Monday, February 8, 2010

Recipe Time!

If there's one thing you should know about me it's that I *love* to bake. It must be the scientist-geek in me coming out. A lot of times I'll find recipes that I'm just not in love with, tinker with them and try them out on unsuspecting people. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't... and one of my favorite things to do is take a ridiculously unhealthy recipe and make it just a little healthier.

This is one of those times.

It all started when I couldn't decide which I'd rather eat -- oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies... so I decided to combine them. I think the results were pretty darned good -- what do you all think?

Please note: as I had to explain this to the hubby... this is much more on the side of an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips in it than a chocolate chip cookie.

Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies

*1/2 c unbleached, all purpose flour
*1 c whole wheat flour
*1/2 t baking soda
*1/2 t salt (can even cut down to 1/4 or even omit if on a sodium restricted diet)
*1/2 c butter, softened
*1 c dark brown sugar
*1/2 c sugar
*1/2 c unsweetened, all-natural applesauce (bonus points if it's enriched with Vit. C)
*2 t vanilla extract
*2 eggs
*3 c rolled oats
*1 c chopped pecans (can omit this)
*1/2 c dark chocolate chips
*1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can play with the ratio here)

#1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees
#2 Whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
#3 Cream the butter and both sugars in a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add in the applesauce and vanilla and mix to combine. Beat in eggs one at a time until just incorporated. Lower the speed to low on your stand mixer and slowly add in the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until just blended. With a wooden spoon or spatula, mix in the oats, pecans and chocolate chips by hand.
#4 Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls (or small tablespoonfuls) on to ungreased cookie sheets.
#5 Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden. Let cookies sit for five minutes on cookie sheets, then cool on wire racks.

Makes around 48 medium-sized cookies.

These aren't necessarily "healthy" cookies, but they're not too bad on the cookie/snack scale. A good indulgence once-in-a-while that has a nice balance of nutrition (in iron and fiber) and sweetness. As approximations (going off of the nutritional labels on the back of my ingredients), you're looking at the following nutritional info for TWO cookies, assuming you made 48 total:

216 cal, 11 g fat (5 g sat. fat), 71 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2.5 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 3.5 g protein, and 7 mg potassium...

Obviously this is going to adjust more/less based off the number of cookies you actually make. Remember, though, that a lot of baking is variable... You can cut out the salt and cut the sodium down to 32 mg per serving (or cut it down to 1/4 and you'll have 51 mg sodium)... You can cut the number of chocolate chips in half and save yourself 23 cal, 1.5 g fat (1 g sat), 3 g carbs (2.7 g sugar)... though I like the sweetness the chips add... or you can eliminate the pecans (something the husband would vote for, since he's not fond of nuts and they're not integral to the recipe) and save yourself 36 cal, 3.5 g fat (.333 sat), .67 g carb per serving.

Personally, I think these are delicious cookies... not overwhelmingly sweet (especially with half dark chocolate)... moist and chewy... plus, using whole wheat flour and rolled oats gives you a nice helping of whole grains to go with the healthy unsaturated fats that the pecans give you.

So, what do ya think?

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