Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about pairs. So much of the world is replete with pairs. A pair of jeans, a pair of earrings, a pair of chopsticks, a pair of lungs, Bert and Ernie, Thelma and Louise, Mork and Mindy, Bo and Luke, Bono and The Edge, Ponch and Jon, Tarzan and Jane, Ben and Jerry, fish ‘n chips, PB&J, peaches and cream….you get the picture. But I really, truly cannot think of a pair I love more, than—Milk and Cookies.
Could anything be more perfect?
I’ve spoken before about how the tradition of after-school milk and cookies didn’t translate across the pond to Ireland. My beloved Irishman is making up for all those childhood years lost big time as an adult! To this day, watching him enjoy a simple snack of milk and cookies is like watching a Cirque de Soleil performance–-beyond fascinating. With delight in his eyes, he savors each cranny of melted chocolate, every leftover buttery crumb; he sips his milk, the way you would a fine wine, timing each sip as if he’s trained for it his whole life. It’s both hilarious and impossibly endearing.
This recipe for whole wheat dark chocolate chip cookies has emboldened him even further. “Come onnnnn, just one more; they’re good for us”. I give in. I love making these cookies GIGANTIC. I’m talking 4-5 inches round, almost the size of my entire hand. This allows for a crispy, outer edge before hitting the eye-rolling-to-the-back-of-the-head, soft, gooey center. You’ll want a napkin on hand for these monsters. I serve them warm, individually on a plate, and of course, paired with a tall glass of ice cold milk.
Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, yields 10-12 gigantic cookies
Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
I make small batches simply because I don’t trust myself (or my husband) enough!! But you can easily double the recipe. These are best eaten warm from the oven, or later that same day. Will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
Use the very best chocolate you can find. Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao, bittersweet dark is my go-to. I love adding rolled oats, nuts, orange zest, and/or dried cherries or cranberries, and of course, a sprinkling of good sea salt before baking; it elevates chocolate chip cookies from good, to great.
Music Pairing: Cookie Monster, C is for Cookie
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4 and 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1 tsp orange zest
- good sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back any bits of leftover grain. Add butter and sugars into bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. On low, mix until just blended, about 2 minutes. Add egg, mixing until combined. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture and blend on low until barely combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl.
Add chocolate, hazelnuts and zest to batter. Using a wooden spoon, mix until just combined. Scoop 1/3 cup mounds onto sheet, leaving 3 inches between them. You should fit 6 on a sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 18-22 minutes for the gigantic cookies and 16-20 minutes for smaller ones, rotating halfway through until cookies are evenly dark brown. Transfer the cookies, still on parchment, to the counter to cool.