(A more healthful) chocolate chip cookie recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

(A more healthful) chocolate chip cookie recipe

(a more healthful) chocolate chip cookie by Pamela Salzman

One of my students asked me the other day if I had a good chocolate chip cookie recipe and I instinctively said, “Sure, just check my website.”  To which she replied, “I did.  But all you have on there is your Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.”  And then it hit me.  I have neither taught in a class nor posted my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Gasp!  Coincidentally, Mr. Picky had been asking if we could make homemade ice cream sandwiches, so I got to work lickety split!

beat butter and sugars until smooth, then add eggs, baking soda and vanilla

In my defense, there are good reasons I haven’t posted my chocolate chip cookie recipe.  First of all, I do use refined white sugar because it just makes the best cookie.  But it isn’t exactly clean and healthful and I want this site to be your destination for high quality recipes.  However, even with the white and brown sugars, I use whole grain flours and everything is organic so these will be waaaaaaay better for you than bakery cookies or packaged (really now?) ones.  It’s all about balance and moderation!

next add the flours, baking powder and salt

The other issue is that I keep changing my recipe when I learn something new to make them even better than the last time.  And this has happened often.  Many of you are so in the know about food trends that you might think my ah-ha chocolate chip moments are sooooo 2005, but I never said I was an early adopter.  Let me first make it clear what kind of chocolate chip cookie I love, because that’s what you’re getting here — my favorite.  If you love the thin and crispy kind, hmmmm, today’s not your day.  Cakey?  Yeah, not me.  Milk chocolate?  Don’t waste my time!  Friends, I like a cookie with some heft and substance, something that you can sink your teeth into.  But I also don’t want a greasy cookie which makes me feel like I’m sucking on butter.  Slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with chunks of semisweet or dark chocolate is the way I roll.  Sometimes I’m feeling fancy and I’ll add a pinch of flaky sea salt on on the tops and that is just heaven.

chop chocolate from a bar for nice chunky pieces

Something I learned to achieve my perfect cookie is to use cold butter instead of room temperature, which is a trick I learned from Mrs. Fields (not that I met her, but that’s how she makes her cookies.)  The combination of cold butter and  a low oven temperature help to keep the cookie from spreading out too thin and too fast.  I also started adding a little oat flour after I saw this Neiman Marcus cookie recipe which I found out later was not the official recipe but the oat flour stayed in mine.  The oat flour makes the cookie a little nuttier and dense.  Ina Garten taught me (via television, of course) that a chocolate bar cut into pieces is much more satisfying than chocolate chips, although I do use those often.  And every fancy restaurant in the last several years has added a pinch of flaky sea salt to the tops of their cookies — a smart and delicious move.

using an ice cream scooper gives you uniform, round cookies

add a pinch of flaky sea salt for a grown-up twist

I grated some of the chocolate into the batter
I grated some of the chocolate into the batter

It may have taken me a while to bring it to you, but I’m sure with certain special occasions coming up, like Father’s Day or end-of-the-year parties, it’s never too late to try a great chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Of course, if you have the latest and greatest twist on chocolate chip cookies, I’m always open to improvement!

freshly baked | Pamela Salzman

(a more healthful) chocolate chip cookie by Pamela Salzman


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Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serves: makes 48 2¾-inch cookies (cut the recipe in half to make 24 or refrigerate the dough for up to a week)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter or organic Earth Balance, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar or Muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can take a cup of rolled oats and process them in the food processor to make your own oat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 18 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate bars, chopped coarsely or use chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • flaky sea salt (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of stand mixer and blend on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the baking soda, eggs and vanilla to the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt. Add to the butter mixture and blend on low speed until just combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate and nuts.
  6. Scoop the dough with a 1 ¾ -inch ice cream scooper onto the prepared baking sheets or use a tablespoon. Space them evenly apart. I was able to get 12 on each sheet.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until just set. The cookies will be slightly soft in the center. If you like them crispier, bake them for up to 23 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Raw cookie dough can be frozen, but it’s a great idea to scoop the dough into balls first and freeze those so you can just pull out as many as you want to bake instead of having to defrost the whole batch of dough.  I have even baked cookies in the toaster oven!




