Chewy, Buttery & Tasty Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know the search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie? I think my journey has ended and my perfect cookie is LOW FAT!!! *dies* This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. Since all the recipes in the book are tested over and over again a couple dozen times to make sure they work, I knew I could trust this suspicious "low fat" cookie recipe.

These cookies are ridiculous. I gave one to my brother and he asked for a second one. He's a pro at detecting "weird" ingredients and the first one to turn his nose up at "low fat" foods but he had no idea! They come out of the oven with crispy edges and are chewy throughout- they also STAY chewy for days. They are the PERFECT CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. EXCITED!!! What's the secret ingredient?! How is this done?!

Dates! I've been on a date kick lately because I recently discovered how much I love lara bars- they are these food bars made with all fruit and nuts- no sugar, no additives and no preservatives. And they come in flavors like apple pie, carrot cake and peanut butter cookie. And they TASTE EXACTLY LIKE THOSE THINGS. no joke. *dies again* Anyway the point is, they are held together by dates and so in an attempt to recreate these bars at home, I had a giant tub of dates in my fridge. Which just so happen to be the secret to these cookies.

These cookies are low fat because they cut out a majority of the butter in exchange for date puree- weird but it works. To mask the flavor of the dates and pump up that amazing butter flavor, the butter is browned in a pan over the stove before going into the batter. Browning butter brings out all kinds of luscious buttery flavors and it works like a gem in this recipe. I also thought that as long I was trying to make "healthy" cookies, I would add some whole grain. So I swapped a cup of the all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour. I'm so bad. Yet these cookies are so good.

Don't be afraid of the dough seems kind of weird a dry- it comes together when you roll it into a ball and while it bakes somehow. I also don't think it is necessary to bother with their method of shaping the cookies- I think using a cookie scoop would be quicker and they would look fine.

Big and Chewy Light Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/4 cup dried dates (chopped) or whole dates
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour but you know you want your fiber)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
2. If your dates are dried, bring 1 cup of water to boil and add dried dates. Boil till dates are tender and puree in the food processor until you have a thick paste. If your dates aren't dried, skip the boiling and go straight to pureeing them. You should have a little over 1/4 cup of date puree.
3. Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until nutty smelling and brown, about 4 minutes. let cool.
4. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. In a large bowl, beat the melted butter, brown sugar and date puree together until smooth about 1-2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined about 30 seconds, scraping the sides.
5. reduce mixer to low and add flour mixture until combined. reserve 2 tablespoons chocolate chips then mix in remaining chips until incorporated.
6. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll dough into balls, tear the balls in half and press back together with the torn side up. (or skip this step and roll dough into regular balls and place on cookie sheet) Lay the cookies jagged side up on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. press the remaining chocolate chips evenly into cookies.
7. bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set adn beggining to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15- 20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. (My cookies only took around 13-14 minutes)
8. let the cookies cook on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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