Photo by Cheryl Angelina Koehler. Sculpture by Zach Pine.
Chef Peter Callis of the Table Catering in Berkeley was thinking of his own kids when he took a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and packed it with added nutrition. He was also inspired by J. Kenji López-Alt’s experiments with chocolate chip cookies published on Serious Eats. In this recipe, Chef Peter experiments with yeast as leavening. A curious cook can experiment with a longer resting time for the yeast to activate in the dough.
Chef Peter took a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and packed it with added nutrition. One strategy comes from using wholegrain flour from a local specialty grower and miller like Capay Mills or Community Grains. Chef Peter especially likes the Capay Mills Red Bug Nouveau flour blend, which he gets by special order. For the Community Mills wholegrain flours, visit the bulk bins at Monterey Market in Berkeley.
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter
1 1/2cups pitted dates
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red miso paste
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/2cups wholegrain flour
12ounces dark chocolate chips (Chef Peter prefers Guittard)
1cup fresh local walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
Melt butter in a small saucepan until it starts to brown. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine dates, honey, molasses, salt, miso paste, yeast, eggs, and warm brown butter on highest setting for 10 seconds. Pour into a mixer bowl and combine with flour. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Place dough in fridge for 1 hour or more to firm up and activate the yeast, or you can bake right away and get great results as the Edible East Bay test kitchen did when trying out the recipe.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls about an inch apart onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies start to brown around the edges. Be careful not to over-bake. Transfer cookies immediately to a wire rack to cool.
If you like your cookies moist, mound the dough on the baking sheet. If your preference is thinner and crisper, space dough mounds farther apart and press the dough flatter onto the sheet.