Monday, February 26, 2007

Make your own 100 calorie cookies and one more variation to chili...

Our cookie recipe section keeps growing and we have yet another one to add to it with these Sweet and Salty Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies. We've made a sweet and salty cookie before, but these are a not quite the same in taste and texture. If you just glance over the recipe, you may be wondering "huh? salty? where from?" as the first few ingredients are unsalted butter and unsalted peanuts... but just a 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt makes a big difference. Unlike other salts, sea salt tends not to melt into the mixture, leaving nuggets that add little salty bursts throughout these bumpy cookies. To enhance the nutty flavor, the chopped peanuts are toasted and cooled before being added to the dough - I also used chunky bittersweet chocolate for another layer of sweet against the salty. As they bake, the little pieces of dough grow into fairly large (just over 3") thin cookies that come in just under 100 calories per cookie! If you take the cookies out while they are mostly blonde with a golden tinge on the edge, they will cool to have a crisp outer ring with a dense chewy center. If you leave them in for another minute or so, they will be more crisp throughout, but will still have some chew to them.

While you could spend the extra money and buy pre-made refrigerated packs of cookie dough (with lots of funky ingredients in them), why not just make a batch or two on the weekend, freeze the individual balls of dough and bake off these delicious light homemade cookies whenever the urge strikes?

Since we are still fairly new to the world of chili making, it has been fun to try out all these different recipes since we don't have a set preference on what makes it "chili" to us. Tonight's recipe has the interesting addition of a whole grain - wheat berries! This meatless recipe, Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili, is filled with black beans, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, onions, sweet red bell peppers and minced garlic. Along with chili powder and cumin, chipotle peppers added to the mixture bring a dark and spicy component to the chili - we used two peppers, but you may want to reduce it to one (or even removed the seeds) to enjoy the flavor more without the extra fiery dose of heat that we tend to like. The chewy wheat berries that are added have already been cooked so it does not take too long to make - if you have never cooked them before, I did post a simple guideline on how to cook them below, and it is also linked in the chili recipe. They add such a hearty texture to the chili and help to stretch out the recipe for larger servings. Just as the pot is taken off the heat, lime juice is added for a fresh kick and to bring out the flavors. Sometimes we top chili with cheese or sour cream, but this time just a few pieces of creamy chopped avocado add a rich satisfying finish.


  1. I just made the Creamy Wheat and Oatmeal Porridge from the same Eating Well issue and loved it. The Wheat Berry Chili is on my menu for next week as is the Lentil and Wheat Berry stew.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. that chili looks amazing.. I'll bet wheatberries are really good in it. I have a bunch of organic wheatberries in my freezer that I often use for flour... I will definitely use them the next time I make chili.. meat eaters must go nuts over it, given the chewy texture.

  3. Kristin - Thanks for the note about the oatmeal! I have it on my list to try at some point!

    Melody - Give it a try, the texture was nice in chili.

  4. Well your 100 Calorie Cookie caught my eye and therefore your whole site. Very nice! I just put a 100 Calorie Cookie Cookbook on Amazon for Kindle if you want to check it out. :) Happy Cooking!