If you’ve been paying attention even a little bit to the trends in nutrition, you know that it’s down with sugar, thumbs up to fat. Two books that are garnering a lot of attention are “Grain Brain” and “Wheat Belly”, both saying that fats (even saturated fats like butter) should be critical part of every meal. I’m down with olive oil on my bread and in my pasta, but in a cookie? I was dubious, at best.
I didn’t want to taste it; olive oil goes savory in my mind. Turns out when it’s flavored with orange and vanilla and topped with chocolate (another great source of healthy fats), it’s virtually tasteless (in a good way). The cookies are very NOT tasteless and slide down easily. At just over 100 calories a pop they’re a great, all natural after dinner or mid-afternoon snack. Plus, your kids don’t need to know how they’re made and it can be a great way to get tons of monounsaturated fat (the best one) into their little bodies.
My husband seems to have less tastebuds than me. I eat almost anything (I pass on olives, goat cheese, sashimi, and foie gras) but I have some standards (I’d like to think very normal standards) that he lacks. I can put this on here because he doesn’t read homebeccanomics; if he’s hungry at school and in a pinch for food, he will eat a spoonful of coconut oil. Yes that’s right. He is a big believer in healthy fats but SERIOUSLY?
Typically when I bake cookies I don’t cut health corners; a cookie is a cookie is a cookie. This recipe intrigued me and the “how-to” couldn’t be easier. SO glad I gave it a go. If you want to “health it up” further by swapping the white flour for wheat and considering a more natural sweetener, go for it (and let me know how it goes).
Orange and Olive Oil Cookies with Bittersweet Chocolate
Makes 2 dozen
Adapted from Self Magazine
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. + 1/4 tsp. mild extra virgin olive oil, divided (the label should state this – avoid “robust”)
1/2 c. sugar
Juice and zest of 1 orange (2 tsp. zest and 1/4 c. juice)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk olive oil, sugar, zest, juice, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.
3. In a second mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Fold flour mixture into oil mixture. Let sit 5 minutes.
5. Scoop in heaping teaspoon amounts onto parchment paper, spacing batter at least 1 inch apart.
6. Bake 11-12 minutes, switching location of pans halfway through baking time. Cookies will be golden brown around the edges.
7. Microwave chocolate chips, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp. olive oil.
8. Drizzle lines of chocolate across surface of cookies. Let sit until chocolate has hardened, about 1 hour.