Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut Oil

Are you into the coconut oil craze? Until recently, I'd heard a lot about coconut oil--especially from the Paleo crowd--but never used it myself. But a few weeks ago my husband when grocery shopping with me (a rarity, and this time it only happened because I couldn't drive for 5 days), he saw some on the shelf and said "hey, let's try this." So I said "hey, why not?!"

If you're not familiar with coconut oil, it's a solid at room temperature similar to butter:

But heat it up a little and it turns to a clear, silky oil:

The first few times we tried it, we used it in stir-fries. It worked fine, but I didn't get a whole lot of coconut flavor from it. And given that it's got more saturated fat than butter, I didn't think it was worth it when my good ol' olive and sesame oils that I usually use for stir-fry work just as well.

Now, it has to be said that there is a lot of discussion going on about whether the saturated fats in coconut oil are better for you (or not as bad for you) as those in butter. I won't go into great detail, but basically it has to do with the length of the fatty acid chains that make up the coconut oil. Since the scientific evidence isn't 100% clear given limited studies, I'm not going to be adding coconut oil to everything. But from what I've read, I have no concerns about swapping out butter for coconut oil.

And so these chocolate chip cookies with coconut oil (or coconut infused chocolate chip cookies, as I like to call them) came to be. I swapped out the usual butter in the recipe for the exact same amount of coconut oil and the results were delicious!

The cookies had a bit of a lighter, crispier texture than the butter version and a slight hint of coconut in their finish. I would definitely make these again, and I can't wait to try other baked goods using coconut oil.
What's your favorite recipe using coconut oil?

If you're looking to try a new one out, here's my recipe for
Coconut Infused Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Makes 18 large cookies)

3/4 c. coconut oil, melted (I measured the 3/4 c. when solid, which after melting, turned into about 2/3 c.)
1 c. brown sugar (loose, not packed)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat melted coconut oil, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended (no lumps). Add vanilla, whole egg and egg yolk and beat until creamy. 
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until well blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop heaping (about golf ball-sized) tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper at least 2" apart.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are evenly browned.

No comments: