I know what you're likely thinking: "Ummm...the words 'whole wheat' and 'chocolate chip cookies' don't really go together. Doesn't sound promising. No thankyouverymuch." I understand. Those are the thoughts that I had as I entertained using this recipe for Saturday Snacks. Stick with me, friends.
I have never in my live-long days baked anything with whole wheat flour. I'm not sure why, but I just never have. That ends today. And, because we're all about Walt Disney World cookie recipes 'round here at Saturday Snacks, I figured that we can't leave one un-made. It's our duty to grab that whole wheat flour off of the store shelf and give the Contemporary Resort's Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe a try, even if we're just a tad unsure as to what the end result might be, right?
If you've ever stopped by Contempo Cafe, located on the 4th floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort, you know the magic that the resort's bakery team can do. The cafe's bakery case is filled with inventive and delicious baked goods, and it's with this in mind that I approached this weekend's recipe. They've set a high bar over the years, and I was hoping for warm, chocolatey cookies that would continue the trend, all from the comfort of my very own kitchen. And, speaking of comfort, surely I'm not the only one here who finds great comfort in a container filled with freshly made chocolate chip cookies sitting on the kitchen counter. Tell me I'm not alone.
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Our ingredients for today's cookies are pretty basic, with whole wheat flour and mini chocolate chips being the two things that I needed to pick up at the store.
From the research that I did in preparation for today's recipe, I learned that whole wheat flour has a higher protein content than our old faithful all-purpose variety. It's a flour made from the entire wheat kernel (thus the name), and it tends to need time to hydrate when it's used in a recipe. Knowing about the whole hydration thing, I wasn't surprised when the recipe called for the dough to chill in the fridge for an hour. But let's not skip too far ahead. If you want to read up on all things comparative analysis of whole wheat flour versus all-purpose flour, click here.
The first step in prepping for the recipe is to pull two sticks of unsalted butter out of the fridge. The butter needs to be softened for the recipe, and leaving those little babies out on the counter in advance is the best sure-fire way to get the butter where you need it to be. That being said, if you're in a pinch, you can pop the sticks in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds or so. But if you go the microwave route, stay near and check it constantly so that you're not left with a big puddle of melted butter. Been there, done that.
Toss your two sticks of softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer). The recipe now calls for us to add the sugar and beat the butter and sugar for 4 or 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. What isn't specified is that you need to add both sugars at this point. I've edited the recipe below to reflect that this is the time to toss in 1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar as well as 1 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Turn on that mixer and let it work its magic for the required 4 or 5 minutes.
Once the butter and sugar combo reaches the light and fluffy stage, toss in 2 eggs and beat the mixture for an additional 2 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, we now need to whisk together 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, half of a cup of all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Grab that whisk and give everything in the bowl a swish to make sure that the dry ingredients are fully combined. It was so interesting to note the very light brown color and somewhat grainy appearance of the whole wheat flour.
When we're called to add a bit of flour at a time to the wet ingredients of just about any recipe, I'm usually a stop-the-mixer-and-add-just-a-bit-and-start-the-whole-thing-back-up-and-repeat type of baker. I don't want cascading flour all over my counters, but, in the middle of making this recipe, I decided to try to keep the beater moving and add just a teeny bit here and there, and it did a better job of keeping the flour in the bowl. Yay!
Once the flour mixture and the butter/sugar mixture are completely blended, those fantastic little mini chocolate chips get added in. The required 1 1/2 cups equalled the entire bag for me, but I did sneak an extra chip or two to snack on. It's a must.
Mix everything just a bit and refrigerate the dough for an hour. I covered my mixer bowl with foil, popped it into the fridge, and promptly set the timer. Just look at that yummy dough. At this point, my hope that this recipe would result in delicious cookies was getting higher.
After placing the dough into the fridge to chill, I began cleaning up the kitchen. It was then that I saw the little bottle of vanilla extract sitting on my counter. WAIT JUST A SECOND. I quickly looked at my computer and scrambled through the recipe looking for that vanilla, and found that it was missing entirely from the step-by-step instructions.
After a bit of AUGHHHH over the fact that another Disney recipe was incomplete (I may have muttered something about someone being asleep in Quality Control), I quickly pulled the dough out of the refrigerator, washed the beater (because I had already placed it in the sink with the other dirty dishes), and added in that missing 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Ideally, the vanilla would be added to the butter/sugar mixture earlier in the whole shebang, but adding it at the end would just have to do in this case. I've edited the recipe below to note when to add it.
Back into the fridge the whole thing went. Deep, cleansing breath...
After an hour, the dough came out of the fridge, and I placed heaping tablespoons of it onto two baking sheets. The recipe asks us to keep the dough balls about 2 inches apart, so I was mindful to do just that.
The recipe calls for us to allow the cookies to bake in a 350-degree oven for 9 to 11 minutes. At the 9-minute mark, my cookies were formed but very, very underdone in the middle. They went back into the oven for an additional 2 minutes.
At the 11-minute mark, the most delightful-looking cookies emerged from the oven. They certainly looked delicious, but how would they taste? I was admittedly still a bit nervous about the whole whole wheat thing.
Dear friends, you and I can put to rest any reservations that we had regarding whole wheat flour. After letting them cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes like the recipe recommends, and letting them continue cooling on a baking rack, I dug into them. And I have to say that they are amazing. Simply amazing.
The cookies have the perfect texture: just a bit of a crisp exterior with all of the ooey gooey chewiness that you want on the inside.
The whole wheat flour does lend a slightly nutty taste, as Disney mentioned when the recipe was released, but it's in no way overpowering. The end result is a rich flavor, with a slight hint of the wheat texture you might expect. The flour also produces cookies that aren't as puffy, but in this case, that wasn't a negative at all. And the use of mini chocolate chips ensures that the chocolate is evenly dispersed throughout each cookie.
This one's a hands-down winner, and I'm so glad that I didn't let my doubts about using whole wheat flour keep me from giving this recipe a try. And it's only 9:22am and I've already had one this morning, so that's saying something. It's the weekend; we can have cookies for breakfast, right?
I hope that your weekend is filled with adventure. And chocolate, of course. Thanks so much for reading and sharing a bit of your weekend with me. Make it a great one!
Ready to grab that whole wheat flour and give these cookies a try? The recipe is below:
From Disney's Contemporary Resort Bakery at Walt Disney World Resort
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies MAKES 60 COOKIES
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
- Beat butter and sugar [both brown and powdered] together in large bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, beating until very well combined, about 2 minutes more. ADD THE VANILLA. Ahem.
- Whisk together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose
flour, salt, and baking soda in large bowl.
- Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing
just until combined.
- Add chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
Refrigerate dough 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Scoop dough by the tablespoon onto prepared
cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake 9 to
12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie
sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to
Source: Disney Parks Blog