I clearly remember growing up and hoping that a few soft batch cookies from that infamous red package were in a baggie in my lunch at grade school. That of course, was right about the time that soft-cookie sales peaked. In fact, soft cookies peaked in 1985 with about $450 million in sales, and fell to about $300 million just two years later–to about just 10% of the cookie market, according to Snack Food magazine.
So what happened? Did my tastes just change? Did everyone’s?
I remember biting in to a “soft batch” cookie quite some time ago before becoming “wheat-free” and thinking it was quite possibly the worst cookie I had ever tasted. I’m sure that my tastes have improved (or possibly gotten more selective) as I have gotten older, of course. But, I also highly suspect that in an effort to make the cookie less expensive to produce (and therefore, more profitable for the manufacturer) they played with the recipe just a little too much… and well, it eventually crumbled like the cookies themselves.
If you look closely at the packages of yesterday and today, the red classic one says “Original”, and the lastest version of the Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies in the yellow package does not claim “Original” on it. Sadly, if you long for the taste of an original soft batch cookie, you won’t find it… even if you do still eat wheat-containing products.
I consider not being able to eat soft-batch cookies any longer a blessing in disguise, though. Not only am I not let-down by the awful new taste, but I also avoid all of the nonsense that goes in to making them. (And, so do my kids!) The current chocolate chip cookie recipe has 150 calories, 12 g of sugar, and 110 mg of sodium per 2 cookie serving. (And when has anyone eaten just two cookies?) Wheat flour is listed as the first ingredient, high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient, and a slew of sugar-containing and allergy-containing “things” in them. (The possible allergens list reads: CONTAINS WHEAT, MILK, SOY AND EGG INGREDIENTS. MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS.)
That doesn’t, however, stop the craving for a similar soft cookie that I remember growing up. The ones that were plump and soft and so trade-able with other kids at lunchtime.
So. here is what I came up with to create a soft and cakey-style chocolate chip cookie without all of the sugar. They stay soft for days… but I dare you to try to keep them in your house that long!
- Combine flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and set aside.
- Cream together applesauce, margarine, butter, brown sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer.
- Add two eggs and mix well into the butter and sugar.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture to the butter and sugar in the stand mixer. Run the mixer bout 2 minutes until teh dough is well-combined and smooth.
- Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon.
- Place dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325º. Once heated, bake cookies on a sheet pan for approximately 6-8 minutes per batch.
- Cool cookies on a wire rack.