May 16, 2011

Carrie Vitt's Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I first started blogging, I finally felt like I had found the place in the universe where I could start being creative again. It had been so long since I had engaged in any creative pursuits, and it was beginning to wear on me. The last time I had picked up a camera was in high school. I spent my college years writing one research paper after another while I pursued my English degree. After I moved to Texas and got married, I worked full-time in jobs that mentally and emotionally exhausted me, and the last thing I thought of was doing something creative. But for the past six years, life has changed a lot for me. I'm home full-time. I realized how much I love cooking and baking. Once I discovered food blogs, I knew I wanted to write one of my own as well.

I noticed that most food bloggers were also on Twitter, so I opened an account, but didn't know how to use it right away. I almost deleted my account several times, but I resisted. Instead, I read Twitter's help page and paid attention to how the people I was following used Twitter. I slowly started participating and tweeting more often. I began introducing myself to other bloggers by sending them a short and friendly tweet. I still do this each time I begin following someone; it's been the best way to establish a genuine rapport with another blogger. As a result, I have become friendly with a lot of wonderful people. One of these people is Carrie Vitt. 

A few months ago, I discovered Carrie's lovely blog, Deliciously Organic, where she shares delicious and wholesome organic recipes with her readers. She made the switch to using all organic, unprocessed and unrefined ingredients in her cooking eight years ago, when she began experiencing debilitating migraine headaches. Through trial and error, she ultimately converted all of her favorite recipes and created new ones using solely organic and unprocessed ingredients, and her health improved drastically. She just recently published her first cookbook and I quickly made sure it was part of my collection. 

After reading Carrie's cookbook from cover to cover, I decided to make her Chocolate Chip Cookies first. It wasn't easy deciding, though...all her recipes sound fantastic. But since I have a weakness for a good chocolate chip cookie, that's the recipe I just had to start with, and it has become one of my favorites. The dough is made with a combination of ground rolled oats, whole wheat pastry flour and whole wheat flour. Since I am not the biggest fan of whole wheat flour, I used white whole wheat flour with excellent results. The combination of the oats and wheat flours gives these cookies a hearty texture. I also didn't have muscovado sugar, so I used organic whole cane sugar, also with great results. Cane sugar imparts depth of flavor without being cloying like white sugar, and it gave these cookies a rich sweetness that wasn't overpowering.

If cooking and baking with organic ingredients is something you are striving to do more of, I highly recommend Carrie's book. Not only is her book filled with delicious recipes, it also provides excellent overviews of whole foods and ingredients, tips on how to mindfully buy produce, meats and dairy products, and Carrie's practical method for gradually making the transition to an all-organic kitchen. I have started to implement Carrie's steps in my own kitchen and I can already taste the difference. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Deliciously Organic by Carrie Vitt

Since I like my chocolate chip cookies on the thick and chunky side, I chill the cookie dough overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours before baking.

1 cup rolled oats, finely ground in a food processor
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole cane sugar
1 cup muscovado sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the oats, whole wheat pastry flour, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the cane and muscovado sugars and beat until combined. Add in the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a rubber spatula.

Chill cookie dough for 3 hours or overnight {this is an optional step}. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop cookie dough into rounded mounds using a 2-inch scoop and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart (I get 12 cookies per baking sheet). Bake for 12-14 minutes, until just set and lightly browned around the edges and on top. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Comments (2)

What a great post. I can so relate to your feelings of feeling creative again. I know exactly what you mean. I have had my food blog 3 years now and came into blogging really by accident. It has completely changed my life in such a good way. Kinda seems crazy, but it's true.
I'm so happy you introduced yourself to me on Twitter! I am excited to see more of your space! I have heard lots of good things about this cookbook and really want it.

Posted by Aggie
05/20/11

What a sweet post! Thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad you enjoy the book and love the cookies as much as I do. It's been great chatting over twitter and I hope to meet face-to-face soon!

05/16/11
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