So now I'm sharing a recipe for my favorite cookie, but made with coconut oil instead of Earth Balance: shortbread! This one's for you, Yvonne!
|Coconut Oil Shortbread |
(14-16 single cookies)
1/2 cup refined coconut oil at room temperature*
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 tbsp water
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1. Scoop the coconut oil into a medium sized mixing bowl. The coconut oil should be solid but not hard like a rock. If it's very hard you can place it somewhere warm for a few minutes until it becomes softer. I had the oven on, so I just let the coconut oil sit on the stove top (with the stove top off!) until it softened a bit.
2. Using an electric mixer on high, cream the coconut oil until it looks smooth and there are no visible chunky bits of fat. This will take a minute.
3. Add the sugar, extracts, and water. Keep mixing on high until everything is well blended.
4. Use a large spoon to stir in the flour. You can use your hands to knead in the last of the flour if it becomes too hard to stir. You should end up with a dough that resembles Playdough: not soft and soggy but also not dry and crumbly. If it's too dry and not coming together you can add a little bit more water.
5. Now we need to shape the dough into a log. To do this you will need a piece of wax paper cling wrap large enough to wrap the dough log in it. Sprinkle a bit of flour over the wax paper and place the dough right in the center. Use your hands to shape it into a log that is about 2 inches in circumference and then wrap the wax paper tightly around the log. Have you ever rolled a cigar? Me neither, but I'm guessing it's a very similar process! Fold the ends/tips of paper over and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. Check to see if your dough is firm enough to slice. Just unwrap the log and use a sharp knife to slice a bit of dough off. If it's still too soft you can refrigerate it for a little longer. If it's easy to slice, keep cutting the dough into about 1/3 in slices. You should end up with 14-16 slices.
8. Place the dough on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 1 inch between each cookie, and bake on the highest or second highest oven rack for 18-20 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet half way through so the cookies will bake evenly. Baking time will vary depending on how reliable your oven is. My oven is a cretin, so I have to bake these on the highest rack or the bottoms will burn.
9. Transfer your cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool down completely. Enjoy!
*You can use unrefined coconut oil if you don't mind your cookies tasting coconutty.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Filling
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp non-dairy unflavored coffee creamer or your favorite non-dairy milk
1. Combine the chocolate and creamer in a microwaveable bowl.
2. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well and check to see if it's smooth. If it's still a bit chunky, nuke it for 15 more seconds, stir well, and check again. Repeat until your chocolate filling is completely smooth and silky. Let it cool down for a few minutes until the chocolate firms up slightly.
3. Spread a generous amount of chocolate over one cookie. Top it with another cookie - without pressing down! If your chocolate starts spilling out, it means that it's still too warm and you should let it cool down for a few more minutes. Try again and if the chocolate stays put, keep going until all your cookies are done.
Full disclosure: I only tested this recipe once, which is two or three times short of my usual pre-blogging tests. It's just that I am too excited to share with the world the fact that if I ever had to live somewhere where Earth Balance wasn't available, I would still be able to enjoy my favorite cookie. Well, I suppose there was a bit of a trial before this official recipe, but it only involved baking one single cookie. I made this dough with 1 cup of flour, like my regular Earth Balance based shortbread, and I baked only a little piece of dough to see what happened. It melted five or six minutes into the baking time. It became a cookie puddle. That's how I knew that I needed to work some extra flour into the dough, and an extra 1/4 cup was all it needed. Success!
Oh look, I can't just leave cookies alone. I have to add chocolate somehow. The coconut-oil-based shortbread is not quite as tender as the one I make with Earth Balance, but it's still buttery and delicious. These cookies have a bit more crunch to them, and unlike the ones made with vegan butter, the sandwich cookies don't become softer on the second day. They are not too sweet but sweet enough, which is why I love shortbread so much!
Oh, I just don't know when to stop, do I? A little chocolate drizzle on top and a good sprinkling of slivered almonds made these extra ridiculous! What's wrong with ridiculous when it comes to chocolate?