Kitchen Witch - Enlightened Chocolate Chips

David's Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

When Christmas came to town, there were a few things I could count on: Santa (I kept the fantasy going until I was 10), Fritos in my stocking and my father's private stash of chocolate chip cookies.

Foil-lined inside a department-store gift box that was donned in Christmas-themed paper, the cookies were an annual gift from my mother's stepsister, aka Aunt Suzanne. I remember how he used to shake the box, as if he didn't know what was inside, and upon opening, he'd shout with glee. A cookie perfume would permeate the room and I prayed that he'd have mercy on me and give me at least six or seven of his prized possessions. (You couldn't just have one.)

I was envious, perhaps even jealous that Dad had his very own private cookie collection. To make matters worse, he hid his stash, which of course turned me into a cookie thief.

After my father died, Aunt Suzanne put the chocolate chip cookie ritual to rest as well, which made me sad. But years later, when I learned that trans-fat-laden Crisco was her secret, I stopped feeling sorry for myself.

Recently, I got my wish for an enlightened chocolate chip cookie that tasted like, well, Aunt Suzanne's. After doubling the amounts in the recipe below (it makes about 30 cookies), I compared them with the original Toll House cookie recipe. The 21st-century version contains half the amount of butter, a reduction that is undetectable and — as I get older — quite welcome.

David's Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Perfect Light Desserts: Fabulous Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Made With Real Butter, Sugar, Flour and Eggs All Under 300 Calories Per Generous Serving by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (leveled with a spoon)

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (about 3/4 of a 12-ounce bag)

2 cookies sheets lined with parchment paper or foil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-mixed, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and milk until they are absorbed, followed by the vanilla. Don't worry if mixture looks curdled; the flour mixture will smooth it out.

Scrape down the bowl and beater and beat in flour mixture on low speed. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill dough in the bowl for 15 minutes to keep cookies from spreading too much while baking.

Form dough into 1 1/2-inch balls or use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies. Arrange balls of dough 2 inches apart all around on the prepared pans.

Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes, or until they look dull on the surface, have spread and are still quite moist. Cool cookies on pans on racks for 5 minutes. Slide liners to racks to continue cooling cookies.

Keep stored between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container. Makes about 30 cookies.

Per cookie: 114 calories, 5 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 2 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 85 milligrams sodium

— Kim O'Donnel

Culinary questions? Contact Kim O'Donnel at kim.odonnel@creativeloafing.com.

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