It’s my friend Brandi’s birthday today! Being the great friend that she is, she decided to celebrate this birthday by gathering her friends for a girls retreat in Park City! So this last weekend, we went to one of Utah’s greatest places for some much needed girl time with these cookies in tow.
Aside from the fact that there was no way I was going to be able to lug a homemade birthday cake from work Friday night to Park City in one piece, there is a good reason for these cookies. A couple years ago, Brandi and I drove down to L.A. for a girls trip. I made these naturally sweetened chocolate chip cookies for the road. She loved them! She asked me for the recipe (probably more than once) and I told her I would put it on the blog soon. When Holly shared our family’s recipe for divine chocolate chip cookies, I didn’t want to overload the site with chocolate chip items, so sadly, Brandi’s cookies were neglected. Despite how delicious that family recipe is, it’s time I shared Brandi’s chocolate chip cookies.
These cookies are naturally sweetened, traditional chocolate chip cookies. They are often my go-to treat for friends and neighbors because they bake up beautifully, are nicely shaped and can be made on the larger side for an extra special appearance. Everyone who tried them this weekend told me they tasted like gourmet bakery-style cookies. They are soft, thanks to the powdered honey but still have a nice chewy bite to them. I think Brandi loved these because they use a combination of light and dark natural sweeteners and a combination of extracts for a nice “cookie shop” flavor. Every birthday girl needs cookies (in between birthday cake, of course) and I wasn’t going to make her go without. These cookies are sure to make any celebration a little more special.
Happy Birthday, Brandi!!!
Brandi’s Naturally Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free option)
3 sticks Butter, melted and cooled (or 1/2 part Earth Balance Butter, 1/2 part non-hydrogenated shortening)*
2 cups Coconut Sugar
1 cup Powdered Honey**
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1 Large Egg Yoke, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
4 3/4 cups-5 cups White Spelt Flour or White Wheat Flour
2 cups sugar-free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or Chunks
In an electric mixer, combine the melted butter with the sugars and mix until combined. Add the rising agents, corn starch and extracts. Add the eggs and yoke, one at a time. Add the flour about a cup at a time with the chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. The dough should be smooth and soft and little shiny – but sticky! Add an extra tablespoon or two of flour to the dough if needed. Scoop out cookies with a small ice cream scooper and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes for smaller cookies (small cookie scoop) or 9-11 minutes for larger cookies (large ice cream scoop). Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze for up to three weeks. (These may last longer in the freezer, but they never make it past week three at my house. :))
Depending on your cookie sizes, dough can yield between 45-60 cookies.
*If making these dairy-free, I recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon of natural butter extract.
** You can substitute this with more coconut sugar or xylitol, but the powdered honey gives a nice pillowy texture to these cookies that is really yummy.