Chip Hound

Uncle Chip's adds morning appeal on North Capitol

The baked goods at the bright new bakery Uncle Chip's on North Capitol Street certainly don't look healthy.

But owner Shannon Boyle's bounty of rich cookies, bars, muffins and breads are lighter than competitors', and also often vegan.

In place of '80s-holdout bran muffins, Uncle Chip's serves vegan kamut-germ muffins ($2), incorporating the high-protein ancient Egyptian grain along with flax seed and wheat germ. Caramel ginger bars ($2) also eliminate butter and eggs, using rice syrup to create a caramel sauce thick with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pecans and raisins.

Roasted buckwheat adds texture to whole-wheat banana bread ($2); and the cinnamon-spiced bread gets its moist, dense texture from the fruit. But Boyle's most surprising combination is her black-bean brownie ($18 for a dozen). Fiber-rich beans replace the egg and oil, creating thick, chocolaty, gluten-free bars.

Boyle's top-secret original recipe for her namesake chocolate chip cookies involves hard-to-source ingredients and strict temperature restrictions for the dough. So we had the baker share her favorite alternative (click here to see the recipe).

Though the cookies are lightened with egg whites and whole-wheat flour, they are so soft and gooey that unsuspecting tasters will never know the difference.

1514 North Capitol St. NW (between P & Bates sts.); unclechips.com