Last July I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies made with smart balance instead of butter. Nate claimed they were the best cookies I’ve ever made and has been asking me (constantly!) to make some more. I couldn’t recall the original recipe, but I knew the cookies had a chewy, puffy consistency (vs. flat and crispy). I based my cookies on Alton Brown’s recipe and discovered that shortening or margarine creates a puffy cookie, while butter produces a flatter and crisper texture. To further increase the “chew” factor, I used a greater ratio of brown sugar (1 cup) to white sugar (3/4 cup). The molasses in brown sugar adds moisture to the batter and adds an extra dimension to the overall flavor. Finally, I substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/4 cup corn starch for the cake flour (didn’t have any cake flour on hand). Different types of flours have varying gluten and protein contents, so cake flour, all-purpose, and bread flour can not be substituted 1:1. Cake flour has a lower gluten and protein content and thus produces baked goods with a lighter, fluffier consistency (think: angel food cake, puffy cookies). If you’re going to substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour, the general rule is to replace 2 Tb of all-purpose flour with 2 Tb cornstarch (per 1 cup measurement). And now on to the recipe!
- 1 cup smart balance
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the smart balance, sugar, and brown sugar in stand mixer, and cream until light and fluffy. In the meantime, combine flours, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
Add the eggs 1 at a time to the creamed mixture. Then add vanilla. Increase the speed until thoroughly incorporated.
With the mixer set to low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the smart balance mixture and combine well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough. Scoop onto silicone mat lined baking sheets, 6 per sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Halfway through baking time, rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool and store in an airtight-container.
Note: If you don’t bake the cookies on silicon mats, they may be done sooner. Also, these cookies bordered on crumbly, so next time I may bump up the smart balance and reduce the brown sugar a tad.