If you are as much of a cookie fanatic as me, you have to try these incredibly soft and chewy dairy-free Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Have you jumped on the coconut oil band wagon yet? If not, you better hurry up 🙂
Haha…just kidding. I myself have only started using and loving coconut oil last December.
We were in Phuket, Thailand at the time. One thing you have to know about Phuket is that it is a major hub for Russian tourists. So much so that most Thai people working in the tourism industry in Phuket know not only English but speak Russian as well.
We were visiting one of the markets famous for fake designer clothes and accessories. My husband and I were just strolling around when one stall stood out to us because it sold locally produced health products.
Among their selection was organic virgin coconut oil. The sweet Thai sales girl saw our interest and assumed we were Russian tourists. She started talking to us in English while throwing in Russian numbers. It was too funny, because I could perfectly understand her (with my limited knowledge of Russian) while my husband was rather confused from understanding only half of the conversation.
After some back and forth we ended up buying a bottle of coconut oil and haven’t looked back since. Coconut oil has become our favorite fat for cooking and baking. Especially the organic, unrefined kind (we even use it as moisturizer and after-shave). I used it in my Peanut Butter Berry Oatmeal Bites as well as the Strawberry Oreo Fridge Cake.
I also set out on a quest for perfect Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies! After many trial batches (which were – without exception – all happily consumed by my family) I think I am finally there.
Soft, chewy cookies chock-full of chocolate chips with just a hint of coconut flavor (intensity will depend of type of coconut oil used).
These are so good that I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever make any other chocolate chip cookies again. (Update 2016: Well, of course I have made other chocolate chip cookies! My current obsession are these spelt chocolate chip cookies, which are a healthier double chocolate version of this recipe.)
In my opinion, baking is a highly scientific (and artistic) process. Despite their similarities, butter and coconut oil differ especially in their melting point. 32–35 °C (90–95 °F) for butter and 24 °C (76 °F) for coconut oil (non-hydrogenated)*. For this reason I believe that in baking butter and coconut oil can not be substituted one-for-one while still expecting the same results. (Unless the recipe calls for melting the fat instead of creaming).
In this chocolate chip cookie recipe it is important to cream the coconut oil with the sugar and eggs. Neither a liquid nor a solid substance can be creamed, so it is important to bring the coconut oil to a consistency of softened butter – somewhere just before its melting point of 24 °C (76 °F). These days my kitchen is still quite chilly, so I nuke the coconut oil in the microwave in 10 second bursts until its soft but not melted.
If your kitchen is very hot so that the coconut oil is liquid at room temperature or if you microwave it too long, you have to place it in the fridge to set a little.
Another key ingredient of this recipe is cornstarch. I have tried these cookies with and without cornstarch. While the version sans starch is good, the cookies have a little bit of a crisp to them especially on the first day. I like my cookies soft and prefer the recipe including cornstarch.
And lastly, you have to line the baking sheet. Whenever I tried to bake the cookies directly on the sheet, the bottoms browned too quickly (even at lower temperature). Once the tops were set (they don’t have to be fully baked) the bottoms were too dark.
I am always using parchment paper but I am sure a silicon lining like the Silpat will work as well.
- ½ cup virgin coconut oil, softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract/powder (I like powder for the little specks it gives the cookies)
- 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour (plus more if needed, see notes)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Cream together softened coconut oil (should have consistency of softened butter), sugars, egg, and vanilla extract with your mixer until light and fluffy (3 minutes).
- Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix in until just combined. If the dough seems to thin and oily, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour. Fold in chocolate chips by hand.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal parts and roll them into slightly flattened balls (chilled dough will be difficult to re-shape). Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough balls for at least 2 hours (I usually put them in the fridge overnight).
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F and place chilled dough balls 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet (when using coconut oil unlined sheets always resulted in too dark cookie bottoms for me).
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges are just set. Centers can still look slightly uncooked.
- Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Store airtight.
Note: 1 cup organic whole sugar can be substituted for white+brown sugar.
Depending on the temperature in your kitchen and the moisture content of your type of coconut oil the dough may seem too dry/crumbly or too sticky/greasy. You can easily adjust this by adding a tablespoon or so of extra flour or coconut oil.
Recipe adapted from averiecooks.com
*according to their respective Wikipedia pages