Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Big Dippers

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
These chocolate chip cookies are unlike any other I've ever baked… and that's saying something. Chocolate Chip Cookies are my all-time bar-none go-to cookie... and I love trying out different varieties of them. This one is unique because it uses all whole wheat flour… yep, 100% whole wheat flour. That in itself is quite a feat, but these cookies are also tasty. Really tasty. In fact, oddly enough, they remind me of store bought cookies. The kind that can sit in their package on the store shelf for two years and not go bad… except these would totally go bad because there's no preservatives or hydrogenated fats in them. Yea!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies 
from Kim Boyce's cookbook: Good To The Grain (page 41)

Some things to know about these cookies:
  • They have quite a different texture to them: fairly dense and almost sandy.
  • They are very sturdy cookies. Nothing dainty or delicate about them.
  • Perfect for dunking in milk. Or packing on a picnic. Or sending in a care package.
  • If you love chocolate, go ahead and add more chocolate chips/chunks. Trust me.
  • They keep well if stored in an airtight container.
  • If you freeze the dough balls and bake them later, they won't spread out as much (resulting in a thicker cookie), and in my opinion, are not as good as the ones baked fresh. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Keeping The Colony Happy

Making Water Kefir Soda
In addition to my oft-neglected sourdough starter ("Edwina"), I have for the past six months been caring for and benefiting from, a different kind of bacterial colony... Water Kefir Grains. Never heard of 'em? Don't worry, I hadn't either. But now (thanks to this gracious lady), I am involved in a mutually beneficial relationship with what amounts to a science experiment. You see, I feel responsible for the well-being of my colony, like I would with a bowl of goldfish. But in a way that goldfish never could, my little colony is responsible for my well-being too. Intrigued  yet?

More fun than a barrel of Sea Monkeys
There is so much info on the web about water kefir that I won't spend time or space here reiterating it. I will however link to some info at the end in case you're still curious and want to read more about it. In a nutshell, water kefir is a type of SCOBY... a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Now before you get scared off... just think "probiotics". You know, the good/friendly/beneficial bacteria that are so good for your gut and immune system. That's what water kefir is: pure probiotic goodness.

I see so many products trumpeting "Now With Probiotics!!" on the packaging, not to mention the probiotic supplements that you can buy (I shudder to think of what they would cost to take regularly). The beauty of these little water-babies is that you only have to buy them once. That's it! Feed them and care for them and not only can they be used over and over again, but if conditions are favorable, they just may even multiply so you can share them with friends.