Friday, December 7, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My childhood home always had the “good food” growing up. The sugary cereals, frozen pizzas (and pizza rolls), salty snacks, and sodas. It’s a miracle I grew up to be a health-conscious vegetarian.

Despite all the unhealthy foods and snacks we ate, my mom did try to get some nutrition in our diet. For a few years, she went through a stint where she sneaked wheat germ into her homemade baked goods – and she always used the Kretschmer brand. I remember not being able to taste the wheat germ, but always glared at the bottle in the fridge. How dare you make my mom’s desserts somewhat healthy!

So, when Kretschmer randomly contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if I’d try their wheat germ, I happily said yes. I was eager to use the wheat germ in my own baked goods, mainly to see if I could taste it, now that my palate has matured a bit. I was also intrigued by wheat germ’s health benefits. I mean, my mom always told us it was healthy, but…at the ripe age of 7, I never bothered to do my research.

Basically, wheat germ is derived from the most nutrient rich part of the wheat kernel (which is removed during the refining of whole wheat grains to white flour). Wheat germ is a great source of vitamin E, the B vitamins, and folic acid. Wheat germ even helps with muscle function, red blood cell production, and digestive tract health, and it supports a healthy nervous system which can lower anxiety levels (something I could definitely benefit from) and improve mood.

Wheat germ is also very simple to incorporate into recipes - Kretschmer recommends replacing 1/2 cup of flour in your recipe with wheat germ. With this in mind, I decided to make my go-to chocolate chip cookies. It's hard to screw up traditional chocolate chip cookies, and I wanted to test the wheat germ in two ways: 1.) To see if the simple substitute Kretschmer suggests works, and 2.) To see if I noticed a difference in taste. Let's just say, everything worked out fine.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields: 36 cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I didn't have brown sugar, so I just used another 3/4 cup of granulated sugar)
-1 cup butter, softened
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 egg
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used unbleached flour, and the cookies came out fine)
-1/2 cup Kretschmer Original Toasted Wheat Germ
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips.
2.) Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).
3.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

These cookies came out almost exactly like they always do - I think the only slight difference in taste was because I used granulated sugar in place of brown sugar. The wheat germ did not affect the taste at all, nor did it skew the baking process. All it did was make these cookies somewhat healthy. I'm OK with that!

Have you ever baked with wheat germ before? Are you a fan?

The wheat germ was complimentary, but always, the opinions expressed in this post are honest and 100 percent my own.


  1. I've never cooked with wheat germ before, not I'm intrigued. Usually when I try to "healtify" baked good I substitute pumpkin puree or bananas for oils/eggs/butter...

    1. I love using pumpkin when baking, too! I recently used applesauce in place of eggs, too, and that worked perfectly.