Here are my additions/substitutions to the classic recipe and why I believe they are better:
Coconut Oil: a HEALTHY source of saturated fat (via lauric acid & medium chain triglycerides- MCT) that can actually increase your good cholesterol (HDL). Not only can coconut oil be used for cooking but it's been used for skin care for centuries and is known to boost health if taken orally. Coconut oil is more stable than canola and other processed oils which means it doesn't denature (change form) as readily during cooking and doesn't go rancid (bad). This means that the nutrients are preserved and it doesn't wreak havoc on your body like other oils can. Plus it's a great topical skin moisturizer, boosts thyroid function and metabolism and has even been known to help people lose weight!
Coconut Palm Sugar: Made from the sap of coconut palm, this is a great replacement for traditional white sugar. Coconut sugar has a low-glycemic index, which means that it doesn't send your blood sugar skyrocketing like regular sugar does. This is due to its make up of about 70-79% sucrose and only about 3-9% fructose and glucose. (The fructose and glucose are the things to stay away from.) But this is still sugar and has the same amount of calories as white sugar, so don't go overboard! It has more of a caramel flavor and can slightly change the taste of your recipes, but I like the upscaled taste. I usually substitute 1/2 of any white sugar in my recipes with no issues.
Vanilla Sugar: So it's not really a healthier item, I just like making my own vanilla sugar and using it in recipes. To make your own, scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean and add about 2 cups sugar. Whip in food processor until incorporated. Save in airtight container. Keeps for several months.
Instant Coffee Granules: And just when you think chocolate chip cookies couldn't be any better, just throw some coffee in! I absolutely love that hint of dark, roasted nuttiness that you get every so often. You should have these on hand for power outages, camping trips or for a quick pick-me-up when you don't feel like brewing a whole cup. Our favorite brand is 100% Arabica Urtekram Instantkaffe-- a Danish brand that my brother-in-law picks up while on his travels. But I suppose you could use any high-quality, 100% Arabica granules. :)
Himalayan Salt: Known as the "purest salt on earth" and "white gold", Himalayan salt contains all of the 84 elements found in the human body. Which means it contributes healthy, natural minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, essential electrolytes to be replenished when you exercise heavily. Whereas, table salt is made up of 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents and iodine. The table salt that most people use is heavily processed, not to mention it has aluminum added so it "rains when it pours". Known to contribute to autism, thyroid problems and Alzheimer's aluminum is toxic to the body. Himalayan salt is mined by hand and hand washed. It contributes the perfect amount of saltiness to your meals and you actually need less because it's so good.
Soy-, Dairy- & Nut-free Chocolate: Not only is this chocolate great for those with allergies, it doesn't contain soy lethicin. Soy contains phytoestrogens which attach to estrogen in the body and interfere with their proper function. This can be good for preventing cancer but can also inhibit proper hormone function. This can negatively affect infants, growing children (especially girls) and even grown men (reducing sperm count). Not to mention, most soy is GMO (genetically modified organisms)--some lab has changed the genetic makeup of the original crop by adding genes from other crops and even animals! Proponents of GMO-crops claim they are "improving" the crop by making it resistant to pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers or even weather. But this often means that conventional farmers can simply pour more toxins on the crops without killing them and YOU get to eat the chemicals later. So not only are you eating a genetically modified substance --not natural--- you are also consuming pounds of chemicals every year. There are conflicting studies on the benefits of soy. Fermented soy seems to be less harmful to the hormones and organic soy is a must if you are to consume it at all, but you should probably limit the amount of soy you eat period.
Ground Flaxseed: Freshly ground flaxseed contributes a light, nutty flavor and is a great source of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), the precursor to omega-3's--the healthy fats we all need in our diets daily. Note: Flaxseed oil is not a good substitute as it goes rancid (bad) too fast and is missing the healthy lignans present in the whole form. Lignans are another class of phytoestrogens that are known to prevent cancers.
And now, for the recipe:
O r g a n i c C h o c o l a t e C h i p C o o k i e s
Yields: About 4 dozen small cookies (if using mini ice cream scoop)
*Chef's Tip: For the absolute best-tasting and best-for-you cookie, use all organic ingredients. To be a better cook and avoid mishaps like forgetting an ingredient -- not that I have ever done that :) -- Always read the entire recipe and measure out ALL of the ingredients before you start.
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened/room temp
1/2 c coconut sugar (or can use brown sugar)
1/2 c white cane sugar
1 T vanilla sugar (optional)
2 organic eggs, room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract + 1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
all-purpose flour1/4 c + 2 T
1 tsp baking soda (non-aluminum)
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 T flaxseed, finely crushed
1 heaping tsp instant coffee granules
3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your pan(s).
*Tip: For easy clean up, use compostable, non-bleached parchment paper. Once you've scarfed down, I mean, politely eaten the cookies, you can shred the paper and place it in your compost bucket. Don't have a compost bucket? You should! Composting is liquid gold recycled just for your garden! It's super easy, surprisingly fun and makes for a smaller trash bin. (I should really write on composting this spring when it thaws out enough to hop back into my garden.)
1. Cream butter, oil and sugars together, until light and fluffy.
If you forget to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, like I often forget to do, just put it in your apron pocket while you are measuring out the ingredients. Don't wear an apron, put it in your husbands pants pocket as he washes dishes. (Yes, that actually happened the other night when I was making these. If you have a sweet husband like I do, he won't mind a bit!)
2. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until just incorporated.
Eggs are also better if they are at room temp. You can place the (uncracked) eggs in a small bowl with warm water until you are ready for them. Always crack eggs into a smaller, separate bowl before adding them, one-by-one to a recipe. Every once in a while, you will get a bad egg and could ruin the whole batch.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together (flour, soda, salt, flaxseed and coffee).
4. Slowly add dry ingredients to sugar, butter, egg mixture, scraping sides and mixing on "stir" or LOW.
5. Stir in chocolate chips until just incorporated.
I just use the "Stir" setting on my mixer, though you can also use a wooden spoon for this step.
6. Drop cookies onto prepared sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Do not overbake! Cool on wire rack. Eat with local fresh, raw milk--the best milk there is!
I use a small icecream scoop so that I have nice uniform-sized cookies. We usually make a small batch for eating immediately, then freeze the rest of the dough for later. Don't overbake! Everything will continue to bake after it comes out of the oven so take it out before you think it's done. If you are saving these for the next day, underbaking will ensure a moister cookie. Remember, we aren't using regular oil for these babies so they will be a little drier until you heat them up--called activating the butter, as with croissants.
Place silicone mat, parchment or wax paper on cold cookie tray. Scoop out cookie dough. Place tray in freezer for about an hour, or until solid. Put cute little dough balls in airtight container or Ziploc bag. Store in freezer. You may have to cook frozen cookies a minute or two longer.