Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Big Two-Five

Look ma!  I baked!

I know I promised to limit the recipe posts, but time constraints are working against me here.  Today is my birthday, and in honor of the day, I made cookies.  Really, really good cookies.  Also, healthy cookies.  And despite my stomach's urgent pleas, I brought the cookies to work today to share with my co-workers instead of eating all of them by myself while wrapped in a comforter watching "Say Yes to the Dress".

The cookies were a total hit, and that is due in no small part to the miracle substitution of avocado in place of butter.  I learned about this from my dear friend, Killian, over at Tales 'n Teacups who made some delicious green-tinted cookies a while back that were soft and moist and wonderful.  "Avocado, as it were," she explained, "can be substituted for butter whenever need be, in any baked goods you desire." "Genius, my dear fellow!" I rejoiced with song and dance.

The exchange went something like that.

I knew immediately that I wanted to try avocado in this recipe, because when Jon and I made these cookies before they were, while tasty, really hard and crunchy.  Not easy to eat without crumbling or causing mouth-ouchies.  I figured avocado would be the perfect substitution, since I wanted to find a way to make these cookies as hearty and natural as possible.  And success!  They turned out phenomenal, and surprisingly filling.  A good addition to my simple, tasty, rainy day birthday.

Speaking of my birthday, I am 25-years-old today.  Weird.  I can rent a car now without exorbitant fees and through-the-roof insurance costs!  I'm halfway to 30!  My brain is fully developed!  I'm... an adult, and stuff.  Double weird.

The strange thing is that as I get older, birthdays become so much less of a "big deal".  Not that I don't enjoy celebrating with friends, or receiving gifts, or wishing others a happy birthday... More so, it's become a time to really take account of things that are important, things that matter most to me—where I am, who I'm with, what I'm doing.  I've entered the sophomore years of my life, and even though things aren't always perfect, I'm excited about the way my life is going... and I get to spend it with some pretty amazing people, starting with a wood-fired pizza and wine dinner at Delancey with Jon, the love of my life.

Plus, I get to eat amazing cookies today.  Maybe several of them. (See what I did there?  Now we're back to cookies.)

So here it is, the recipe.  Jon and I lovingly renamed these to reflect our alma mater's mascot, which is, for some reason, an Argentinian cowboy.


"Gaucho" Cookies
adapted from Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies via Lick the Bowl Good
Serving size: 1 cookie  |  Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 4

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour *
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt *
  • 1/2 cup (1 medium) avocado, ripe *
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) into a large bowl.  In another bowl, use a mixer to blend avocado until creamy, about 1 minute.  Slowly add sugars to avocado and blend until creamy, another 2 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla; continue mixing until fully blended.

Gradually add dry ingredients to mixer.  Blend thoroughly (the dough will begin to thicken quickly).  Once blended, fold in coconut, oats, chopped pecans and chocolate chips until all of it is full incorporated.  Note: This is a very thick and sticky dough, so it's helpful to mix these chunkier ingredients bit by bit.

Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop (about 2 tbsp) scoop up dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet.  Note: Because these have no butter, they will bake more like macaroons.  If you wish you have more of a "cookie" shape, push down on the dough mounds to flatten.

Cook for 20 minutes.  Makes 2 dozen cookies (see Laura Bush's recipe for how to triple the size).

* Notes on changes:  In an effort to make these cookies heartier and with less additives, we opted for whole wheat flour (organic if you can find it).  I've already explained the avocado (thank goodness for moist cookies!), and we decided to add more salt to the recipe to really add a salty-sweet contrast.  My favorite!

1 comment: