, The Kitchn
, and Wednesday Chef
all recently featured this book, so I had to buy it. I'm glad I did as I want to bake every single recipe Kim Boyce dreamed up, from the maple scones
to the rye-crusted apricot boysenberry tarts
and kamut flour cookies
. Boyce treats grains not as a virtuous replacement for refined white flour, but as the source of enticing flavors and textures. This, to me, is the far more appealing approach. One morning last week I baked Boyce's strawberry barley scones
which were lovely, aromatic, and crumbly. Then Isabel tried the chocolate chip cookies
which call for 100% whole wheat flour and sounded too healthy to be delicious. They turned out to be some of the best chocolate chip cookies any of us have ever tasted -- dark, crispy, buttery, more intensely caramel flavored than others Isabel has baked.
Here's another fine attribute of these cookies: you eat one and you don't feel like you have to immediately eat ten more as fast as you can. When it comes to food, is "addictive" really a compliment? I wonder. This cookie is perfect when you're eating it, and when you're done, you're done. I need more cookies like that in my life.
About a year ago, I asked a food editor at a newspaper what the policy was on reprinting recipes from cookbooks. She said that in the context of a review it was generally considered acceptable to reprint from one to three recipes, with attribution, as you would reprint a passage from a novel. I don't think it's quite the same thing, but because I really do review cookbooks, because the cat is already out of the bag
, because I want to know what other people think of these cookies, and because I think they might convince you to buy her book, here's Boyce's recipe:
Whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment.
2. Sift 3 cups whole wheat flour with 1 1/2 tsps. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or salt that may have remained in the sifter.
3. Cream 8 oz. cold unsalted butter with 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar just until the sugars are mixed, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape the bowl.
4. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Mix in 2 tsp. vanilla.
5. Add flour and mix until just barely combined.
6. Add 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chunks (you can chop your own, but Isabel used Guittard chunks.) Use your hands to finish mixing.
7. Scoop mounds of dough about 3 TBS in size onto the baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between them.
8. Bake for 16-20 minutes.
Revised cookie ranking:
by Kate Moses (Robust cookies flavored with espresso powder, irresistible and possibly unbeatable.)
2. Baking by Dorie Greenspan (The classic -- but better.)
3. Good to the Grain
by Kim Boyce
5. Toll House (The classic.)
5. Ad Hoc at Home (Too much severe chocolate, too little cookie)
6. Joy of Cooking, 1975 (Thin, pale, unimpressive.)
The top three cookies are neck-and-neck so Isabel will ultimately have to retest. Can't wait.
She's going to bake David Lebovitz's recipe this week.