A Different Chocolate Chip Cookie

December 5, 2011

Some food bloggers have props.  And by props I don’t mean theatre props, like plastic guns and fake mustaches.  I mean table linens and fabric napkins and special forks and pretty plates.  They use these props in photographs that look like mini works of art.  I admire those people who have props and envy those of them who have prop cupboards.  I don’t have props.  I have a few plates that I bought when I first started this blog (the white ones), I have random things I’ve picked up over the years, and I have my everyday plates.  Occasionally, I use my grandmother’s china, like in this post.  You’ve seen all my plates and such ad nauseum.  I do love tableware and in my next life, I will have a collection of lots of different patterns and my photos will be a lot more interesting.

In this state of prop envy, you can probably imagine my delight when my mom brought over this little treat of a platter on Thanksgiving.  It was sitting in her armoire (where there are probably countless other treasures) and it is Limoges.  Old Limoges, mostly likely from my grandmother.  Why it was just sitting in there and why I have never seen it are questions I can’t answer.  No matter.  It’s mine now and I love it.  I find cookies a little hard to photograph – it’s kind of Here they are!  Three or four to a plate!  Round!  Bumpy!  Very similar looking to the ones I made last week!  But I think this little plate might help make them look more appetizing.

So, I have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I link to it all the time.  This is not that recipe.  This is the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Kim Boyce’s book Good to the Grain.  It is a well-loved recipe.  Some people, who I respect immensely, have sung this cookie’s praises.  It was only a matter of time until I made it.  And I am here to tell you that I like this cookie very much.  The dough behaves well and you can use it right after mixing it – no 24-72 hour waiting period like the one you will see with the New York Times recipe.  There is a nice nuttiness that the whole wheat flour brings to this cookie but without those pesky nuts.  Plus, with 100% whole wheat flour and heart healthy bittersweet chocolate, why, this cookie is practically health food.

I would tell you about this cookie anyway – it’s a nice one.  But the real reason I am offering you yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe and the reason I am writing about a recipe that has been written about by better writers and bakers than myself, is because Randy asked me to make these again.  Randy.  My husband who says he does not like chocolate.  This was not a someday request, as in “someday after you’ve made 25 other cookie recipes, make this one again”.  This was a “the cookie jar is almost empty and I’m getting nervous and I want the very same cookies we are about to run out of” request.  November 26th marked the 11th anniversary of our first date and I knew that day that I would marry him.  I did not know that life would be full of surprises like moving to London, having two boys, and requests for unlikely (for him) cookies.

One Year Ago:  Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Two Years Ago:  Spicy Tomato Jam
Three Years Ago:  Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
With very slight changes from Good to the Grain
Makes about 32 cookies

The recipe was written to make huge cookies, I prefer to have plain old large ones instead.  I have three baking sheets, so I baked these on convection all at the same time.  If you only have two, either make the cookies larger, or make them in two batches.

Dry Mix
3 cups whole wheat flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1½ kosher salt

Wet Mix
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼-inch and ½-inch pieces

Place three racks in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.  (DT: I was out of parchment paper and my cookies released from the sheets just fine.)

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.

Add the butter and the sugars to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes.  Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined.  Mix in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend on low speed until the flour in barely combined, about 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Remove the bowl from the standing mixer.

Add the chocolate all at once to the batter.  Using your rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate by hand.  Make sure it is evenly incorporated and there are no floury bits on the bottom of the bowl.  Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out mounds of dough and place them, three to a row, on the prepared baking sheets.  These cookies spread significantly so be sure to leave enough room.

Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through.  (Rotating is not necessary if you are using convection.)  You want the cookies to be evenly dark brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on a rack.  Boyce says the cookies will keep for 3 days in an airtight container, but they kept for over a week in my cookie jar.


  1. I really want a prop cabinet also. Or maybe just a few more linens to put my plates on top of. Or maybe an all-access all-paid-for gift card to anthropologie.

    that seems reasonable, right?

    I thought I was all cookie’d out after tons of cookie baking this weekend…but perhaps not. These sound delicious!

    Comment by Joanne — December 6, 2011 @ 2:27 am

  2. It’s been way, way too long since I’ve made these cookies. They’re my very favorite and I always feel much less guilty eating three at one sitting given their whole-wheat-flour-ness. The Limoges plate gave me a chuckle: I went through a quick stint as a copywriter for Gump’s and I had to write lots of Limoges copy and I had no idea what it was at the time and became an expert quickly, quizzing my friends right and left about fine china, jade, and pearls :)

    Hope you’re doing well, my friend. (see you soon!)

    Comment by Megan Gordon — December 6, 2011 @ 4:05 am

  3. Thanks for posting this! I agree on the whole “props” thing. While I admire food stylists, sometimes I think folks forget about the actual food. Cookies look delicious!

    Comment by Jay @ LocalFood.me — December 6, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  4. i still have not (shame shame) made cc cookies with whole wheat flour…unreal and sad.
    props? what are those? we dont need no stinking props! ;-)

    Comment by vanillasugarblog — December 6, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  5. I have this cookbook but have yet to bake anything from it! These cookies sound like a great place to start.

    Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

  6. I also have prop envy at times… I mainly photograph food on my everyday plates and the cloth napkins that we use at dinnertime. Who has the room (or budget?) for a whole photo-only collection? Not me!

    And, I love the look of those cookies. I need to get a copy of Good to the Grain!

    Comment by Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — December 7, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  7. I am alway up for another chocolate chip cookie!

    Comment by Maria — December 8, 2011 @ 3:10 am

  8. Could you use bittersweet chocolate chips instead of chopping up chocolate?

    Comment by Kate — December 9, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

  9. Yes Kate, you definitely can use bittersweet chips. I just like the way that chopped chocolate distributes in a cookie better – less uniform. But I would definitely recommend that you use bittersweet rather than semisweet. It works better with the whole wheat flour.

    Comment by dana — December 9, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  10. First, I also have plain plates and never once purchased a prop. That’s way too much effort!
    Second, the NYT recipe. Meh. It’s ok. I like it fine, but it’s also too much effort. See my theme?
    Third, these look great! I’ve eyeing that cookbook. Should I get it? xoxo

    Comment by redmenace — December 10, 2011 @ 2:25 am

  11. I make due with my everyday plates and dish towels. One day when I have a kitchen with a window and cupboard space, then, maybe I’ll invest in some props. Well, maybe not, since I like to be practical! Regardless, I love the sound of these cookies and I’ve been jonesing to make some ever since I heard about them.

    Comment by kickpleat — December 12, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

Leave a comment