This weekend I was in the mood to bake and the kids were in the mood for cookies, what a great combination! The problem is that baking seems to be getting trickier and trickier in our house. My husband doesn’t do well with butter and is highly sensitive to coconut oil, my two little kids can have coconut oil but they are very dairy sensitive, one can manage butter and the other can’t. I don’t want to use margarines because they are a terrible health choice and my older stepgirls are teenagers and don’t want anything that tastes “too healthy”. This presented quite a cookie problem. Last time this problems happened I used one of my favourite simple cookie recipes that uses nut butter to be the fat and the flour in the recipe, it is here, so simple, yummy but higher in sugar than I would like (yes, I’ve tried to substitute honey and they were pretty good too but I just wasn’t in mood for peanut/almond/cashew butter cookies).
This weekend’s baking mission was to experiment with using oil instead of a solid fat in cookies. I do it all the time in muffins and cake but cookies almost always use solid fats that are creamed with sugar to start. In my research I found that butter is 85% fat and 15% water so the recommended way to substitute oil for butter is to use 85% of the amount of butter in a recipe and use oil instead. Calculating 85% of 1/3 of a cup called for more math than I was in the mood to do so I just added a bit less than the 1/3 of a cup (somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 on the measuring cup). I have since calculated and it should be approximately 70 mL (4 2/3 tbsp or 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tbsp).
The resulting cookies were fantastic, they were chewy and the sugar on the outside gave a bit of crunch. I loved that mostly they were sweetened with honey with just a tiny bit of cane sugar mixed with cinnamon to roll them in to make a sparkly outside.
I wish I had taken a picture but they were eaten so fast I just didn’t have a chance!
2 cups/200 g/7 oz blanched, fine ground almond powder (not packed)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup melted palm shortening, butter, ghee or coconut oil OR 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tbsp of oil such as sunflower oil
1/4 cup mild honey (like clover)
11/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar, coconut sugar or maple sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line and grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients; mix together well. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, honey and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the almond flour mixture and mix till combined. Let rest for a few minutes. It will thicken up some but may still be sticky.
Combine the raw sugar/coconut sugar/maple sugar (optional*) and the ground cinnamon in a small bowl.
With clean hands (so the dough doesn’t stick) use a rounded tablespoon, scoop out the dough; then gently form into a ball. Roll in or sprinkle all sides with the cinnamon mixture. Place the balls of cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.
Gently flatten each cookie using your hands, bottom of a cup/jar or parchment paper. Dip the bottom of the jar or cup in some of the sugar & spice mixture to help keep the cookie form sticking to the jar.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-9 minutes. Leave cookies on the cookie sheet while cooling. They may seem under-baked at first, but they will firm up to just the right texture as they cool.
Recipe adapted from: http://urbanposer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/snickerdoodle-cookies.html