September 13, 2009

Sunflower Chip Cookies

I had the bright idea of adding chocolate covered sunflower seeds to these cookies when I was at Whole Foods picking up some spelt flour. You see, Borders is right next to Whole Foods and they sell chocolate covered sunflower seeds (street names: little drops of heaven, crack, sunflower chips). These things are so good but aren't too easy to come by around these here parts. Still, I don't know why I haven't thought of adding them to baked goods before. They really made these cookies.

As usual, I adapted this recipe. For some reason I have this problem. I cant just make a recipe as is; for better or for worse, I have to fiddle with it. And so fiddle I did. I changed up the flours, substituted agave (my first time baking with it!), nixed the molasses etc. etc.

Though I tried to make my ratios of wet to dry ingredients as similar as possible to the original recipe, for some reason my cookie batter was definitely on the wet side. I added a touch more flour and then thought about adding some more, but the mixing was causing the color of the sunflower chips to run. Reluctantly I stopped mixing and decided to proceed with the wet, sticky excuse for cookie batter I'd created.

It was a bit hard to shape them into rounds but being the perfectionist that I sometimes am, I pressed on. While they were in the oven, I crossed my fingers that I didn't waste those precious little sunflower chips on what might turn out to be the worst cookies I'd ever made. But soon enough they were done and my fears were assuaged. Impatient, as I usually am, I had to eat one soon after it came out of the oven.

So here's the verdict: The flavor of these cookies is great (I'm going to give most of the credit for that to the sunflower chips- gold star!) and the texture was like a perfect soft baked cookie. The only "problem" was that they were super thin. I think this could be easily remedied by making smaller cookies (I, only having one cookie sheet, made them quite large). I tried to fix the thickness problem by making them a second time with regular chocolate chips (boo) and more flour, and while this certainly helped the thickness, the cookies were more cake-y and less sweet.

So here's my solution to super thin soft baked cookies (if you even want a solution): fold in half and enjoy. I ended up doing this with most of the sunflower chip cookies and it gave me twice the thickness, twice the softness and no need for recipe alterations. So what if it turned my near perfect circles into semi-circular confections, even my sometime perfectionist can live with that.

Sunflower Chip Cookies

Adapted from Vive le Vegan!

3/4 cup spelt flour (not the white kind)
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup light agave nectar
1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
scant 2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
heaping 1/4 cup chocolate covered sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and salt, until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the agave and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the sunflower chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix).

Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out*). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying*), then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 8-10 large cookies.

* I did not have this problem with drying at all, alternatively, my cookies were very, very moist- likely because of the changes I made to the recipe.


Olga said...

wow, I didn't know those even existed! Must. Scout.

Chocolate Shavings said...

The sunflower seeds seem like a great addition!

NikiTheo said...

Candy-Coated, Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds are my favorite snack!!! You can get them at Trader Joe's in a pretty decent sized container for only a couple of bucks. And they are an awesome substitute for nuts in brownies!!!! I've topped brownies with them a few times now, they were awesome w/ my brownie recipe!