Chewy, chocolatey, small and delicious. What’s not to love?
This lifestyle of picking up shallow roots and moving every few years is not for everyone. It normally suits us. We love digging deep into an interesting place, enjoying what it has to offer, and then heading off to experience a new place. This particular move is the strangest one Jack and I have experienced in our life together. Previous moves have been predicated on well thought-out decisions backed by lots of research. A move toward a new adventure – Alaska – Mongolia – is always exciting to us. A move to a place with a new culture or new food, new fishing and new photography opportunities has always been welcome. Newhalen, where we soon will be living, has a lot to offer, but the cloud of having to leave Chignik Lake has put a giant damper on our excitement. We keep reminding ourselves that Newhalen is a terrific place, complete with salmon runs, hiking in nearly pristine landscapes and the many things we love about living in the Alaska Bush. In our new home, we will get to have our lovely little fishing boat, Gillie, with us. We’ve never lived somewhere where we can launch her and have miles and miles of rivers and lakes to explore right outside our door. That in and of itself should be very appealing, right?
Gillie is one salmon-catching boat. She sleeps the two of us comfortably in her cuddy cabin. There’s even a little dining table in the cabin. Equipped with a Coleman stove, she’ll be the perfect vessel for exploring the lakes and rivers of our new home.
But this time, there’s this whole leaving business that is really a drag. We’ve both loved living in Chignik Lake. It’s been a wonderful place to settle in to. We’ve loved only having to share the scenery, the wildlife and the fishing with the few people who call The Lake home. And I’ve enjoyed working in a building that’s well kept and working with a group of students that are second to none. The students and their families here made this the most fun and the easiest teaching job I’ve ever had. We hadn’t intended on leaving yet. So, the excitement of the move and the new destination has a bit of a pall over it.
Well, nonetheless, onward and upward.
One aspect of moving I get a strange pleasure from is the challenge of using up of all of our pantry items by the move date. This batch of cookies was especially satisfying as the recipe, to the tablespoon, helped me finish off several ingredients that I had just a bit of. The purpose of this recipe was to create cookies that could be used to make ice cream sandwiches with the bag of frozen bananas I still have in the freezer. They are perfect! They are small and have just the right texture for this frozen confection. We’ve found that dolloping the banana ice cream atop the open-faced cookies seems to work best. I also think these cookies taste fantastic straight out of the freezer. The idea to keep them in the freezer so they are out of sight didn’t quite work to keep them out of mind. They turned out too good! A taste of a few of these, and the “moving cloud” dissipates a little. 🙂
To keep them “lite” on calories, the ingredients were thought out, but so were the size. I made the cookies small – about two teaspoonfuls of dough. This way two cookies, with the banana ice cream, is a satisfying dessert. (According to an online calorie calculator, these weighed in at just 45 calories per cookie.) Feel free to adjust the size to your liking. I also thought adding a splash of peppermint extract would be delicious – a la “Thin Mint” Girl Scout cookies. (I loved those straight out of the freezer!) Alas, my pantry no longer has this ingredient.
Lite Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- generous pinch salt
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil, I used canola
- 2 tbsp milk, I used nonfat
- 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
- Stir in oil, milk, yogurt and vanilla.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide dough into 32 pieces. I formed a long skinny log and chopped it into pieces.
- Roll pieces into balls.
- Evenly space out 24 balls (4 x 6) on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. If your dough balls are bigger, bake fewer at a time to allow for expansion.
- Bake for 9 minutes. They will look slightly underdone.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining dough balls.
- Store cookies in the freezer in zip-top bags to ensure freshness. Enjoy straight out of the freezer.