Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chocolate chip cookies and a giveaway


My blogging friend Nicole of Prevention RD recently published her first cookbook - Prevention RD's Everyday Healthy Cooking. I've "known" Nicole for many years, as she and I are both active in an online cooking forum (she is also an ice hockey player, so we both spend a good amount of time at our respective skating rinks). Since Nicole is a registered dietician, she took 100 every day recipes and made them healthier by using lower-fat alternatives. Her cookbook is filled with lots of dishes - from appetizers to desserts, and all recipes include nutrition information. .

I have been on somewhat of a chocolate chip cookie obsession lately so I decided to bake her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Instead of using butter in her recipe, Nicole substitutes coconut oil. This is an ingredient that I have heard a lot of good things about but just have not gotten around to trying yet (although I am not sure what my hesitation has been). I finally bought a jar of coconut oil during our last trip to Trader Joe's and had it on hand when I came across Nicole's recipe.

Even though I read and re-read the ingredients and instructions, I still managed to goof up the first batch. I misread the amount of flour in the batter and omitted nearly half a cup. As a result, my cookies baked up flat and spread like crazy. Despite my baking error, the cookies still tasted amazing. The second attempt went much better and my cookies came out looking better than the first batch.

I took these to a party and it got good reviews. Most people did not even know that these were baked with coconut oil until I told them, and they all said that it tasted really good. My husband and daughter both gave these cookies a big thumbs up, so I know that they will be added to the cookie rotation.

And now for some good news - I am giving away a copy of Nicole's cookbook to one of you. All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter entry form below. Please be patient, since the widget may load slowly. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (can substitute all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup plus 1 TBSP brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  •  10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (I used a full bag)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet (I used my imitation Silpat).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, melt the coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Transfer the melted coconut oil and the brown sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer). Using the paddle attachment and putting the mixer on medium speed, beat together the coconut oil and sugar until it is uniform and well blended. Individually add the eggs until the first one is fully incorporated before adding the second. Add the vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Beat until just combined (do not over mix).

Turn off the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Using a spoon or a cookie scoop (I used a medium cookie scoop), scoop out portions of dough onto your prepared baking sheet. Do not put more than 8 cookies on a sheet because they will spread.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 8 minutes or until the cookies are very lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cookie rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be served warm or at room temperature and can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. The baked cookies can also be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for at least one month.

Yield: About 20 cookies (I used a medium cookie scoop)

Source: Prevention RD's Everyday Healthy Cooking: 100 Light and Delicious Recipes to Promote Energy, Weight Loss, and Well-Being

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