When you’re an avid baker like myself, you often end up with a lot of random leftover ingredients that you have no idea what to do with. Instead of letting them go to waste I often try to come up with a way to use these ingredients up in a new recipe. This was the case with a package of dried cherries that were sitting in the pantry since I made my Skinny Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies.
After experiencing the delicious combination of chocolate and cherries in my chocolate-cherry oatmeal cookies, I decided to implement the same flavor combination in a new product. In my search for new recipes I came across a popular morning delight…the scone. Scones are like having a thick cookie for breakfast so they would naturally be able to handle the same combination that the oatmeal cookies did. However, since I am not one for an involved breakfast, grating the butter to get the perfect scone was not my cup of tea (no matter how great it would taste with a cup of tea!).
In my quest for a delicious scone in a fraction of the time I looked to make this quick bread a bit quicker. I am typically against using convenience products but sometimes getting stressed out and ruining your entire day is not much healthier. Therefore it’s beneficial to utilize them sparingly. Low-fat baking mix (such as heart-smart Bisquick) provided the answer to a less fussy scone that could be prepared in half the time. With the addition of mini semisweet chocolate chips and dried cherries the amount of sugar found in a traditional scone was reduced dramatically, allowing for more calories to be spared. Also by swapping half-and-half for traditional heavy cream the resulting scones were less offensive to health conscious waistlines.
With modifications to traditional recipes, I was able to shave calories down to 205 compared to over 250 per scone. The fat also dramatically reduced from 11 grams to 4.8 per scone. Overall, I highly recommend you try these tender, lightly sweetened scones that are a quick compliment to a morning cup of coffee or afternoon snack with tea!
Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones
- ½ cup Dried Cherries; chopped
- 2 tbsp. Water
- 3 cups Low-Fat Baking Mix (such as Heart-Smart Bisquick)
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. Butter; chilled & cut into very small pieces
- 2/3 cup Fat-Free Half-and-Half
- 2 tbsp. Semisweet Chocolate Minichips
- 1 large Egg; separated
- 1 tbsp. Fat-Free Half-and-Half
- Turbinado Cane Sugar; optional
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
- Combine cherries and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Cool 10 minutes (do not drain).
- Combine baking mix, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cherries, 2/3 cup half-and-half, chocolate chips, and egg white. Stir until just moistened. Drop dough by ¼ cupfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Place baking sheet in freezer for 5 minutes.
- Combine egg yolk and 1 tbsp. half-and-half. Brush egg mixture over tops of each scone and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Best served warm.
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MARIE RIZZIO
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017
Chocolate chip cookies are a simple, traditional treat that almost guarantees to please every sweet tooth. Although chocolate chip cookies are wonderful as is, they also make a great base for additions that can lure in the adventurous or be made to cater any specific taste. Toasted coconut is one of these many options that is quite hard to beat. There is just something about the combination of chocolate and coconut that tastes divine together (hence my love of Mounds candy bars). In fact, if a Mounds candy bar were turned into a cookie, this would be it.
Given that these cookies feature two ingredients (coconut & dark chocolate) that are not as bad for your health as once thought, they make the perfect guiltless treat. Sure, as with any treat that lacks essential nutrients, they are in fact deemed a treat. However, not all treats are created equal and these certainly will not set you back as bad as many others without sacrificing taste. By toasting the coconut before adding it to the batter, the cookies take on a unique texture of both crisp and chewy. When you are not getting hit with bursts of intense dark chocolate flavor, the cookie has a hint of nuttiness lent from the toasted coconut. So if you want a spin on a classic, try this cookie and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
recipe yields approximately 20-25 cookies, providing you use a level tablespoon to measure. You can make the cookies bigger or smaller, however keep in mind there will be changes to texture, baking time, and nutritional information.
Skinny Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ¾ cup Flaked Sweetened Coconut
- 4.5 oz. (1 cup) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- ¾ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
- ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 oz. Premium Dark Chocolate Baking Chips (such as Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange coconut in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Bake coconut for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside to cool. Keep oven preheated to 350°.
- Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk until blended. Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat with stand or hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Turn the speed down to low and add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Gently stir in the toasted coconut and chocolate by hand.
