When I first discovered this single-serving microwave chocolate chip cookie, I immediately began experimenting with substitutions to try to make it healthier. Because eating a huge chocolate chip cookie is great, but when that cookie is close to guiltless? That’s my personal idea of heaven 🙂
For me, healthy is less about reducing calories and more about using ingredients that are nutritious and not merely empty calories. Of course, you still want to maintain the integrity of what you’re making – it has to taste good, have a reasonably pleasant texture, be recognizable as what it is, etc. I tend to have some go-to solutions for making substitutions in desserts like this, and they didn’t fail me here. I substituted nut butter for the fat, because it contains fat as well but a healthier kind and also adds nutrients and protein. I subbed out half the sugar for stevia. After much trial and error, SweetLeaf is my stevia brand of choice. One packet is only equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar, but that’s okay because I don’t mind things a little less sweet.
I almost never eliminate sugar completely, both because it lends to a better flavor and because it does a lot in baking besides merely making things sweet. Finally, I used white whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose flour. White whole wheat flour is my go-to: I don’t even keep standard all-purpose flour in my kitchen.
You can boost the nutritional value even more by choosing dark chocolate chips over milk or semi-sweet and adding nuts. If reducing calories is one of your goals, try subbing some of the flour for quick oats (I did this once for one tablespoon, and it turned out well) and/or choosing a lower-calorie milk, such as unsweetened almond milk – another of my baking staples!
The cookie I photographed is made with almond butter, but if you don’t care for almond butter or want the most authentic flavor, I recommending using peanut butter OR half butter/half nut butter. However, be aware that what you choose could potentially require you to adjust other ingredients. When I made this cookie with natural peanut butter (no butter), the dough did not come together, and I had to add a little extra milk until it did. But the results were still super yummy. You might have to do the same to account for differences in the consistency of the nut butter – some have added oil (and sugar,) some are thicker or runnier.
If you want to splurge for the full-calorie version from which this recipe is adapted, check it out here! I can vouch for the stellar results.
1 tablespoon nut butter OR 1/2 tablespoon nut butter + 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of salt
stevia to equal about 1 tablespoon sugar, or 1 tablespoon additional sugar
2 teaspoons milk (+ up to 2 teaspoons more)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1-2 tablespoons chocolate chips
In a small bowl, microwave the nut butter and/or butter until melted (about 60 seconds). Stir in the the sugar, stevia, and salt. The mixture might already be very thick, especially if you’re using all nut butter.
Stir in the milk and vanilla until the mixture is consistent.
Stir in the flour. If the dough isn’t coming together and the mixture is dry, add more milk little by little. Mine looked something like this:
Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
Dump the dough in the middle of a microwavable plate and press it into the shape of a cookie, making sure the edges are a little thinner than the middle. DO NOT skip this step – I first baked this recipe right in the bowl, so I can vouch that it’s much better and more authentic if you take the time, trouble, and extra dish to form a cookie shape.
Microwave the cookie for about a minute, adjusting the power of your microwave to reach about 700-900 watts, depending on how done you like your cookies. I have a 1250 watt microwave, so I use 70% power (875 watts).
Devour, preferably with milk.
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