Cozy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is it possible to have two favorite recipes for the same thing? If you’d asked me that a month ago, I’d have said, “uh……no.” (And then thought to myself, “man, what kind of question was that?!”) I mean, aren’t we all perpetually searching for THE best recipe for this or that; the one that blows all the others out of the water — hands down, no contest? And yet, I am here now to tell you that it IS, in fact, possible. One cookie. Two recipes.

By now, many of you have probably seen/tried the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, heralded by many to be THE very best. (See also this, this, and this.) And I am in full agreement. That’s a damn fine cookie. I accidentally passed the obsession on to my mother as well, when I left several behind after house sitting their place. But then this cookie came along. And let me tell you, I’m smitten.

These first caught my eye over on Linda’s wonderful blog, where she declared them to be her favorite chocolate chip cookie ever, then went on to describe the nutty, complex flavor that comes from using 100% whole wheat flour. I was totally curious. Then a couple weekends ago, I made them. And they’re AMAZING.

I honestly can’t think of a better word to use to describe these cookies than “cozy.” They’re hearty and delicious, with a rich, molasses-y flavor from the brown sugar. They’re crispy on the soft in the middle and crispy on the edges. Everything a cookie should be.

And so, I declare these to be my favorite cold-weather chocolate chip cookie. While the light, buttery NYT cookies are the perfect summer treat, these cookies totally hit the spot on a chilly day. I personally think they’re best enjoyed by a roaring fire, with a tall glass of milk. (And seriously, there are few things that make me crave a glass of milk.) Dare I say these might even be the perfect Santa cookies?? Weee holidays!!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from Good to the Grain, via The Tart Tart)

yield: 12 cookies (I highly recommend making a double batch!)

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. (2/3 cups) bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Combine butter and sugars in another bowl and beat on low with a hand mixer or the paddle attachment of your stand mixer until blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and mix until combined, then mix in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until barely combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the chocolate chips and mix on low until evenly distributed (alternatively, you can use a wooden spoon or your hands).

Scoop mounds of dough about 2 tbsp in size onto the baking sheet. (Give the cookies a bit of space, or they’ll crash into each other. I put them too close together on the first sheet!)

This is too close . . .

. . . because they will wind up like this . . .

Bake for 16–20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the cookies are evenly dark brown. Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack.


  1. says

    Oh man do those look delicious. Great picture! I love how you set it all up all the way down to the last details! Such a pretty photo…and I can’t wait to try my hand at those cookies!



    • says

      So true! I’m totally sold on whole wheat flour in cookies now. (I’m really looking forward to using freshly milled flour in the next batch — I bet it will be even better!)

  2. says

    I have to confess: Toll House cookies are my NEMESIS right now. I used to be able to make a decent chocolate chip cookie, but lately they all turn out paper thin, which nobody (except the guy, fortunately–and strangely) wants in a cookie. One of your links actually linked to a site where someone else was having the same problem, so I don’t feel quite so inept about my cookie skills. (For the record, my baking soda isn’t old, my eggs were room temp, and I refrigerated the dough for a few hours. What is wrong here?!?) I’ve always, always made Toll House, but I can’t pretend any longer: It’s time for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. These sound like the ultimate cold weather cookie!

    • says

      The same thing ALWAYS happens to the first tray of cookies I put in the oven. It’s definitely up to the right temperature, I refrigerate the dough, room temp eggs, all that jazz, and still the first batch gets all flat and weird. Subsequent trays get better and better, and by the end they’re picture perfect.

      The one thing that I thought might be causing the problem is the fact that I leave my pizza stone in the oven all the time, on the bottom rack. I’ve heard that this tends to absorb more of the oven’s heat, and keeps it from all being directed towards whatever you’re baking. But I have a gas stove, and I’ve always thought that it helped most of my things cook quicker and more evenly, since it’s directly heat right up at the dish above. At first I considered that this might be what was making the cookies flat, but then it wouldn’t make sense that they’d get better as subsequent trays went into the oven. At least I think it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes I wonder if I should just stick an empty cookie sheet in the oven for 15 minutes before I start the real baking. I don’t know how that would help, but I’m ready to try anything to make sure ALL of my cookies are perfect!

  3. says

    I have had the longest search ever for the best chocolate chip cookies – for ages when I was younger, I thought the nestle tollhouse recipe was basically the only ccc recipe out there (evidently, this was a time before food blogging, hah) but it always spread waaay too much, and you can taste the baking soda in them :/ I have to say I love the NY times recipe, but I’ve found my perfect recipe with bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa) in them and sea salt sprinkled on top – it’s quite similar to your recipe but with more butter, brown sugar, flour and chocolate ahaha. Anyways, I really want to make these now – the whole wheat flour sounds like such an awesome addition!! Plus it means that they’re vaguely ‘healthy’ so I could eat more cookies… right?

    • says

      Yes! Healthy cookies! That is exactly what I thought too. :)

      I LOVE salty cookies. (Confession: I always use salted butter for pretty much every cookie I make. I post the recipes with unsalted because I realize not everyone’s tastes are the same as mine, and I figure all the salt freaks like me will use salted butter anyway.) I think the sea salt on top of the NYT cc cookies was what really did it for me. That chocolatey sea salt cookie sounds deeelish!!