- Coat baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cookies rest on pan for 5 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Weight Watchers: 3 Smart Points, 2 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JACKIE MILLS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016
Ever since I was a kid my go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies was the back of a Nestle Toll House Morsels bag. The recipe is simple and with ingredients most families have on hand. It is what made the Toll House recipe so famous since its debut back in 1939. Yes it has been around that long. But with this type of age there is sure to be followers set out to replace its fame with their own.
Sure I still love the moist cake-like texture and buttery aftertaste of the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie but my adult taste buds sought for more. But is there really more out there for my taste buds to find??? And if there is how hard would it be to obtain??? These questions were all answered with this perfect recipe. This is surely my new favorite… at least for the time being. I kind of get around a lot when it comes to cookies. I’m sure at some point we will divorce like I did with Mr. Toll House but for now we are in it for the long haul. There shouldn’t be any hard feelings though because I have only stayed with two cookies my entire life, those being my mom’s recipe for Sugar Cookies that are made at Christmas and my kiddie bake sale favorite… the Peanut Blossom.
You may wonder what made this recipe capture my heart for the time being. Truth is, at first even I was highly skeptical. But it turns out the little extra effort goes a long way with chocolate chip cookies. Jacques Torres once stated that the best chocolate chip cookie is based on a dough that was allowed to rest for 24 hours. I honestly can’t wait that long. I can barely wait for them to be cool enough to touch let alone 24 hours before even being baked. This doesn’t mean I couldn’t apply the same principle but on a bit smaller time scale. By toning down Torres’ wait time but still implementing his theory a bit I was able to manifest a chocolate chip cookie that had a moist and chewy inside and crispy, golden edges.
Now I forgot to mention there was always a beef I had with the Toll House recipe and as a result I always left out this ingredient as a kid because I thought it took away from the star of the show, the chocolate. This ingredient was the nuts. As an adult I can appreciate the complexity nuts bring to the cookie but I still don’t like them in my chocolate chip cookie because lets face it, nuts are not discreet and when you expect to bite into a gooey bit of warm chocolate and are abruptly hit with a crunch it just throws off my moment of chocolate ecstasy. So I tried to think of a way to bring the flavor of the nuts into the cookie without the big hunks of crunch that will distract me. That is when I stumbled on my lone vial of Vanilla-Nut extract I used all but once and was left forgotten in the back of the pantry. This was clearly the answer to my lifelong dilemma.
If that wasn’t enough perfection I made sure to brown the butter rather than just cream it like Toll House. This resulted in not only added chewiness but also a rich toffee flavor that balanced the overall sweetness. With the oven set higher than normal and only one tray in at a time, the cookies cooked more evenly and had golden crispy edges with tender centers that even my inner kid couldn’t deny.
Note: If possible, do not use a non-stick skillet to brown the butter as it makes it very hard to judge when the butter is actually browned and you can easily burn it if not careful. Also be sure not to use old, hardened brown sugar because it will have a very negative effect on the texture of the cookies, essentially making them extremely dry. I prefer Ghiradelli chocolate chips but any brand will work. If you do not have dark brown sugar on hand you can substitute light brown sugar but keep in mind the toffee flavor will not be as pronounced.
Better Than Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 8.75 ounces (1 ¾ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- 14 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, divided
- 3.5 ounces (½ cup) Granulated Sugar
- 5.25 ounces (¾ cup) Dark Brown Sugar; packed (if using measuring cup)
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 tsp. Vanilla-Nut Extract
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 ¼ cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- Heat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour and baking soda together in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 10 tbsp. of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook, swirling the pan constantly or using a rubber spatula to stir until the butter is dark golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma, about 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned butter with a rubber spatula to a large heatproof bowl. Add in the remaining 4 tbsp. of butter and allow to melt completely.
- Add the granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, salt, and vanilla-nut extract to the bowl of butter and whisk until incorporated. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk until smooth and no sugar lumps remain. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes and then whisk again for about 30 seconds. Repeat this process 2 more times until the mixture becomes thick, smooth, and glossy. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to evenly distribute chocolate and ensure no pockets of flour remain.
- Use a cookie scoop or divide the dough into 16 portions of approximately 3 tbsp. each. Arrange each ball of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until the cookies become golden brown and puffy. Edges should be golden and set but the centers remain soft, approximately 10 to 14 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookies. Yields approximately 16 cookies.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CHARLES KELSEY
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014