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  1. As I posted on Foodily, mine actually came out flat and crispy because they spread a lot during the first part of the bake. It’s very possible my new oven runs hot, but I also wonder whether I would get a better texture by cutting back on some of the sugar and/or chilling overnight (frozen butter and chilling for an hour before baking doesn’t seem to have helped…perhaps it hurt?). I also read online (that rarely reliable source…) that a higher temperature when the dough goes into the oven can help them set up and reduce the chance of spread. Great flavor, quite nutty, though, so I’m eager to try this again – thanks!

    • Hmmmm, chilling the dough will help from spreading for sure and it’s possible a higher temp can do that too. But my method here is to use cold butter and a low temp. So if your oven runs hot, maybe you should just chill the batter a bit. Let me know if you give it another try!

  2. Do you use dark or light Muscovado sugar? Going to make these today with the kids!

    • Ooops! Didn’t get to your comment until the day after, but either muscovado works!

  3. I’m having then in the oven, i can’twait to have them done. Pamela when you say 300 degres is farenheit? Because you also said that is preferable low temperature in the oven and cold butter. Thamk you for the receipe

    • Yes, fahrenheit!

  4. Absolute love this receipt, best choc chip ever!!!! Beautiful.
    Thank you.
    Any tip to make the cooky more rang shape ?
    I own a cafe in NewZealand, if you have any beautiful receipts please send me the link.

    • Thanks, Mint! I’m not sure what you mean by “rang shape?” Please explain and I’ll try to help you out!

  5. Pamela,
    When you used the Habitall, did you substitute both the white and brown sugars? In other words, did you use 1 and 3/4 cup? I already use pure Erythritol but it isn’t as sweet as sugar and it is expensive. Would like to try this product.

    • I substituted Habitall for both the white and brown, and added a teaspoon of molasses to make up for the moisture in the brown sugar.

  6. Love these cookies.
    Made a batch today using coconut sugar instead of the brown sugar. Have you tried coconut sugar?

    • In this recipe or in general? I use coconut sugar quite often, especially in place of brown sugar. I like it a lot! Did you sub it for the brown sugar or both sugars? Glad you enjoyed these!

  7. Oh my Lord, these cookies are DELICIOUS!!! The title, “(a more healthful) chocolate chip cookie” made me think that they would be on the bland side. No where near! Same thing with the pulled bbq chicken. You have a new follower. Thank you for sharing these yummy recipes! 🙂

    • Welcome, Lexi! You know, you bring up a good point about using the word “healthful” when describing food, especially treats. I am always wary to do so because it does have a connotation of something not tasty, etc. So glad you gave these a try despite that!

  8. Why do you not mix the baking soda with the other dry ingredients?

    • For the life of me I can’t remember where I picked this step up, but I’ve been doing it ever since. I think perhaps the baking soda gets activated by the brown sugar more quickly…no idea, but the cookies are delicious!

  9. The egg substitute worked! 🙂

    • So sorry I didn’t get back to you in time, but glad that the flax eggs worked. For anyone wishing to make these cookies egg free, mix 2 Tbs. ground flax meal with 6 Tbs. warm water and allow to sit for 15 minutes to gel before adding to sugar and butter mixture. Thanks, Devon!

  10. Do you think I could use your flaxseed/water egg substitute in this recipe in place of the two eggs? Thanks, Pamela!

  11. Forgot to ask…can I use GF oats to make the oat flour?

    • I use GF oats all the time and GF oat flour in these cookies — no problem!

  12. Awesome! I’m having 4 little girls over for an after school play date. This will definitely hit the spot – and maybe buy me extra fun mommy points! Going to look into Habitall. Thanks!

  13. How about substituting Truvia–a blend of stevia and sugar for just cane sugar? Especially if you are a diabetic. May still be too many carbs.

    • Diane, I think Truvia is processed stevia and “somehow” gets converted into something called “rebiana,” which you couldn’t make in your kitchen if you tried. You could dry stevia and make powdered stevia or make an extract of stevia on your own. But the crystallized end product called Truvia, not so convinced it’s safe. Honestly, anything made by Cargill and Coca-Cola makes me leary. I know, however, there are many people who are sensitive to any sugars, in which case these cookies probably aren’t the best idea since they include sweetened chocolate chips and flour. 🙁 Thanks for the suggestion, though!

  14. That is the same question I’ve been meaning to ask you! I will be making these this weekend as ice cream cookie sandwiches. Yay!!

    • Yay!!

  15. Can’t wait to try this recipe, the Grand kids will be so happy!

    • Lucky grandkids!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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