Monday, September 7, 2015

"Cheesecake" Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I think the start of school has infiltrated my brain - I can't seem to get out of the habit of anything and everything chocolate chip cookie-ish these days! Really, though, who can blame me - there really isn't anything I can think of that's quite as comforting and quintessentially "childhood" as a chocolate chip cookie (with or without a glass of milk).

Now, I grew up with my fair share of storebought, crunchy/crumbly "Mister" type cookies in the cupboard, but I never experienced a real craving for any cookie unless our old, mouse-shaped cookie jar had a belly full of homemade, crisp-chewy chippers made on the weekend by Mom. I've said before (again and again) how there's no way I'll ever recreate that "touch" Mom had with her cookies - she says it's because I'm too trained in the ways of the kitchen and know too much about the science of baking to make them like her (AKA as per the recipe, verbatim), but that never stopped me from churning out a dozen (or more) iterations of the classic anyways.

"Cheesecake" Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This time around, and still thinking about semi-nutritious after-school snack (or in-class bribery) options for my elementary kids, I went the protein-heavy route. These decadent, slightly cakey, tender cookies get a rich, mildly creamy-tasting body (and a hefty dose of calcium and protein) from cottage cheese, whey powder and protein-fortified milk. For extra "nutty" or "toasty" flavour, I opted for nutritious chickpea and oat flour, both of which bake up into golden brown, gorgeous-tasting dough. A whack of chopped, high-quality milk chocolate added the "childhood" whimsy and taste I associated with corner-store indulgences growing up. It was like an afternoon with my neighbourhood friends in a freshly baked mouthful!

Okay, okay, I'll admit it - I couldn't truly bring myself to use the 2 / $1 candy bars we used to buy at the corner store when I was 10. I may have gone for something a touch more high-quality - not extravagant, just not chintzy. But you get my drift... milk chocolate = childhood memories = nostalgia = good times. Why not just eat the cookies, and think later?

"Cheesecake" Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 20
¼ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 packets Truvia (or 2 tbsp sugar)
⅔ cup low-fat cottage cheese, pureed
⅓ cup protein-fortified “milk” beverage (I used Milk 2 Go Sport, which had 26g of protein / 325mL)
1 tbsp vanilla
¼ cup chickpea flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup oat flour
¼ cup plain whey protein isolate
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup chopped milk chocolate (decent quality, please and thank you)
  1. In a bowl, beat together the shortening, coconut oil, sugars and Truvia until well blended.
  2. Add the cottage cheese, protein-fortified “milk” beverage, vanilla and chickpea flour, beating well.
  3. Add the flours, whey isolate, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix to combine.
  4. Fold in the chocolate.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic and chill 1 hour, or up to 3 days. You can also scoop balls of dough onto lined trays immediately after mixing and freeze for later baking - something I love doing for the holidays!
  6. Heat the oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment or SilPat.
  7. Scoop 20 balls of dough onto the sheets, flattening slightly.
  8. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 154.0
Total Fat: 8.5 g
Cholesterol: 2.2 mg
Sodium: 37.2 mg
Total Carbs: 16.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 4.7 g