Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies and I are about to start a fight. Right along with politics and the superior method to load a dishwasher, defining the perfect chocolate chip cookie is a topic guaranteed to spark a colorful debate. Reference: my marriage.
Chocolate chip cookies are a source of marital discord in our household and elsewhere. Which is the greatest chocolate chip cookie? Is it the chewy or the crispy? The fluffy or the flat? Nuts or no nuts? Dark chocolate or milk? Though I know you are narrating a declarative answer to each of these questions in your head, today I’m excited to tell you about my favorite version of the incendiary dessert: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.
Until today, I never posted a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe on this site. (Crispy Chewy Pretzel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are as close as I’ve come.) After all, why bother with another chocolate chip cookie recipe when everyone already has a favorite? I was on my umpteeth batch of intentionally burned chocolate chip cookies for Ben (more on that in a second) when I decided that I’d had enough of this purposefully overdone cookie nonsense. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies were born.
Every week, I bake a batch of simple chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies for Ben to bring to school for lunch and long study sessions in the library. I never eat any of these cookies, partly because I have so many leftover desserts from other baking experiments that Ben doesn’t eat (his sweet tooth is restricted to these two cookie flavors and cookies and cream ice cream), but mostly because Ben likes his cookies burned. Ben would prefer me to use the word “crispy” or “perfect” to describe his ideal cookie doneness, but I find it to be nothing short of cookie sacrilege. I bake Ben’s cookies four extra minutes, which in the cookie lifespan where even 30 seconds can make a difference, is tantamount to lighting the cookies on fire.
A serious baker and perfectionist, it pains me to burn cookies, even though I know Ben loves them this way. I refuse to post pictures of the overdone cookies on Instagram, and Ben is under strict orders to tell no one who sees him eating the cookies that I baked them. If someone asks, he is to deny it. He can create rumors all he wants that another woman is baking for him—better than the law student’s classmates suspecting that his food blogging wife can’t even make a batch of cookies without charring them. I have credibility to maintain!
Though I’m constantly dreaming up new ideas for sweet recipes to share here (Hazelnut Latte Chocolate Meringue Cookies or Avocado Ice Cream anyone?), I adore classic chocolate chip cookies with all of my heart. They satisfy me in a deep, homey way that few desserts can, but since Ben insists his that his chocolate chip cookies be inedible (I told you cookies are an incendiary topic), I rarely eat them.
Deciding I’d had enough of this burned cookie business, I elected to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies just for me, the way I would have my perfect chocolate chip cookie taste. Whole Wheat Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies are the result. Ladies and gentlemen, aside from that one time I made fresh margaritas during a snowstorm because I could, these Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies might just be the best thing I ever did for myself.
My recipe for Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies were inspired by the thick, chewy Double Tree Hotel Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (if you’d stayed at a Double Tree, you know the ones), but revamped to suit my ideal cookie preferences.
Why Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies are my perfect chocolate chip cookie. I know this is long but I put A LOT of thought into these cookies, and I wanted to share!
- Ooey-gooey, extra chewy. Sorry thin, crispy cookie lovers. I’m a proud member of camp chewy, so that’s what you’ll find here.
- All butter, all the way. Key for ultimate ooey-gooiness and the fullest flavor. I kept the quantity reasonable, so the cookies are rich without being greasy.
- More dark brown sugar than white. I adore the extra softness and depth dark brown sugar gives the cookies, but kept some white for proper structure. The ratio of sugars in the recipe reflects my cookie wishes.
- Deep, dark, good quality chocolate. I’m a dark chocolate lover to the core, and though I try to be budget conscience on the whole, life is simply too short for bad chocolate. Good quality chocolate chips are very important to creating the best-possible chocolate chip cookie, and treating yourself doesn’t require breaking the bank. I buy Ghirardelli chocolate chips in bulk when they go on sale at Target. They are about $.50 cents more expensive than the store brand this way, and I have never regretted a penny.
- Espresso. Though you can’t taste the coffee flavor in the cookies, the espresso intensifies the chocolate flavor. Try adding a ½ teaspoon of espresso powder to your next batch of chocolate chip cookies. It is magical!
- Cinnamon. A pinch for extra warmth. It’s subtle, but completely delectable and adds another dimension of flavor.
- Whole grains. Regular readers know I’m a serious advocate for incorporating whole grains wherever possible, but never at the expense of taste. These cookies are 100% whole grain, thanks to a combination of ground oats, which give the cookies extra body and chewiness (think Double Tree Hotel Cookie) and white whole wheat flour.
- Walnuts. Finely chopped, walnuts add an extra richness and toastiness to the cookies without overpowering them.
- Real deal vanilla. Vanilla anchors the chocolate and espresso, so no imitators please! We are baking cookies from scratch, so let’s do them justice shall we?
- Chill out. Allowing the dough to chill overnight in the fridge gives all of the above flavors time to get friendly, allows the wet and dry ingredients to fully incorporate, and results in a cookie of superior taste and texture. It’s worth planning ahead (and hiding the dough), but if you don’t have the time, even an hour makes a difference.
One seemingly odd ingredient you will see in the recipe is apple cider vinegar. I didn’t want to the cookies to be too sweet, but I knew I needed a certain ratio of sugar to give them the texture I wanted. I found a tip online to try adding a bit of apple cider vinegar, and it worked perfectly. I’d call it my best-kept cookie secret, except that the point of this post is to give those secrets away so that we can all enjoy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. A worthy cause indeed!
OK, now that I’ve given you the full spectrum of what makes Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies my idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, here is what you actually need to know: these cookies are out-of-control amazing.
I’m sorry, that wasn’t very food bloggerish of me. I should have written you a beautiful description about how these cookies have a perfectly soft and lightly chewy texture from the ground oats and brown sugar, deep dark chocolate flavor intensified by espresso, plus warmth from the cinnamon, toasted walnuts, and good quality vanilla—all while being not overly sweet and 100% whole grain.
Like I said out-of-control-amazing.
Though I know you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe of your own, I sincerely hope that you give my Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies a try. They still have the homey taste and feeling of the classic Toll House recipe, but with a little extra somethin’ somethin’ I think you’re going to love.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional but delicious)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- In a blender or food processor, grind oats until fine. Transfer to a small bowl, then stir together with the whole wheat flour. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, espresso powder, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Beat in the baking soda, vinegar, and egg.
- By hand, stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips and walnuts, just until combined. For the best results, cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, then bake for 9 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are barely beginning to brown. The cookies may appear underdone. Remove cookies from oven, let cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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