Thursday, September 13, 2012

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had an odd craving today for chocolate chip cookies. Probably because I had to get into the freezer for something and saw the chocolate chips. Who knows?

So I got hunting around on the internet for a recipe, but none of them looked appetizing. Either too grainy, or spread too much. I've made enough batches of cookies to know that the proportions of wet to dry/ fat to sugar have to be right or they won't work well. I wanted chewy, but dry so I could dip them in milk if I wanted without them falling apart. I wanted them to hold their shape, and maybe taste good in the process.

So I sat and looked at the flours that I have. Oat, almond meal, coconut, all-purpose, and whole wheat pastry... Almond meal tends to be grainier. Coconut absorbs liquid better so you need less flour altogether. Oat is cheap because I grind up my own oats and has a chewy texture with nice flavor. And whole wheat pastry is finer than regular whole wheat yet still has fiber! So this one isn't really gluten free, but if that's what you need, you can substitute more oat flour or something.

* A note about sugar substitutes: The reason I have several different kinds and use them, is that when you mix different sugar alcohols, the combined effect is greater and therefore you can use less. This is a good thing if you tend to be sensitive to them and don't want an upset stomach or random gas in public areas... Just saying. If you prefer to use the Splenda for Baking, both white and brown varieties, that would work just as well. Use what the package tells you would be equal to 3/4 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup brown. Note though that both the calories and carbs would be higher. I could barely taste any artificial sweetening with my mix though, and I used all store brand sweeteners.

**A note about mixing flours: Mixing flours allows you to get a better texture and flavor. Coconut flour is cheaper than almond meal flour. Whole wheat pastry I found at Fred Meyer's bulk section by all the health foods, although you can buy it by the bag with the Bob's Red Mill fancier flours or Hodgson's Mill - both brands do a larger bag. Oat flour is even cheaper because you can literally just throw some old fashioned rolled oats in a blender or food processor and whiz it around until it's powdery!

Alright, before you keel over with boredom, here it is!

1/2 cup butter (yes, higher calorie, but no more than margarine and no trans fats. So there. You need it to hold the structure of the dough. Trust me.)
1/4 cup granulated stevia
1/4 cup granulated splenda
1/2 cup brown sugar substitue (I used a granulated xylitol/molasses mixture I got at Fred Meyer.)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (if needed) whole wheat pastry flour (A finer ground flour, unless you want grainy cookies.)
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (to stabilize the dough)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream your butter and "sugars" together. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla and mix in.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours (just the first 1/2 cup of wheat flour), xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet mixture and combine. Let sit for a couple minutes to let the coconut flour absorb in. If it seems too sticky after waiting, go ahead and add in the other 2 tbsp of whole wheat pastry flour.

Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough should be stiff. We are doing small cookies, so you really don't need more than the 1/2 cup of chocolate.

Preheat your oven to 350. Place your cookie dough on the sheet, I lined mine with one of those silicone baking mats, by the heaping tbsp. You'll have to flatten the cookies a little before baking, they won't spread. At all. Bake for 8-9 minutes. They'll get a little brown, but not a lot. This is just when I noticed the bottoms browned on my silicone and that they weren't wet squishy when I pressed on them. They stayed softer even after cooling, which I did on a wire rack, removing from pan immediately so they didn't over-bake.

I was able to get 30 cookies out of my batch, so I did nutrition info based on that. I'll give the batch info too, in case you do bigger or smaller cookies. But mine ended up pretty small, 2 inches across and 1/2 inch tall... ish.

Per cookie: 66 calories
                  4 grams fat
                  6.3 carbs
                  1.4 fiber

Per batch: 1,977 calories  (still less than some hamburger meals!)
                 120 grams fat
                  188 carbs
                  40.5 fiber

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