    • says

      ’Tis the season for treat benders! (Halloween really kicks my sweet tooth into gear, and it’s practically impossible to stop until after the holidays.) :)

  4. says

    Love your description on FG…Move over NYT cookies. I agree! I just made both the NYT and another recipe and my new recipe is my new fave and yours look so good. Dark brown sugar and all whole wheat..I bet they are hearty and cozy as you said!

  5. Jackie C. says

    Nutty indeed and soft, chewy centered. You had me at cozy, best of, and whole wheat chocolate chip cookies! I made these in the wee hours of this morning due to the will to must try these and the inability to sleep. These are remarkable and will be a high-priority cookie on my cookie rotation. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and I am happy to stumble upon your blog :)


    Jackie C

    • says

      Thank you, Jackie! I am an obsessive, early-morning impulse baker, so I totally understand the need to make something ASAP. So glad you enjoyed them! :)

    • says

      They are SO GOOD! I’m definitely going to make them for my parents when I’m home for Christmas. My mom adores the NYT chocolate chip cookies, and she seemed reluctant to give a new recipe a try when I told her about these, but I’m sure I’ll change her mind once I make them. :)

  6. Claudia says

    Hi, i made this recipe but i think i did some mistakes…

    i live in another country and the measures are different;

    the “tsp” is for tablespoon or teaspoons? and 1 stick of butter is how many grams? anyway, it was delicious…



  7. says

    Just tried these tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s LONG Christmas Eve services at church. Hey, a choir has to have sustenance! :) They have come out beautifully. Thank you for the recipe! Merry Christmas!

  8. Rita says

    They are really good, I’m going to use less sugar next time, or at least tone down the white sugar. Thank you for a great whole wheat recipe. I don’t want to go back to a white flour cookie again.

  9. says

    Made these for “Santa” and they were soooooo yummy, and they stayed soft forever and it makes just enough. I sub’ed flaxseed meal for the eggs and added 4 table spoons of nutritional yeast for a little nutritious boost ;)

    • says

      So glad you enjoyed them, Lisa! I bet they were great with that flaxseed substitution — I could see that working so well with the nutty whole wheat flavor of the cookies.

  10. Rebecca says

    I gave these a try today, and while the flavor is hreat, they cameout kind of… gritty, I suppose from the flour? Any thoughts?

    • says

      Hmmm, that doesn’t sound too pleasant. I know there was one time that I made these without checking the pantry first, and had to use graham flour instead of whole wheat flour because that was the only thing I had on hand. Those seemed a little bit gritty, which I assumed had something to do with the coarseness of the graham flour. The ones I’ve made using (King Arthur) whole wheat flour have been great though, and I never noticed a grittiness. Perhaps next time you could try letting the batter chill for an hour or so before you bake them. This would give all the ingredients a chance to mingle a little more, and perhaps the wet ingredients would hydrate the flour. I hope this helps, Rebecca!

  11. says

    Made some of these last night for supper but I didn’t have any baking powder or baking soda on hand and they still turned out great! Tastes good! This is my first time I tried baking with whole wheat flour and I actually love the nutty texture! I used 1.25 cups of flour instead, too. Also squeezed some leftover orange juice from half a fresh orange heh!

    • says

      Glad you enjoyed them, Anna May! (I’ve always wondered how cookies would turn out if I discovered that I was out of baking power/soda mid-batter creation, so it’s good to know that it works for these.) And I love the addition of orange juice!

  12. Erica says

    Can you use salted butter instead of unsalted? And semi-sweet versus bittersweet? It’s all I have in the house at the moment, and I’m a very unexperienced baker and I dont know know how much of a difference those changes would make..

    • says

      Yup! Those will both work just fine as substitutes. (I actually often use salted butter instead of unsalted in cookies because I’m a bit of a salty sweets fiend, but I specify unsalted in the ingredients list because I know it isn’t everyone’s preference.) Hope you enjoy them, Erica!

    • says

      Hmmmm, I don’t have too much experience working with Crisco. I did a little bit of reading online, and it sounds like most people do not recommend using all Crisco in place of butter in cookies, as it seems to give them a noticeable different in taste and an unpleasant texture. Perhaps margarine would be a better substitution? I hope this helps! They’re definitely great cookies, so I hope you can find a substitution that works out. :)

  13. /Tammy says

    These were super yummy…They went fast. I changed a few things though…i use 4 packets stevia instead ;of regular sugar…i used smart balance instead of butter. Half the choc chips and replace with coconut.

  14. Patti says

    My daughter and I used this recipe today, and this is the first time in my life I have successfully made chocolate chip cookies! They usually turn out runny and thin, but these were plump, chewy and really good. Thanks for this great recipe!

  15. Lori-Ann says

    Thanks for the recipe….They sound great!!! I was thinking of adding some flax seed and some dried cranberries?? What’s your opinion??

  16. julie says I am not a great baker…but any time I have made cookies it calls for room temp everything! (See cold butter in recipe). I followed the recipe as written and the cookies tasted great.. but did not flatten out. They were more like chocolate chip rocks. Not hard.. but just not flat. I had to reduce the cook time by 5 mins as the first batch seemed overdone. Did I do something wrong?

    • says

      I think this might be a case of everyone’s oven being different. (The cold butter aspect of this did strike me as a bit unusual as I’m also accustomed to softened butter for cookie recipes, but it has worked out every time I’ve made these.) Next time you could try flattening the cookie dough a bit before you bake them. That should help them spread easier and not be so rock-like. :)


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