19 January 2012

coconut oil & flax cookie bars

Sometimes days are good. Like when you have a day that you feel like you really like your job, that your house is relatively clean, and you get cast as a lead role in an operetta. I had a day like that last week.

I also had this kind of day: the kind when you are sick of tired of being phlegmy and losing your voice and you go to the doctor and she puts you back on the asthma medication that you've been off for two years and costs $100 and recommends trying an elimination diet because she's pretty sure you're allergic to gluten and dairy.

That is not a good day. Days like this require chocolate. And wine, if you have it in the house, which I didn't.

Since I've been experimenting with alternative flours, sweeteners, and fats, I decided to attempt a cookie recipe with exchanges for all three of these cookie necessities. I bought a big jar of coconut oil at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and I've been anxious to try it out in baking.  Coconut oil is creamy and delicious tasting even out of the jar, and is much better for you than butter (seriously. google it) so I thought it would be a perfect compromise in cookies. I'm addicted to substituting part of my white flour for whole wheat and adding coconut and flax wherever I can get away with it so it's no surprise this is what came out of my oven the other night. The bars were rich, gooey on the inside and just the perfect crispiness on the edges, and so nutty! They didn't last 2 days in our house between our community group and the hubs taking the last two to school to share with a friend. I only cried a little.

I hope you'll bake these, especially if you're snowed in in the PNW right now. I'm only a little bit bitter that I moved to the great white north and got entirely missed by the snow-day-worthy storm. Only a little.

Coconut oil & flax cookie bars
makes 12

1/2 cup coconut oil at room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole grain wheat flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vanilla

1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking pan with parchment paper, with a bit hanging up on two edges. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar, coconut oil, eggs, and agave nectar on  medium low until fluffy. In a small bowl, stir together flours, flax, baking soda & powder, and salt. With mixer on low, mix in vanilla & coconut until incorporated. Add dry ingredients slowly until dough comes together, then stir in chocolate chips. 

Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake until slightly browned and set, 25-30 min. Pull out of pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack, then cut into 12 squares. Enjoy, or store in an airtight container until they're gone. 


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