The other day, my mom mentioned that she wanted some soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. With Splenda®… I hate Splenda®. I just hate it. I hate the way it gets all sticky. I hate the aftertaste. So why am I using it?  Not long ago, my mom found out she has diabetes. So I’ve had to start using Splenda® and other sugar substitutes more often in my baking. I may not like it much, but my mom’s worth it. I’ve gone through quite a few cookie recipes in the years I’ve been baking, and so far, this one is one of the best. I used David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from his book Ready for Dessert, for the basic formula, and then I tweaked it. Let me just say, these cookies are great. Maybe it’s the brown to white sugar ratio. Most other recipes call for equal parts brown and white sugar, but this one calls for more brown sugar. The extra moisture keeps the cookies soft and chewy, just the way I like ‘em. Throw in a cold glass of milk, and hey! Instant bliss! Unless you’re lactose intolerant, of course, in which case, you can have, um… soy milk or something. I know the whole cookies and milk thing is sort of cliché, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There are basically two types of chocolate chip cookies: the fat, chunky kind, and the flat, chewy kind. I happen to prefer the soft ones, mostly because they’re just easier for me to eat (I’ve been blessed with braces, so my teeth tend to hurt a lot these days). When I want softer cookies, I just add a tablespoon or so of milk to the dough. I tend to just eyeball how much milk to pour in, but a tablespoon is usually just about right. It helps the cookies spread out, and it keeps them moist, so they don’t dry out too fast. If you like chunky, fat cookies, then just omit the milk.

UPDATE: I’ve also found that these are really good with some orange zest added.

 

Splenda®-rific Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz from Ready for Dessert

2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour

¾ tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 225 g) salted butter (or unsalted, if you prefer), softened to room temperature

1 cup (240 g) dark brown sugar

¾ cup (20 g) Splenda® (you can use regular granulated sugar instead, if you’d like)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, room temperature*

7 oz chocolate (such as Hershey’s Special Dark), chopped

1 T milk

*to bring eggs to temperature, you can run warm, but not hot, water over them for a few minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).

In small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt (I like to fluff it up with a fork to break up any clumps of flour).

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer), beat together butter, brown sugar, and Splenda® (or sugar) just until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix in flour mixture in three additions, waiting until flour is evenly distributed before each addition. Beat in milk, if desired. Stir in chocolate chunks (Make sure to add all the little chocolate shavings too!).
There are several ways to shape your cookies. I use a one tablespoon cookie scoop. That way all the cookies end up the same shape and size. If you don’t have a scoop, you can use two spoons to shape your dough into balls roughly 1 tablespoon each. Of course, you can always form the balls using your hands. Whichever way you choose, make sure to keep all the dough balls about the same size so they’ll all bake through evenly. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. If you did add the milk, make sure to leave room for the cookies to spread out without running into each other.

Now, if you’re nothing like me, you remembered to preheat your oven, so it’ll already be hot and ready to go. Please wait while the rest of us turn ours on now. Sit down, maybe have a nice cup of tea… OK, everyone back now? Place rack in the middle of the oven, and bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. The time could be different your oven. Once cookies are slightly browned around the edges, remove from oven and let them cool a little. Once they’ve set up a little more, transfer from pan to a cooling rack. Once they’re cool enough to handle, well, I think you can probably guess the next step: Eat ‘em up!

Store cookies in an airtight container. They’ll last for… Um, I’m not actually sure. They don’t usually have time to get stale around here.

 

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