Those of you who attended Malice Domestic last spring probably remember me as "the lady in the boot." I had a tendon injury, and the boot was one of many attempts to fix it. Unfortunately, neither the boot nor anything that followed actually worked. So last week I learned that I have to have surgery (again), and I need to do it next week (to coincide with my spring break).
This means three things: (1) If you see me at Malice this spring, I will once again be in the boot. What a fantastic tradition! (2) I'm frantically trying to get my ducks in a row before I go under the knife, so I don't have any pictures of my food. And (3) I'm craving comfort food like you wouldn't believe.
Here's the thing about me and "comfort food": My mama did not raise me on health food. No sir. I ate sugary cereal, processed meats, and plenty of delivery pizza. And, alas, my tastes have not changed. I still dig salty, sweet, and fatty, especially when I'm feeling blue or anxious.
Now, though, I'm aware of what I ought to be putting in my body. My brain understands that whole grains and organic veg will allow me to live a longer, happier, healthier life.
But, um, French fries? Chocolate? No matter what my brain tells me, my tummy and my taste buds want deliciousness. I have become this strange hybrid of junk food junkie and hippie, eating vegan vegie burgers on whole wheat buns with a side of cheese doodles.
In honor of my increased awareness (and increased cholesterol), I've been working for some time at slimming down some of my favorite dishes, making them a smidge more hearty healthy (and waist-friendly). This interpretation of my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe delivers a hearty snack, satisfying and chocolatey but not too sweet or oily. They're certainly not low fat . . . oh, no. But ground oats and whole wheat flour add significant fiber and mitigate my guilt a bit. Yet they're every bit as tasty as their white-flour cousins . . . and right about now, I could down a dozen of them!
2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour*
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (room temperature)
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Finely grind the oats in a food processor or blender. Pulse in flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer (or a large mixing bowl), cream butter and sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients and then the chips.
Working with 2 Tbs. of dough at a time, form balls and flatten slightly. Place on ungreased cookie sheet (ideally, lined with a silpat or parchment paper). Bake about 12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on the pan and then remove to rack and cool completely.
* White whole wheat flour is whole wheat flour made with white wheat (instead of the more common red wheat). White whole wheat flour has a milder, less nutty taste. It behaves like whole wheat flour, though, so keep this in mind if you use it for baking things like bread.
Wendy writes the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web. Better yet, come befriend her on Facebook and keep her company while she convalesces after surgery!