Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft, chewy, chocolaty, airy, addictive. Everything you want a cookie to be!! These are my FAVORITE cookies. I always have bunch stashed in the freezer (they're amazing warm and cold - and they're still chewy when frozen!). A few things worth mentioning...

I slashed some fat and calories (but not for the reasons you think): I firmly believe that full-fat cookies have their place in our diets. Everything in moderation. The fat and calories in these cookies were slashed simply because I wanted to use a yogurt-based spread instead of butter. I also swapped egg whites for whole eggs. Here's why:
  • I love butter, but... I don't like greasy cookies. I like the way the yogurt-based spread creates a buttery cookie that doesn't leave an oil slick on my hands. 
  • When you use egg whites instead of whole eggs, by default, 10 grams of fat are eliminated. But the REAL reason I use egg whites is because they produce a lighter, airier, chewier cookie.
Want some peanut butter chips? So did I! So I topped half of these cookies with peanut butter chips before baking (about 3-5 chips per cookie).

Freezer friendly: I always have a dozen or so of these cookies in my freezer and here's how I store them: I place about 8 cookies on a paper plate and wrap the plate with press-n-seal wrap. Then I place the plate in a freezer bag and pop the cookies in the freezer. Packed this way, they will last 3 months. Well, theoretically they'll last that long; there's a good chance they'll be devoured before then.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt-based vegetable oil spread (such as Brummel & Brown)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Peanut butter chips, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil spread and both sugars. Mix on medium speed until blended and creamy. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour mixture and mix until creamy and smooth.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets (I used a 2-inch scoop), about 2 inches apart. You should get 4 dozen cookies. If desired, sprinkle the cookies with peanut butter chips.
Bake for 8 minutes, until golden. Cool the cookies, on baking sheets, on wire racks.
Makes 4 dozen cookies