*not scientifically proven.. yet.
My dream is to create the perfect cookie: a comforting delicious sweet that is so healthy you can only get better with each bite. Alright maybe more than a dream it’s utopia.. But that wouldn’t stop me from trying. And believe me, I am putting a lot of effort into this.
I am looking for a recipe containing less fat and less sugar but allowing a firm, chewy texture. Coconut oil is a very good alternative to butter. You can easily make the substitution in cakes as coconut oil creates a lighter, really moist texture and can be beaten nicely with sugar if its temperature is below 23°C. However, when it comes to making cookies, things get a little harder. I had to reduce the quantity of coconut oil by half to avoid greasy results. The correct texture is also difficult to obtain as it often changes depending on the type of flour used (for example, wholemeal flour creates a chewy bite, while barley flour would give you a cakier cookie).
As far as sugar is concerned, I opted for sweeter alternatives to white sugar: light brown or dark brown Muscovado sugar – the first for sweeter results, the second for deeper flavours. Honey or maple syrup are magical alternatives to sugar but I feel my experiments with them have not shown good enough results yet.
Here’s the cookie base using coconut oil, barley flour and Muscovado sugar. What you’ll have is a cookie that is not too sweet, very light, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside… Basically, ME. Jokes apart, add any toppings you like: chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, seeds.. The ones pictured above were made with white chocolate and dried currants using light brown Muscovado.
Why barley flour? Although it is harder to use than wholemeal flour, barley is extremely high in fiber, low in gluten, very good for the heart, lowers risk of type 2 diabetes and helps develop and repair body tissue.
1/2 C melted coconut oil
1 1/2 C barley flour
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts baking soda
3/4 C Muscovado sugar (either light or dark)
1/2 ts vanilla extract
Feel free to double up the ingredients if you need a big batch.
Fluff the dry ingredients with a fork.
Beat the egg and sugar on high for 3′.
Add the coconut oil and beat on low for a minute or two.
With a wooden spoon, incorporate the dry ingredients (and toppings).
Bake at 160°C for 12′.
Please note that barley flour cookies do not expand in the oven. You have the option to bake them straight away giving them the desired shape or to freeze the dough and slice it – yes, just like a salami – before baking. Finally, when baking from frozen, allow an extra couple of minutes in the oven.
A trail of cookies in response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.”