We're Back, with Cookies!

Phew! The Apt 2B Shop had an incredible first holiday season, so incredible that it has taken me weeks to recover from the insanity of it all (just in time for Valentine's Day!). Luckily I have a wonderful family that helped me relax and enjoy the last bit of 2010. My lovely brother and his wife gifted me every.single.baking book. on my holiday wish list and I couldn't wait to crack open up Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain after reading so many wonderful reviews all over the place. This book is a great resource for folks, like me, who love the idea of baking with whole grains, but aren't quite sure where to start.

For my first go around I chose the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and I am so happy that I did. They are perfectly chewy, hearty, chocolatey, and my new favorite treat. I made the recipe to the letter and then I couldn't resist sprinkling a little vanilla sea salt on the top of each one.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼- and ½-inch pieces, or bittersweet chips
1T vanilla salt or sea salt for sprinkling

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. (If you have no parchment, you can butter the sheets.)

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk to blend.
Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the bowl, and blend on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the chocolate, and mix on low speed until evenly combined. (Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then use your hands to turn and gently massage the dough, making sure all the flour is absorbed.
Scoop mounds of dough about 3 tablespoons in size onto the baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly browned. Transfer the cookies, still on parchment, to a rack to cool.