Coconut Oil Almond Butter Cookies.

As of today, my big sister is 16 days overdue.  I have literally spent every day of the past month anxious and on edge, waiting for news of my nephew’s arrival.  When she told me last night that she was heading into the hospital to be induced, I instantly started sobbing.  Even though I have known for 42 weeks (!) now that she is going to have a baby, it is all of the sudden very real.  My big sister is going to be a mom!

As if sleeping wasn’t hard enough for me these days, last night I may have gotten 2 hours total.  Every 20 minutes or so I rolled over to check my phone, just to see if there was news of his impeding arrival.  But this little bugger is the most stubborn baby, and seems to be avoiding each and every attempt to bring him into the outside world. 

So while my sister is sending hourly text updates, and letting me know that she’s having small contractions and watching movies in her hospital bed, I am anxiously pacing around my house looking for distractions and things to calm my nerves.  Things like baking…

Coconut Oil Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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(Print this recipe!)

Ingredients:  (makes 2 dozen cookies)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup soy or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

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Instructions:  When the urge to bake came on quickly, I knew there was one small issue.  I was out of Earth Balance (vegan butter), and baking and butter typically go hand in hand.  I decided to see the grocery shortage as an opportunity to try something else, and reached for one of my favorite alternative fats – coconut oil.

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The reason coconut oil can work as a good butter or Earth Balance replacement is that it’s a saturated fat, and solid at room temperature (like butter), so it’s more stable than using something like canola or vegetable oil.

Combine the coconut oil, almond butter, and sugar in a mixer, and beat until fluffy.  (I use unbleached cane sugar, which is why mine is brown.)

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In a small dish to the side, combine the tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water, and let it sit for a few minutes until it becomes a “flax egg.”

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Slowly add the flax egg, vanilla, and milk to the mixer, and beat until combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. 

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Mix wet into dry on low speed until just combined.  Taste the dough.  YUM.

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Fold in the chocolate chips!  You will notice that the dough is much more greasy and shiny looking than you are used to – that’s the coconut oil spreading the love throughout the cookie dough. 

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Scoop out onto a greased cookie sheet, one dozen at a time.

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Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees or until the edges are golden brown. 

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Best served piping hot, with an ice cold glass of milk nearby.

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Even though coconut oil and almond butter are both things that are relatively high in calories, you’re not actually using much of either in the total recipe.  As far as flavor goes, a little goes a long way, and you can definitely taste a hint of both in these dense but dreamy cookies.

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For as rich and decadent as they sound, they are actually only 95 calories per piece.  Which means that you can definitely afford to eat more than one, which is always a good thing. 

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Gooey and chocolatey.  Just screaming to be dunked, right?

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I’ll be nervously munching these at my desk as Nephew Watch 2011 continues throughout the day…