Pin Project #6: Coconut Oil

So, have you heard the buzz about coconut oil? Apparently, it is like manna… or something. You can cook/bake with it (substitute for butter & oil), it does wonders for your hair and skin, heck – you can even eat it by the spoonful and live to be 100! (Can we all just take a minute and acknowledge that we are still talking about OIL here…who wants to eat a spoonful??) With all that in mind, I have been wanting to try it out and see what all the excitement has been about.

First I tried it spread on some delicious, warm, home-made bread at a friend’s brunch the other morning and it was DElicious! Next, I used a small amount on my chapped, winter hands and it was surprisingly nice – moisturizing and not smelly or greasy. I’ve also been reading quite a bit about the benefits of a plant-based diet and it is a great substitute for dairy fat. I may not be eating spoonfuls anytime soon, but I will admit it is delicious and versatile. Most recently, in an effort to celebrate the birthday of a lovely friend (and allow her lactose intolerant husband to enjoy the festivities as well) I had the opportunity to do my first-ever vegan baking experiment! Woo!** I picked up my first jar of coconut oil and grabbed my dad’s famous snickerdoodle recipe and decided to wing it. The results were delicious, light & fluffy snickerdoodles (with not even a hint of coconut flavor, by the way) – needless to say, I was sad I only made one dozen!

**It should be noted that AFTER the cookies were baked (cooling on my counter) I realized that I had used an egg! Oops…oh well, if you want to go for real vegan egg-substitute should work like a charm.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Ingredients (makes a baker’s dozen):
1/2 c. coconut oil (I melted mine in the microwave)
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg (or egg substitute!)
3 T. apple sauce
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon (for rolling)
1/8 c. sugar (for rolling)

Notes: I made my dough a little bit ahead of time and let it chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge. I wasn’t sure how the coconut oil was going to bake so I’m not sure if chilling is necessary, but I can tell you it worked for me. This recipe was sort of “guess as you go.” Also, I am a fan of one-bowl recipes but if you’re used to combining all the dry ingredients separately, go for it!

Directions: In a large mixing bowl stir the melted oil and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients (flour, tartar, and baking soda) next and mix thoroughly. At this point my cookie dough was really dry and clumpy so I added 3 T. of applesauce and then put the bowl in the oven (preheating) so the oil would liquify again. It only took about 3 minutes and then I was able to stir the dough into a cohesive ball of goodness. Chill your dough (if you want) for 30 minutes and mix the sugar & cinnamon topping together in a small bowl.

When you’re ready to bake, scoop and make 1″ balls of dough, roll them in the sugar & cinnamon mix, and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I got an entire dozen on one tray. Bake at 375F for 12 mins. Cool & enjoy with a tall glass of almond milk. Ahhhh…

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