Showing posts with label baking with coconut oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baking with coconut oil. Show all posts

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

What's lunch without a sweet at the end? A homemade cookie is always the perfect take along dessert. Not only are they delicious and popular with kids, but they're excellent lunchroom currency, too.

To be honest, I thought I would do a veggie wrap today. But since we had two kid-approved wraps earlier this week, it seemed more appropriate to bring our back to school celebration to a conclusion with that little sweet that makes the meal.

I've had this recipe for a long, long time. I think it's based on the original Tollhouse recipe. Over the years, I've played with it in many ways. I've substituted canola oil and pumpkin for the shortening. It worked but wasn't my favorite. I've used Spectrum organic shortening, which is made from palm oil, and that worked fine. I tried making it with all butter, but the cookies really do benefit from that bit of shortening. And, of course, I've made these cookies with Crisco, which works beautifully. Today I've substituted coconut oil for the shortening and the cookies turned out fine. I don't even taste the coconut.

One of the comments I frequently receive about The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, is that Sophie has a seemingly endless supply of cookies in the freezer. Yes, she does! Don't you? Aside from being a lovely recipe that tastes great, my favorite thing about this recipe is that it makes a huge batch of cookies. You can actually press the dough into a log shape (it doesn't have to be perfect) on waxed paper, roll it up, and stash it in the freezer to be used when you need cookies. The recipe makes about 40 or so cookies, so that means several rolls of cookies, which I slide into a freezer bag for storage.

When company arrives unexpectedly, I have freshly baked cookies in fifteen minutes. Perfect for midnight snacks (especially when characters are discussing a murder), after school snacks, lunch boxes, snow days, even those days when you're supposed to bring something for the whole class -- and you forgot about it. Cookies to the rescue!

Freezable Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

1/2 cup coconut oil (or shortening)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/14 teaspoons baking soda
3-4 cups chocolate chips

Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Cream the oil and butter. Add the sugar, mix well. Add the eggs, vanilla, and milk, and mix thoroughly. Gradually mix in the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.

The dough is now ready to freeze or bake (or both!). Preheat the oven to 350. Drop the dough on a buttered baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Freeze unbaked dough in logs.

If frozen, slice a chunk off the end about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into four pieces. Place on a buttered baking sheet with the point up. Bake at 350 for 12 - 14 minutes.


Have a kid who is too cool for a cutesy lunch box? Today's prize is a very sophisticated personalized lunch bag. Your choice of color with your child's name or monogram!

To enter, leave a message. The winner will be announced tomorrow!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Crazy Coconut Caper

Have you ever noticed that sometimes things just converge in life? It all started with Jenn's book. I had cupcakes on the brain. (It's a wonderful book, by the way -- you'll love it! Don't miss Lesa Holstine's review!) Then someone recommended adding raw coconut oil to my dog's food. Apparently, it's a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I bought the coconut oil, and sure enough, my mother started reminiscing about her friend's signature cake. She made coconut cake for every birthday, holiday, and celebration. In the Domestic Diva Mysteries, Natasha has a signature color (oh! that would make a great question in a contest!), but who knew someone might have a signature cake?

By that time, I was itching to try the coconut oil. I dipped a spoon into it and tried just a taste. It reminds me a little bit of an Almond Joy or a Mounds, but it has the texture of Crisco. A little bit of research indicates that raw coconut oil is nothing short of a miracle food curing hair and skin issues, "maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength." WEIGHT LOSS? Bring on the coconut oil!

By now you see where this is going. I had to make crazy coconut cupcakes. To lose weight -- you understand.

Crazy Coconut Cupcakes

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in the cupcake pan. Note that I wanted to make a small batch. This makes about 11-12 cupcakes. If you need more, double the recipe.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, shredded coconut, and salt, and mix with a fork.

Separate the egg. Beat the egg white until it forms gentle peaks, but isn't dry. Set aside.

Beat the egg yolk briefly, slow the mixer and add a the coconut oil. Slowly add some of the flour mixture. Alternate adding the liquids and the rest of the flour mixture.

Gently fold about 1/4 of the mixture into the egg white. Add the rest in two portions, folding each time. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

If you're the type who prefers the cake part of cupcakes, top these with a strawberry and you're done. They're delicious without frosting. But if you're the type who thinks nothing can be too sweet -- go for the frosting below!

Crazy Coconut Cupcake Frosting

Interestingly, raw coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated. That made me start thinking about buttercream and how delicate it is in the heat. If you've read The Diva Takes the Cake, you know what I'm talking about! I don't know how well coconut oil frosting will stand up to heat, but here it is --

6 tablespoons raw coconut oil
4-6 tablespoons milk or cream
3 cups powdered sugar

Place the coconut oil in the mixer with 2-3 tablespoons of milk or cream and mix. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well. Alternate adding the liquid and the sugar until it reaches a nice frosting consistency. Spread or pipe on the cupcakes. I sprinkled mine with a little bit of Wilton's Sprinkles -- not with murder!

Enjoy losing weight!

Aside from having a crazy coconut cupcake crisis, I'm happy to say that I managed to make a trailer for The Diva Paints the Town. (If it's too small to see clearly here, you can check it out at YouTube.)

Don't forget Jenn's cupcake contest! Sprinkle with Murder is in bookstores near you! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail at or a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of.

~ Krista