Troubleshooting Flat Cookies, & a Foolproof Whole Foods Recipe
(All while using home milled flour)
Home milled flour has a learning curve. I am often asked about cookies, even from expert bread bakers. We often think of “whipping up a batch of cookies” as something so simple, something we have done our entire lives. Why would someone who can produce a perfect loaf of artisan sourdough question how to make cookies? Because when you venture into the world of milling your own flour—or into whole foods– you find that the rules change. What you could do on “autopilot” now must be deliberately re-thought: Crisco®, nope, not using that artery-clogging stuff. White sugar? Ooof, not with our diabetic family history! Home milled flour? It is so much heavier than the dead bleached stuff from the grocery store.
Many people say that the cookies flatten. If that is what you have, here are a few suggestions:
1) Use a regular cookie sheet, not a baking stone. If you insist on the stone, place it in the oven to pre-heat along with the oven, then pull it out to put the cookies on it. The stones just take too long to come to heat and the cookie will flatten in the meantime. Keep in mind that the bottoms of cookies will burn easily on the stone for the opposite problem, too: those stones keep cooking long after they are removed from the oven. So be sure to remove the cookies immediately from the stone and you might need to adjust baking times.
Homemade chocolate chip cookies with home milled flour
2) Check your oil-to-flour ratio. Does your cookie dough feel thick or more wet than normal? Too much oil/butter/lard will flatten your cookie every time.
3) Use lard! Lard and tallow are my secret ingredient for a fluffy, perfectly-browned cookie. These were how cookies were invented, remember. The Fake Stuff (shortening) came later and we have a whole generation (maybe 2?) that haven’t an idea on how to cook the real way. When I first swore off the fake stuff, I tried oil and butter and every combination, with inconsistent results. If you must use something other than lard or tallow (vegetarian?) I would suggest coconut oil. I will not guarantee perfectly consistent
Delicious chocolate chip cookies from home milled flour
results with the recipe below, though. Play with it and let us know what you find.
FLOUR: I prefer to mill oat groats for cookies. I find that the cookie is lighter in color and texture than with wheat, although spelt flour and soft white wheat work well too, and sometimes I mix oat, spelt, or soft white. Oat flour will make this cookie indistinguishable from the cookies you remember from childhood.
The Perfect Whole Foods Cookie
Put your favorite nut or chip in these. I often do chocolate chips because it is what my family prefers. These pictures have both chocolate chips and Macadamia nuts. Consider this a “basic” cookie recipe and do what you want with it!
Preheat oven 375° Makes over 3 dozen medium-sized cookies
- ½ cup beef tallow (or lard)
- ½ cup grass fed butter
- ½ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup Sucanat
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 ½ cups Oat flour (or spelt, or up to half soft white wheat)
- 2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 ½ cup nuts of your choice (optional)
- Using mixer, blend butter, tallow, honey, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients: Sucanat, baking soda, flour. Combine bowls.
- Fold in chips and nuts.
- Drop the dough onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet, and bake for 8-9 minutes (or until slightly brown around edges). Remove from sheet to cool.