You’ve all had a “healthy” cookie before, right? “Healthy” cookies are what happens when some well-intentioned person tries to adapt a perfectly decadent recipe and ruins it. My response to these, ahem, treats is usually along the lines of “Wow. Not bad! But you know what I’m really craving now? A cookie.” It almost like a tease: here’s something that vaguely resembles a cookie and yet will not taste good like a cookie.
The cookie conundrum, as I have just now dubbed it, will show you that there are exactly two types of people in the world. No, not men and women, sillies. I’m talking about the if-you-want-a-cookie-eat-a-freakin’-cookie camp vs. the sugar-is-the-devil-and-must-be-avoided-at-all-costs camp. The former will have you eating cookie dough out of the bowl if that’s what you really want (and ignoring the documented addictive powers of the sugar/white flour/fat combo) and the latter will have you eating faux cookies and feeling virtuous (and ignoring that the documented consequence of too much restriction is bingeing).
But Reader Gretchen called my theory into question this last week when she brought me cookies. They oozed dark chocolate and were chewy like a brownie but with a slightly crisp top. I was sure they were baked by the Devil himself in an oven fueled by the lost souls of desperate dieters. And then she gave me the recipe. It wasn’t just “healthy” it was healthy!
Just to be sure she wasn’t messing with me, I made a batch myself and took them to Sensei Don’s house for my Karate lessons (that you know I’m still taking!). Everyone liked them. They even passed the muster of his pregnant wife.
And you know they must be something special if I a) bothered to cook them (we’ve covered my supreme lack of culinary ability) and b) bothered to post the recipe here. This is a Great Fitness Experiment first! In almost a year and a half of doing this blog I have never ever posted a recipe. (My lack of step-by-step artful food pictures should tip you off to my status as a food blogger noob.)
So with Reader Gretchen’s permission here’s her recipe for chewy chocolate cookies:
Cooking spray or silicone baking sheets
6 0z. dark chocolate broken up
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sweetener (see note*)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
1. Preheat oven to 375 and prepare cookie sheets.
2. Place chocolate in microwavable bowl and heat on high until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally.
3. Using a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks (Charlotte’s note: when working with egg whites don’t use a plastic bowl or utensils); gradually beat in 1 cup sweetener and continue beating until mixture appears creamy; add vanilla.
4. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup sweetener, cocoa and arrowroot powder (or corn starch); then beat into egg whites on low speed.
5. Stir in warm chocolate and continue stirring gently until mixture thickens.
6. Place rounded tbsps of batter onto sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Don’t overcook. Cool for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. Makes 24 cookies.
*Note: Gretchen used sucanat – a natural sugar that is as caloric as sugar. I used Stevia, a plant extract that has no calories. You could also use brown sugar or Splenda or any combination of the above that you would like. Just be sure to adjust the proportions accordingly (i.e. I used 1/3 amount of the Stevia because it’s sweeter than sugar. Splenda, I believe, measures cup for cup.)
If you use a non-caloric sweetener: 20 calories, 1g fat, 2.5 carb, 0.8g sugar, 1g protein
If you use brown sugar or sucanat: 65 calories, 1g fat, 11.3 carb, 10.5g sugar, 1g protein
So tell me which camp you fall in – do you like your cookies unadulterated or will you healthify a good recipe so you can eat more of it?