Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most of us have come to terms with the idea that white flour is the devil, but when it comes to baking, kicking the powder habit is tough. Baking from scratch requires a considerable amount of effort and anything less than optimal results can be a real disappointment.

Fear of failure is not an adequate excuse. (so I tell myself)

To get that monkey off your back, I suggest taking it one baked good at a time.

My first whole wheat attempt was with these chocolate chip cookies, and I’ve got to say that I like them more than the original.
 There are many types of whole wheat flours out there, so I decided to dip my toe in the WW world with Trader Joe’s White Whole Wheat Flour.
This flour is milled from naturally occurring albino wheat. It’s like training wheels in the WW world because it has more nutrients than refined, white flour, but it doesn’t have the strong flavors and leavening issues associated with traditional red flours.

Because I’m sure it was tested by a team of chefs and fed to a whole bunch of focus groups, I used the cookie recipe on the side of the flour bag. You know what they say, “Never be afraid to mimic success.”

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 /2 granulated sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 12oz package semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Blend well and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter adding brown and granulated sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until creamy.
Add flour mixture to the large bowl and blend well.
Mix in chocolate and nuts.
Drop round teaspoons of mixture onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.
Makes 30 cookies

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Gomen Somen

Gomen means sorry in Japanese (i.e. Gomen, I broke your eggbeater).

Somen rhymes with gomen.

On this very hot day (yesterday really), I would like to apologize for disappearing from the blogosphere by offering up Japanese somen noodles. They are cold, require very little time and almost zero effort—ordering drive thru is tougher.

For those unfamiliar with Japanese food, somen is a great gateway drug.

The most popular way to eat the thin, wheat based noodles is to dip them into a cold, savory soup. This is the first Japanese food I learned to cook and eat, and I still make it all the time.

Gomen, I was a negligent blogger, but I hope these noodles will make amends.

1 noodle bunch
¼ cup somen soup base
¼ cup water
1 green onion (chopped)
(serves one)

Boil noodles according to instructions on package.

Drain noodles, rinsing under cold water until all noodles are cold.

If you want really cold noodles, toss a few ice cubes into the bowl.

Mix somen soup base and water in a small bowel. (Each diner should have their own soup bowl)

Eating instructions

Step 1
Season your soup—some like to use wasabi or ginger, but I keep it simple with green onion.

Step 2
Grab a bunch of noodles with your chopsticks and dump them in the soup

Step 3
Fish some noodles from the bowl and eat. Be sure to slurp. Slurping shows appreciation to the chef.

*Somen and soup base can be found in the Japanese section of Asian food stores and in some supermarkets.

More super simple summer dishes are to come. Click here to have them sent directly to your email for free.