Can we talk about cookies for a second? I’ve touched on it before… but can you ever talk too much about cookies? I mean maybe– I guess talking about them isn’t necessarily so fun.. it’s more in the eating. Which brings me to my point.
I LOVE baking and EATING real, delicious, buttery chocolate chip cookies. Ones that crisp up on the edges and brown just enough to really bring out that butter but still leave a gooey chewy middle. I like dark brown sugar and a little extra vanilla and I always want to taste the salt. These beauties don’t have any protein powder snuck in them or pumpkin or cauliflower to add low-cal volume. No applesauce pretending to be butter (ha- you’re never fooling us) or lonely egg whites missing their way sexier counterpart. Lighter cookies, pumpkin in particular like these little guys, have their place for me. But I have zero interest in finding a way to make these classic gems more macro friendly and I’ll tell you why.
I’ve probably made thousands of cookie balls in my life. More pre-macros… but plenty since. Stop by my house and there’s a ziplock of dough-balls in the freezer. Like these babies… another adaptation of the Jacque Torres recipe. They were probably my single biggest concern with starting macros. But will my nightly pizookie fit???
This is what I’ve found in my macro meets cookie journey:
1. In the beginning of counting, I experimented a lot with “macro-friendly” cookie recipes and for me it just wasn’t worth it. Unless it was filled with cauliflower or pumpkin or something super low cal that takes up space in the cookie (and makes it a whole different thing) they generally turned out really close in fat and carbs anyway. And then even if they were gross, I’d waste too many macros on them since I’d spent the time and resources. That’s the worst!
2. I’ve precisely entered at least five different legit chocolate chip cookie recipes in MFP. If I weigh a 75g ball of each (I like big cookies) they all ring in within a few fat and carbs of each other. The biggest variable is just if I STUFF them full of chocolate or not. So I stay moderate with the chocolate. BUT this makes it easy if someone brings you cookies, or you pick up your favorite from a bakery. If you can weigh it, you can pretty accurately log it. For example look up “nestle chocolate chip cookie dough g” and you’ll find options with 1 gram serving sizes so you can enter your weight. An average little cookie is maybe 36 grams while a big bakery one probably weighs 80-100 grams. It won’t be perfect of course but it’ll be close if you’ve got your grams logged.
3. If you struggle to hit your protein, maybe it’s worth it to try recipes with protein snuck in. But for me, I’d so much rather eat a delicious cookie done right and add more egg whites to my breakfast or turkey to my sandwich. If I plan ahead I can always eat more food! That’s never been a problem for me. This is why those Lenny cookies will never do it for me. The fat and carbs are pretty comparable to one of these chewy crispy beauties fresh out of the oven! And the added protein is not a selling point for me. That’s a no-brainer.
4. Chocolate chip cookies are still my all time favorite dessert. But I have learned I just really like a big dessert at night to look forward to, and a cookie is gone too fast. I opt for giant bowls of topped ice-cream. Or of course my ice-cream topped mighty muffin like this one and this one… I’ll log one of these babies occasionally as a special afternoon snack. If it’s important to me, I can sacrifice and make it fit! And I do.
This is gonna wipe out a good 14 grams of fat and 42 carbs. Which is a lot. BUT if you love cookies like me it’s totally doable. I usually have some snacks planned throughout the day that add up to more than that, so if I know I’m gonna bake a batch and want in on the fun, it just takes the place of those! The trick is all in the planning. That’s the beauty of macros. I don’t feel like I’ve been cut off from this iconic dessert that brings me so much JOY. If so I’m sure I’d eventually quit this thing. But I also know exactly what they cost me now and sometimes I’d rather have a yummy protein bar as a treat PLUS a bowl of oatmeal… or a giant yogurt bowl… or a sandwich… or just some straggler carbs for when I want to grab some popcorn or chocolate peppermint pretzels throughout the day! And it can be different every day. You just gotta be honest with yourself. Herein lies the beauty of macros.
Waxing poetic because that’s how strongly l feel. About cookies and macros.
For me, still having fresh homemade cookies on occasion is nourishing to my SOUL. So they’ll stick around. To some, it’s a temptation and trigger for sabotage. You do you! But it would make me feel so happy for you if that involves theeeeeeese.
My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup plus 2 tbs salted butter 2.25 sticks*
- 8 oz sugar 1 cup plus 1 tbs
- 10 oz DARK brown sugar about 1.5 cups
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbs vanilla
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 16 oz flour 3.5 cups
- 1.25 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 15 oz good quality chocolate** or about 2 heaping cups
- *The original recipe called for 2.5 sticks of butter and I was short by 2 tbs once swear I liked them better and have never looked back! Feel free to use unsalted– I always prefer salted butter.
- ** I’m 100 percent team semi sweet and/or dark chocolate in my cookies and love to use a mixture of chips and chunks. But use whatever you love! If you’re into milk though chopping up the pound plus bar from Trader Joes is amazing.
- Cream butter and sugars with the paddle attachment on your mixer until blended. Don’t go crazy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition
- Stir in vanilla and salt.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (or sometimes I just pour them in and whisk the dry top a bit before I turn on the mixer because I’m lazy)
- Mix dry into wet ingredients on low speed until ALMOST all combined but not quite. (Just to make sure you don’t over-mix when you add the chocolate)
- Add chocolate and mix on low till just combined. Remember over-mixing makes a tough cookie!
- With a large ¼ cup cookie scoop, (like this one– the size is essential to me for maximum texture perfection!) scoop rows of cookie dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet that you can fit in your freezer.
- Freeze the balls (uncovered is fine), just until firm enough to transfer to large zip locks. Now you can bake or freeze for later use.
- Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes until light golden brown. (Fine to bake thawed but I prefer from frozen, or only slightly thawed. Still usually fall within this cook time.)
- Sprinkle with flake salt if you’re into that! I love this one.