Several months ago I had a wonderful time experiencing the deep, rich flavors of olive oil from the California Olive Ranch at a dinner here in Boston. During the evening the reps from COR spent time talking about the versatility of Olive Oil, a topic I hadn't thought much of. Normally I just saute with it, or whisk it into dressings, however they spoke of it's ability to take the place of butter in baking and that really piqued my interest.
Of course, butter is delicious. It is a perfect pairing with golden brown toast, delicious melted over a piping hot mound of mashed potatoes, and a wonderful flavor in cookies and cakes. However, butter also equals, well, less than nutritious elements and on the flip side, olive oil has so many wonderful properties I wondered how the substitution would be.
I decided to check it out with America's classic cookie- the Chocolate Chip. As American as apple pie, the chocolate chip cookie is flavored by those delicate elements of vanilla, brown sugar, salt, chocolate and, of course, butter. So how would these cookies stand up without this crucial element?
by Ashley Viegas | May 31, 2011
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 or 2 Tbsp. of milk (or rice milk)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine sugars, vanilla, and olive oil. Beat in the eggs one a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, then add in 1 Tbsp. of milk to make the dough a bit firmer, maybe another tablespoon if you feel the dough is too sticky/dry (I use about 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon).
Roll the dough into balls with your hands and place on a greased and/or lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and set. (Mine took about 10 and a half minutes.) These over bake quickly, so it’s better to take them out a bit early if you’re unsure. Allow to cool for a bit on the baking sheet, then move to another surface to finish cooling.
Recipe courtesy of Sydney Kania
Now I subbed in California Olive Ranch's Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of the regular Extra Virgin mainly because I didn't read labels. The Arbequina has a stronger, fruitier flavor to it, so its presence was a bit more recognizable. However, even with that error, these cookies were fantastic. They maintained their tastes of vanilla and salt, the chocolate chips were warm and melty, and the cookies bore very very little difference to their higher caloric brother. I think I have been converted- olive oil in baking- there's a way to start the new year on a healthier note!