I have come to prefer using mini–chocolate chips in baked goods, but on this day, I had only the regular size at hand. My solution was to try to chop the regular-size chips in a mini-processor.
Bad idea: Most of the chips danced around the blade and only a bit of chocolate “dust” was produced. It and the chips went into the batter, but the dust had little detectable effect.
I baked the first batch as directed—at 350°F for about 15 minutes. My oven tends to be very hot, so I should have checked the cookies after about 10 minutes. That first half dozen came out a little dark, but they were certainly edible. I baked the remainder at 300°F for the appointed time, and they were perfect. At least I presume they were perfect: I brought them to work and they disappeared ver-r-ry quickly!
Wheat Germ Energy Cookies
(from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking cookbook)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted wheat germ
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
Using an electric mixer, preferably a large stand model (see “Take a Stand,” below), cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and the vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flours, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, about half at a time. Stir in the oats, raisins, chocolate chips, and nuts. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter two large baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. Using 1/4 cup of dough per cookie, shape the dough into balls. Place them on the baking sheets, leaving 3 inches in between. Bake one sheet at a time on the center oven rack for 15 to 17 minutes. When done, the cookies will be dome-shape and cracked and very soft to the touch. Do not overbake. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a rack and finish cooling. Makes 20 to 24 cookies.
Take a Stand
A stand mixer is a convenient tool when …
a recipe calls for a large amount of batter
a batter is sufficiently dense that a hand mixer may get bogged down
beating may take more than a couple minutes, and you want to avoid standing, holding a hand mixer, for a long time.
A stand mixer is not necessary to your success, but if you don’t have one, you might consider putting it on your wish list.