Our rainy spring has turned into a rainy and cool summer here in the northeast. So that means our pool days have become “ummm, what on earth are we going to do today?” days. Because, you see, I have figured out the secret to staying sane with the kids at home over the summer: you must never stay home.
When you do, the leisurely breakfast that you’ve wanted to have all school year long gives way to bickering. To be followed by: yelling, crying, a time out, requests to watch a movie, and a spilled drink. And the clock now reads 8:51 AM. When you are lucky, they get involved with their toys or a project — which unfortunately always includes a deal with the devil on your part (i.e. the resulting clean up). You have visions of providing an enriching, relaxing summer experience and you find yourself spending every moment breaking up arguments, cleaning up toys, and checking the radar on The Weather Channel for a break in the storms.
It’s on days like this that I usually figure out a baking activity for my seven year old daughter while her brother (who is almost three) naps. I love having the one-on-one time with her on a rainy afternoon — and we generally have a lot of fun doing it. We’ve always done a lot of cooking together, but now that she is getting a little older I find myself really enjoying her presence in the kitchen. We have silly conversations and chat like friends do. I catch her licking the batter and she catches me doing the same. And we both end up eating too much of the final product.
So, a few days ago we decided to make chocolate chip cookies. I’ve wanted to try a version with whole wheat flour and honey and this is what we came up with. They are super chewy and you’d never know they were whole wheat. And that is good when you realize that somehow a dozen cookies have disappeared from the cooling racks. It’s a *very* good thing that those days do not include bathing suits.
Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen
2 1/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup of butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of honey
1 t vanilla
2 eggs, at room temperature
8 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks (about 2 cups)
1. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream softened butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar and honey and mix on medium speed for a few minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, to butter/sugar mixture and mix well to incorporate. If the mixture starts to look broken or lumpy, just keep mixing and it will re-emulsify (the reason is the eggs were probably just a bit too cold). When both eggs are mixed in well, add vanilla and mix.
4. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three additions. Do not overmix (you can even use a wooden spoon to finish up the job).
5. Stir in chocolate chunks and make sure they are evenly distributed. Chill the dough for 20 minutes before baking (and actually the more you chill the dough, the less the cookies will spread — yielding a taller cookie).
6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.
7. Drop about one tablespoon of dough per cookie onto parchment-lined baking sheets (you should be able to fit about a dozen per sheet). Bake for 9-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sheets cool for 1-2 minutes and then transfer cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.