. I always add walnuts to my cookies, which are important not only for crunch but also texture, not to mention a few good omega-3 fatty acids; do what makes you happy. By the way, you’ll think I’m lying, but one day I made them with white flour—I had a craving but was out of whole wheat—and I truly did not like them nearly as much. The white whole wheat adds a texture and flavor that I really missed. I hope you’ll come to love it as much as I do.

When I want my cookie to be a little more classy, or just fee like mixing things up a bit, I add dried cherries and sub in pecans for the walnuts. (Note: while the nuts do not need to be toasted prior, I’ve found it brings in a bit more deliciousness if you do.)

My last few baking notes for you today? First, make it mini, of course, like all of my sweet treats. Also, don’t make a whole slew that you then have hanging around your house for days on end: at least for me, that kind of temptation leads to weight gain. It’s best to keep your house generally clean of energy-dense foods that pack on calories; eat cookies only as an occasional treat. (More on that subject at “To Clean Up Your Diet, Clean Out Your House.”) I only ever mix half a batch (for our household of two) and then keep extra balls of frozen dough in the freezer. That way, you have warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies when you want them.

Just, you know, not every day.

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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