After baking 17 half-batches of chocolate chip cookies, testing out different flours to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, these spelt chocolate chip cookies with walnuts were my favourite.
It's very hard to judge when you are faced with a mountain of freshly baked cookies because all roads lead to happiness and a belly full of cookies. Still, when I tested out baking chocolate chip cookies with alternative flours, including oat, buckwheat, rye, spelt, and corn, these spelt chocolate chip cookies stood out.
What you need to make these cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are so easy to make and the basic ingredients for are always butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and of course chocolate. Here's what you'll need to make these spelt flour cookies:
- butter, preferably unsalted butter because you will add salt to the dough, but if you have salted, it will work. Just adjust the salt in the recipe accordingly, otherwise your cookies may be too salty
- sugar—we are using a combination of granulated sugar (to help give cookies their crispy edges) and brown sugar to add the molasses flavour and balance out the flavour of the egg. Brown sugar may also lead to a slightly thicker cookie
- vanilla extract adds depth of flavour and sweetness to these cookies. Don't skimp on this ingredient!
- large eggs—don't use smaller eggs because your cookies may be too dry, but don't use extra large eggs because they could affect the texture too. Sometimes too much eggs can make a cake-y cookie!
- flour is needed to bind all the ingredients together and give the cookies structure, so that they hold their shape. If you don't use enough flour, your cookies may spread too much as they bake, especially given the amount of butter you will use. For this recipe, we are using spelt flour
- baking soda, a base (alkaline), is the leavening agent in this cookie recipe. It contributes to browning and helps your cookies to spread Don't confuse it with baking powder, which would cause the cookies to puff up as they bake. Read this post about baking powder versus baking soda if you are confused
- salt is really important to balance out the sweet buttery flavour. Don't skip it. I like to use Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt, but table salt will work, though the cookies will be saltier and you may want to halve the salt in that case.
- chocolate—use either dark chocolate (bittersweet or semisweet), milk chocolate, or even white chocolate. You can use chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, but remember chocolate chips will hold their shape, while chopped chocolate will melt and ooze.
Replacing all-purpose with spelt flour
If you compare spelt flour vs all-purpose flour, you'll find that spelt has a little less gluten, which means for this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I used 65 grams (½ cup) more of spelt flour as compared to my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. Adding slightly more spelt flour means you can achieve a thick chocolate chip cookie that doesn't spread too much, which is a typical problem when baking cookies with alternative flours that lower in gluten or gluten-free.
The extra flour also means the batch makes 2 extra cookies, so 16 cookies instead of 14. If that's too many cookies for you, chop up a bunch into small pieces and freeze them so you can churn them into a batch of cookie ice cream!
- a spatula for scraping down the bowl to ensure the butter and sugar are evenly incorporated with the rest of the ingredients and to avoid textural defects when the cookies bake
- a cookie scoop to help portion out the dough evenly
- a kitchen scale, not only for verifying that the scoops of dough are even, but also to measure out the ingredients
- aluminum sheet pans, at least two of them, and parchment paper for easy clean up
- a cooling rack to transfer freshly baked cookies to allow for air circulation as they cool.
If you ever run into the problem that your cookies are burning on the bottom and staying raw in the middle, it could be the material of your sheet pan (dark bakeware absorbs more heat), your oven temperature, or even too much baking soda in your recipe.
Spelt chocolate chip cookies with walnuts
- 250 grams (2 cups) whole grain spelt flour
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt or 2.5 mL (½ tsp) table salt
- 2.5 mL (½ teaspoon) baking soda
- 115 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter
- 150 grams (¾ cup) dark brown sugar
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 (1 ) large egg(s)
- 10 mL (2 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
- 175 grams (1 cup) dark chocolate chopped (approximately 250 mL or 1 cup), or 250 mL (1 cup) dark chocolate chips
- 120 grams (1 cup) chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 400 ºF. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter, the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar until it's very light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and the vanilla, and mix well until the mixture is light and fluffy again. Make sure to clean down the sides of the bowl as needed with a big spatula.
- Dump in the whisked dry ingredients, and incorporate them either with the hand mixer on low, or by hand with a big wooden spoon.
- Mix in the chocolate and the chopped walnuts. The dough should be quite thick.
- Scoop approximately 50 gram portions of the dough, rolling them into balls.
- Place 8 cookies per cookie sheet, being sure to space them apart and stagger them.
- Bake the cookies one sheet pan at a time until the edges just begin to brown (this takes about 12 to 14 minutes). You might want to rotate the pan partway through the baking to make sure the cookies brown evenly.
- Let the cookies cool completely on the sheet pan while you bake the second pan.
- Store in an airtight container.
- replace the spelt flour with:
- all-purpose flour: 190 grams (1.5 cups) all-purpose flour to make regular thick chewy chocolate chip cookies
- whole wheat flour: 190 grams (1.5 cups) whole wheat flour to make whole wheat chocolate chip cookies—note that at 190 grams (1.5 cups) of whole wheat flour, the cookies spread out more than they would with the same weight of all-purpose, but they are still on the thicker side so I don't think you should add more flour than this.
- rye flour: 190 grams (1.5 cups) rye flour to make rye chocolate chip cookies (basically replace with the same amount)—any more rye flour makes the cookies too thick and way too chewy, and less rye flour results in a much thinner cookie that spreads out. Also note that chocolate chip cookies made with 100 % rye flour will be quite chewy, even freshly baked.
- oat flour: 220 grams–250 grams (1.75 cups to 2 cups) oat flour depending on how thick a cookie you want (note you can also replace the chopped chocolate with raisins to make them gluten-free oat flour raisin cookies )
- corn flour: 220 grams–250 grams (1.75 cups to 2 cups) corn flour, depending on how thick a cookie you want
- buckwheat flour: 310 grams (2.5 cups) buckwheat flour to make gluten-free buckwheat chocolate chip cookies—less works, but the cookies spread quite a bit!
- If you want to garnish: you can't go wrong with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt which will help balance out the sweetness of the cookie dough.