Zucchini-Oat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_5346

I will make almost any excuse to whip up a batch of cookies. I love to make “cheer-you-up” cookies, “thank you” cookies, and the ever-popular “I should be studying” cookies. So it really was not a surprise that I thought of the wonderful idea of making a big batch of cookies to bring a presentation I was giving this week. There was just one snafu regarding my masterful plan…

I was lecturing on the obesity epidemic.

Yes, I was planning on serving cookies to my audience and then speaking to them about the causes, issues, and potential interventions for obesity in the United States and worldwide. Not exactly the most appetite-inducing speech, and one more akin to a small bag of mixed nuts or an apple than cookies. But with my passion for cookie-making overriding my rational brain, I told myself that I would find a healthier cookie recipe. And thanks to the creatively over at Nestlé, I found my cookie inspiration.

IMG_5348

Zucchini-oat dark chocolate chip cookies. It’s a mouthful to say and the cookies themselves turned out to be a nutritious mouthful of yum . The texture is soft inside because of the zucchini, but crisp on the outside and oh-so chocolatey. I cut out some of the flour by making flour from rolled oats, and the sugar and butter are greatly reduced compared to the typical chocolate chip cookie recipe. Add a healthy dose of nutrients from the almonds and antioxidants from the dark chocolate chips, and I must say these cookies actually pack quite a nutritional punch in a small and delicious package.

Turns out the cookie was a crowd-pleaser, and the perfect accompaniment to my presentation. No excuses needed for whipping up a batch of zucchini-oat dark chocolate chip cookies!

Zucchini-Oat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from the Nestlé recipe)

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup oat flour (made from rolled oats in blender)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
  • 1 2/3 cups (10 oz. package) of dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. For oat flour: place about 1 cup of rolled oats into a blender. Blend until oats resemble flour.
  3. Combine both flours, cinnamon, and baking soda into a bowl.
  4. In separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add zucchini, and then slowly add dry mixture. Stir in oats, nuts, and dark chocolate chips.
  5. Place teaspoon-sized cookie dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Leave 2 inches between each cookie.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes (I baked the cookies for 11-12 minutes)
  7. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheets for a few minutes. Place cookies on a plate or wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in container at room temperature.
  9. Enjoy!

M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

Disclaimer: these cookies are not meant to be healthy. Thus I will not advertise them as such. But goodness gracious are they good!

IMG_4181 IMG_4182

I made this delicious batch of goodness following the submission of a paper and it was really the greatest reward I could have given myself. The cookie is soft and chewy and all sorts of chocolatey. The cookie dough also freezes well (I might have frozen half the cookie dough to consume at a later date).

 

IMG_4185

Head on over to Yammie’s Noshery for the recipe, you will be glad you did!

When I procrastinate, I bake cookies

I like to think of this behavior as “smart procrastination.” It all started in high school: I wouldn’t want to start working on my essay/studying/problem set…so I would make a batch of brownies for the family. By the time it was in the oven 15 minutes later I was finally ready to sit down and do schoolwork. It was the perfect way for me to center myself, and who doesn’t like a great study snack?

IMG_3662

 

 

I made these cookies this weekend to get myself psyched to study (which actually wasn’t that hard; it’s easy to study when you love what you’re learning!). Bite size and made with mini chocolate chips, they were the perfect snack to munch on while reading for class. I even cut the sugar in the recipe by reducing brown sugar by a third of a cup. I was reading for nutrition class, after all.

Whether you’re putting off a task or making a treat because you deserve it, these cookies are sure to please.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 2 dozen small cookies)

Ingredients:IMG_3659

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch (optional-but adds a nice texture to the cookie)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a bowl, blend butter, sugars, vanilla extract, and salt. This process is best done with a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Unless you want a really good arm workout. Mix until light and fluffy (which for me using a hand mixer took about 5 minutes).
  2. Add egg and continue mixing for another minute. Add dry ingredients slowly, so you do not have an explosion of flour all over your kitchen like I did. Mix in chocolate chips.
  3. I highly recommend this optional step: chill the dough. It really makes all the difference. Your cookies will come out chewy on the inside and firm on the outside once baked (essentially they will be perfect). Patience is a virtue: chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Place 2 tablespoon-sized mounds of cookie dough onto cookie sheets prepped with cooking spray or parchment paper. Bake cookies until golden, about 10-15 minutes. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before trying to move them (or, in my case, eat them). Cookies store well in container for 3 days.