Whole grain oat and rye flour, toasted pecans and dark chocolate come together to create one gooey cookie worth revisiting over and over again!
The Personal Stuff
“We talk about ‘filling’ the void, but we should talk about ‘nourishing’ ourselves instead.” This was a point that arose during the Wellness Disruptors Conference, I co-hosted as part of The Wild Rose Collective. My first though was “YES!” as the sentiment resonated within me. My second thought was cookies!
I recently had an afternoon lull, the kind I might normally try to fill with more work, more productivity, just more. I’d had a productive morning. The apartment was fairly clean. I’d attended to Julep’s needs, which meant, I had time to myself. I decided to nourish that time rather than fill it, and I thought of another speaker I had heard recently.
Joel Salatin, the famous farmer behind Polyface Farms, spoke at the Mother Earth New’s Fair about wealth beyond money. He counted eating well and trustworthy food amongst his definitions. He pointed to the merits of making one’s own food versus buying it in a box. Taking that to heart, I decided to nourish myself and my time by baking my own cookies, an activity I haven’t done “just because” in a while.
I baked cookies, so I wouldn’t buy them from the coffee shop where I often work. I baked cookies to use more complex flours and reap the benefits of whole grains. I baked cookies to use a cookbook that had been sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I baked cookies to smell the intense aroma of my homemade vanilla and the release of oils from toasting pecans, to spend an afternoon slowly appreciating the way the light entered the kitchen and the process of making something from scratch.
In short, I nourished rather than filled, and even though a cookie is still an indulgence, I dare say these homemade whole grain chocolate chip pecan cookies nourished me as well. I also will say, these are the best cookies I’ve ever made, and I’m not one for superlatives when it comes to blogging and recipes.
Just The Food Stuff
Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Adapted somewhat by pantry necessity and by a grainy curiosity from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. The original recipe comes from Avery Ruzicka, the baker behind Manresa Bread in California, and the result is a recipe with careful and precise instructions that yields the most fragrant, gooey cookies. I’m not one for superlatives in blogging & baking, but these are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made!
1 to 1 1/2 cups pecans
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 oz), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups rye flour
1 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped unsweetened chocolate (such as Guittard)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Spread the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Toss the walnuts and then continue to bake, tossing or stirring them every 2 minutes, until they’re golden brown and start to smell toasted, about 10 minutes. Keep a careful eye on them. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a plate to cool. Coarsely chop the pecans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar for about 2 minutes. The mixture should be barely fluffy and almost light brown in color. Be careful not to overmix.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes on low speed until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the bowl with the wet mixture in 2 additions. Switch to a spatula and gently incorporate the chocolate chunks and pecans into the cookie dough.
Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. For supersize cookies, grab an ice cream scoop or a large spoon and dump the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between the blobs of cookie dough. For more modest size cookies, plop a spoonful of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Grab a piece of parchment paper and using your palm or the bottom of a glass, slightly flatten each cookie. Refrigerate the prepared cookies for at least 1 hour before baking. (This will ensure a soft bake later on.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F degrees (160°C).
Bake the cookies until just barely baked through, 8 to 10 minutes for modest size cookies, 10 to 14 minutes for supersize cookies, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Move the baking sheets to wire racks. Let the cookies cool slightly. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The cookies will keep for several days and get even better a day or so later, although eating warm straight out of the oven is always encouraged.
Just The Dog Stuff:
She didn’t have much to do with the cookies, but she has everything to do with the theme of nourishment, so here’s a little bit of Julep too.