Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

These whole wheat chocolate chip cookies have a deeper flavor and a chewier texture than traditional cookies. Walnuts add crunch. The cookies are even better the next day, if you can believe that!

One whole wheat chocolate chip cookie pulled in two

We pinky swear these whole wheat chocolate chip cookies don’t taste healthy. Not even remotely. The whole grain flour in tandem with the walnuts lends the cookies a distinct nuttiness and the chocolate chunks pretty much take things home from there. These cookies, from Manresa Bread in Los Altos and Los Gatos in California, are the first things to sell out. And we SO understand why.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 35 M
  • Makes about 12
4.6/5 - 5 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and slide in the oven for 5 minutes. Stir the walnuts and then continue to bake, tossing or stirring every 2 minutes, until they’re golden brown and start to become fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes more. Keep a careful eye on them. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer them to a plate to cool. Coarsely chop the walnuts.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar for about 2 minutes. The mixture should be barely fluffy and almost light brown in color. Be careful not to overmix.

Add the eggs and vanilla, reduce the speed to low, and mix until well combined, about 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer still on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture in 2 additions, mixing just until combined.

Switch to a spatula and gently incorporate the chocolate and walnuts into the cookie dough.

For supersize cookies, grab an ice cream scoop or a large spoon and dump the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between the blobs of cookie dough. For modest size cookies, plop a spoonful of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Grab a piece of parchment paper and using your palm or the bottom of a glass, slightly flatten each cookie.

Refrigerate the prepared cookies for at least 1 hour before baking.

Preheat the oven to 325°F degrees (160°C).

Bake the cookies until just barely baked through, 8 to 10 minutes for modest size cookies and 10 to 14 minutes for supersize cookies, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes.

Move the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool slightly. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The cookies will keep for several days and get even better a day or so later, although eating them warm straight out of the oven is always encouraged. Originally published June 23, 2018.

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    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    These whole wheat chocolate chip cookies are the new gold standard by which I will judge all chocolate chip cookies. What an incredible texture these have! When first baked, they're a bit delicate, gooey, and fragile. By the next day, however, the cookies mature into this moist, chewy cookie that’s out of this world. The structure holds, the brown sugar flavor deepens, and the cookies are buttery and even more delightful. I usually bake my cookies fresh since most cookies are better on day 1 than day 2, but this is the opposite—give me the day-old cookie, please!

    Transferring them from the baking sheet is tricky if they aren’t all the way cooled. I ate one when the chocolate was still liquid and I had to use a fork on a plate. (That’s not a complaint.)

    The bran really keeps the gluten from tightening and must be responsible for the special texture. They will break easily—no snap on these cookies, just a gentle bend will do it. They just kind of bend.

    I put the dough in the refrigerator for about 2 1/2 hours. At 13 to 14 minutes, they were barely done with a bit of structure.

    If I had Googled "chocolate chip cookie recipes," I would most certainly have passed on a Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. But I will be adding this to my regular rotation of chocolate chip cookie recipes. I'm not usually a fan of walnuts in cookies, but the nuts and wheat flour worked together to create a nutty, chocolatey, substantial cookie that was perfectly satisfying.

    I baked half of the dough after refrigerating for about an hour and a half and the other half after 24 hours, and while there was a small difference, it was not nearly as pronounced as it can be in other recipes (like the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies).

    However, what truly made a difference was letting the cookies rest overnight after baking. While delicious fresh from the oven, they were definitely best the next day.

    Process-wise, I would probably not pre-scoop the cookie dough onto cookie sheets before refrigerating and would instead just refrigerate all of the dough and scoop while cold to save space in my fridge and just pop the formed dough on sheets into the fridge for a few minutes before baking.


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    1. 3 stars
      I think this is missing baking powder in the recipe. Calls only for baking soda, but with no acid ingredients to activate the soda, it fails to rise.

      I baked it as written and flavor was great but cookies did not rise at all.

      1. Neel, I’ve double-checked the recipe and the cookbook, and the ingredients are correct. You are correct that it does yield a flatter cookie with fantastic flavor.

    2. Postcript: I still make these cookies on the regular, and I will say that toasted hazelnuts are a GREAT substitution if you want a different nut. My husband gets gleeful when I bake these!

      1. Thanks, Johnisha! Hazelnuts do sound like a fantastic swap and I’d be pretty gleeful too if someone was baking them for me.

    3. I was asked at the last minute to bring cookies to our Christmas Day lunch so I searched the internet for whole wheat cookies as that’s all I had on hand! I’m a moderately experienced baker and I’m always leery of online recipes but I loved this site’s extensive tester reviews and took a chance. I’m so glad I did! I made the dough as described but went for a slice-and-bake method. I formed the dough into a log about 3.5” in diameter, wrapped tightly in plastic and chilled for one hour. Then I made 1/4” slices and placed each cookie on a silicon lined cookie sheet. I baked for 7 minutes, turned the pan, 5 minutes more. As the testers indicated, after cooling they really firmed up nicely! I probably could’ve taken them out earlier but they were on the thicker/denser side because of the log method I chose. Of course, I tasted one and it was delicious! I’m so surprised with whole wheat flour and no white sugar they could be tender just the right amount of sweet.

      A tray of whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

      1. Magnificent, Emily! Love that you made do with what you had on hand and love that you took a chance on us! We test each recipe before it appears on the site—and actually, we test about twice as many recipes as appear on the site because some just aren’t sufficiently spectacular enough to share with others. So we make sure the disappointment stays in our kitchens. Hope you stay a while on our site and let us know when you try another recipe…

    4. Loved it! My boyfriend said these were the best cookies he’d ever had. I pretty much stuck to the recipe with the few minor changes:

      Walnuts were already chopped, so I spent less time toasting them
      Cookie dough spent 3 hours in the fridge
      Each cookie was a little bigger than 1 Aussie tablespoon = 20 ml
      I have a convection oven, so I adjusted the temperature to 165°C and they baked for 8 minutes

      These were delicious! And you’re right, they tasted better the next day. The smaller cookie size made for a larger # of cookies, so we froze the rest we didn’t eat 😀

      1. Mela, thank you so much for sharing your experience with this recipe! Love to hear this! So glad you are as enthralled with these cookies as we are. Appreciate you taking the time to try them and to let us know how it went down. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…!

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