Monday, September 12, 2011

Nutritious Cookies: Take 1 (AKA "Mommy, this chocolate tastes bad.")

I have been wanting to try these cookies since stumbling upon them on a random webquest for healthy cookies. (Worth a shot, right?).  When a friend later posted this recipe on a discussion thread we were having regarding healthy eating tips (Mahalo Kelly for the inspiration!), I decided it had been fated and to Whole Foods I must go!  I have to admit that I tend to avoid Whole Foods.  Something about that store just sends me into the grocery version of a shark's feeding frenzy.  I can lose hours in there, circling the beautifully displayed culinary treasures, poring over labels and generally salivating over everything.  Inevitably, however, I walk out of the store with one bag of random items that in no way adds up to a meal despite adding up to a small fortune. (By the way, if you haven't already you have got to check out this hilarious video: Whole Foods Parking Lot.  "Pay my 80 bucks for six things and get the heck out."  Love it.  I can so relate.)

Anyhow, after biting the bullet and loading up on goodies I never knew existed like PopChips and Earth Balance, life kind of took over and somehow the Earth Balance fell into the abyss that is the back corner of my fridge, the dry ingredients huddled together in a paper bag in the pantry corner.  Today, however, I came up for air from a few crazy weeks of moving and new school year madness to discover that I felt like baking.  Nutritious cookies here I come!

Um, those cranberries are so not part of the recipe (although they are delicious) but somehow made it into the shot since they were still tucked in my Whole Foods goodie bag.
The original recipe for these cookies comes from a fabulous site called The Runner's Kitchen.  This chick can cook and run.  So what if she is running 6 miles as a warm-up and I tend to top off at 5?  I deserve healthy cookies too, right?  Right?

Okay so I pretty much followed her recipe for what she calls The Best Vegan Cookies. . .ever! except that since I wanted to try and stick with my low-sugar-and-whole-wheat-whenever-plausible credo so I used spelt pretzels, whole wheat flour instead of white and 100% cacao chopped into little pieces instead of semisweet chips.

Good news: Making these cookies is actually super fun.  Between the crushing of PopChips and the crunching of the pretzels, I was right back at the preschool sensory table.  I am also a huge fan of the salty and sweet combo so the pretzels mixed with the sugar was a sure thing for me.  Additionally, with ingredients like ground flax seed, hazelnuts and oats, these cookies have a lot of nutritional punch, which makes me feel good about serving them to my family.

Bad news: I so should not have used 100% cacao. I was hoping the sugar in the recipe (which was, in my opinion, a considerable amount) would coat the chocolate and compensate but alas, the chocolate chunks remained super bitter.  While the rest of the cookie was definitely tasty, eating around the chocolate (an act I consider something akin to sacrilege) was a little like tip-toeing through a mine field.  Siena was not amused.  I never thought any child of mine would utter the words: "Mommy, this chocolate tastes bad. I need some water."  I actually resorted to coating one in sugar for her and serving it with a side of bananas as a sort of palette cleanser.  What has become of me?

Mmm. . .cookie!
What the heck?!?
Get this stuff off of my tongue!
Translation: Don't ever bake for me again!
Ah well.  This is where the fun starts.  This is when the real road test begins.  Back to the drawing board to tweak and design my own version of a tasty and nutritious chocolate chip cookie.  Hopefully by next weekend Siena will be back to trusting my baking. . .any ideas friends?

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