Chocolate Chip Cookie Love
Are you a chocolate chip cookie lover? Do you have a favorite recipe that you go to over and over? I think that chocolate chip cookies are a very personal thing. Some people like them thin and crispy, some like them soft and gooey, some like them with little to no chocolate chips (!), some like them packed full of goodies. And some people like them any and all ways, it might just depend on the craving of the moment.
For years my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies has been the classic Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie. I’ve made just a few modifications over the years that I stick to religiously: add a teaspoon of cinnamon, don’t pack the brown sugar, add a little extra flour, and sometimes add up to 1 cup oatmeal! Since I’ve married Hubby, adding in butterscotch chips is now also a must 🙂
You can find a link to this original recipe HERE. And if you have never tried them, you should do it today!
On my venture for better health this year, however, cookies have fallen by the wayside. But a girl (and her hubby) can only live so long without chocolate chip cookies! And so for the last few months I have been trying several different substitutions to cut back on calories, fat, sugar, carbs. But still maintain a yummy cookie taste and texture. I wanted to share some of the substitutions I’ve tried, in case you are in a baking exploratory mode as well. Or maybe you’ve been searching for a healthier chocolate chip cookie recipe you can add to your baking repertoire. Well, perhaps my ideas below will get your own creative juices flowing. I’d love to hear what you’ve tried as “healthy” substitutes in some of your baking recipes!
I’ve also landed on an EXCELLENT modified “healthy twist” recipe that I wanted to share – you’ll find it at the end. It has become my new go-to!
The classic recipe calls for 1 cup of unsalted butter. I’ve tried different substitutions for up to half of this fat. Here’s a list of substitutions I’ve tried for 1/2 cup of butter:
- 8 oz avocado (!) Yep, I tried this, and it worked! It made the color of the cookies a little off, and they did taste more “healthy,” but overall texture and flavor was pretty good.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. After trying this, I prefer it to the avocado in both final taste and texture. It also cuts out more calories, so added bonus there!
- Coconut oil. Most recently I’ve been substituting 1/2 cup of coconut oil for the 1/2 cup butter, and then still subbing in applesauce for the other 1/2 cup butter. I’ve also tipped this from half and half to one third/two thirds and it turns out nearly the same. See recipe at the end!
Eggs are also found in the classic recipe, and I’ve tried substituting egg whites instead – 4 tablespoons egg whites for 1 egg. Try substituting in for just one, or both!
The easiest way to cut back on sugar is to simply reduce how much you use.
- The classic recipe uses 3/4 each granulated and light brown sugar. I have regularly cut this back to 1/2 cup each, and you’d never know!
- I’ve also substituted 100g Medjool dates (softened in hot water and blended to a paste) for the full 1 cup of sugar (1/2 cup each granulated and brown). This is a good option if you are trying to cut back on processed or refined sugars. I found that it worked quite well, and added in plenty of sweet. You do need to cut back on some moisture somewhere else to account for the “paste” of the dates. If you are using applesauce as a fat substitute, you can reduce that amount by about half.
- Measure the chocolate chips! You might find you don’t need as many to still get a well-balanced dough.
The Flours (whole grains, carbs)
I’ve also played around with different flour combinations to cut back on carbs, and add in some extra whole grains. Almond flour, while not lower in calories, is much lower in carbs that all purpose or whole wheat flour. And substituted in at less than half the total flour volume it doesn’t impact texture at all that I’ve noticed. I’ve also read a lot about whole wheat flour substitutions, and what most people say is that substituting up to half the volume of all purpose flour with whole wheat flour won’t impact the final texture/density. So I like to use a combination of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and almond flour. With some bonus old fashioned oatmeal for texture and whole grains.
The Healthy Twist
So… putting it all together, here’s the twist for a healthier chocolate chip cookie that I’ve settled on lately. It’s a real winner, and one I hope you’ll try as well! Compare it with the nutrition breakdown of the original Nestle Toll House recipe. My goal was to get a cookie close to 100 calories, and this does it, without sacrificing flavor.
- new -vs- old
- Calories: 106 -vs- 160
- Fat: 5g -vs- 8g
- Carbs: 14g -vs- 20g
- Protein: 2g -vs- 2g
- Fiber: 1g -vs- 1g
- Sugar: 9g -vs- 14g
Ready? Give this one a whirl! For another creative twist – check out my banana coconut chocolate chip cookie recipe!