I don’t usually invent new dishes. I prefer to stick to recipes that have been tested by mothers and grandmothers for generations, or, failing that, one good blogger. But that was before Joy the Baker introduced me to the idea that one could use avocado instead of butter when baking. I tried her chocolate cake recipe and it was true…if you smashed up the avocado enough, you wouldn’t even know it was there. Would this hold true outside of cake?
I remembered a delicious shortbread cookie recipe from 101 Cookbooks. These sweet little biscuits helped sustain us on our drive cross country last summer, and I had been meaning to make them again. So, I tried switching out the butter for an equivalent amount of avocado.
I wanted a nice tasty cookie. I chose citrus flavors instead of apple and carrot, since I thought they would blend better with any avocado taste. And, I wanted the cookies to be green, for shock value.
The cookies were at least a partial success. They were green, citrusy, and tasty. They were not, however, shortbread. Avocado doesn’t act like butter in the fridge or in the oven, so you can’t chill it and then expect it to produce a crispy cookie. Butter also melts in the oven, which typically alters the shape of the cookies and gives you a nice round shape with smooth edges. Avocado cookies might rise or puff up slightly thanks to chemical leavening agents like baking soda, but otherwise, the shape it goes in is the shape it comes out. I didn’t realize this, so my cookies came as lumpy misshapen masses, but those of you with cake decorating funnels and tips can use them to make pretty shapes. Or just eat misshapen cookies – they will taste just as good! 🙂
- 1.5 cups/6oz flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 oz avocado (about 1 biggish, ripe avocado)
- 2/3 cup/3.5 oz sugar
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Zest from 1 orange
- About 1 tbsp orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
Mash the avocado with the sugar as much as you can. Ideally, there would be no chunks of avocado. Avocado chunks won’t change how the cookies bake, but it might not be pleasant to bite into a cookie and get a lump of avocado.
Zest the lemon and the orange into the flour and mix until evenly dispersed. Add the mashed avocado and stir until the dough comes together. Squeeze in the orange juice and stir until you have a nice, even looking dough.
Drop the cookies onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet with two spoons. Alternatively, use cake decorating equipment to create well-shaped cookies. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges are slightly brown and the cookies are firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
We ended up with about 2 dozen cookies, but this could change depending on the size of your avocado and how big you make your cookies.