I'm looking for some great recipes to use coconut oil to make cookies, bars, muffins, etc. I'd also like to learn if and how you've substituted coconut oil for butter or other fats in other recipes. Please share you thoughts and successes!
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Extra virgin or virgin coconut oil is worth seeking out -- it has been treated less and isn't partially hydrogenated like regular coconut oil. (Trader Joe's has a great, and reasonably priced, jar of virgin coconut oil.)
Deb at Smitten Kitchen just posted this banana bread that uses coconut oil: http://smittenkitchen.com...
As for when to substitute, any recipe that calls for melted butter or olive oil (ie, many granolas and quickbreads) would be great with coconut oil -- just remember that you'll have a faint coconut taste in the final product. I wouldn't substitute coconut oil for butter in a layer cake or shortbread that really depends on butter, but for cookies it wouldn't be a problem to cream solid coconut oil with sugar instead of butter.
I've used coconut oil quite a bit as a butter/margarine replacement in baking. I notice a slight coconut flavor in the raw batter/dough, but it disappears (at least as far as my tastebuds and those of my family go!) during cooking. Actually a little disappointing that way...
Anyhow, use it one-for-one for whatever your margarine/butter amount is. Note that you will lose the richness that butter/margarine provides, so the result will not be as flavorful (not at all bad, but no buttery notes). You can always adjust by slightly increasing some of the other flavors (more vanilla; more cinnamon; ... whatever the other flavor notes are). The result will still be different -- not bad, just not quite as rich.
Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.
Coconut oil is one thing I can not go without. Here are two of my favorite recipes, one for baking and one for a savory dish:
I love using part coconut oil (and part olive oil) in granola. I recently experimented with it in peanut butter cookies and didn't love it, though that didn't keep me from polishing off most of batch myself ;)
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