Monday, February 11, 2013
I've heard a lot of good things about coconut oil, everything from the taste, to the health benefits, to how great it works as a baking ingredient. This week, I used coconut oil to make Coconut Butter Brownies! It was my first time ever using this ingredient. I found it at my local Trader Joe's store. And the only other time I'd encountered it was at my parents' house, because my dad makes a mean popcorn with coconut oil for movie nights at home.
Coconut oil, at least the kind Trader Joe's sells, is not as thin and liquidy as you might expect. It's much more of a grainy paste - very soft and spreadable, and very unlike olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola, and other common cooking oils. But, if you put coconut oil in the microwave and melt it down, it will become that thin liquid you're so familiar with for oil.
Anyways, the brownies came out GREAT. The fat called for in the recipe is half butter, half coconut oil. That ratio definitely gives it a distinct coconut taste that sets it apart from other brownie recipes, but to me, it seemed mild enough that picky eaters who wouldn't normally go for coconut desserts might still really enjoy this. My taste-tester friends, however, reported a very obvious coconut taste (and for most of them, that was a very good thing!), so I suppose if you're not so keen on coconut, this might not be the recipe for you.
The texture is moist but with some mealiness to it. The top gets that beautiful brownie crust, but the inside is soft and chewy and utter perfection. I'll be making these again! And if you tell yourself that coconut oil has all those health benefits, then hey, this recipe is good for you! I'm officially CUCKOO FOR COCONUT OIL!
Coconut Butter Brownies
Adapted from a recipe by Marcy Goldman on BetterBaking.com
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, slightly melted and stirred (looks almost like a soft grainy paste - I get mine from Trader Joe's!)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray the bottom and sides of a 9x9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Alternatively, line the pan with foil and spray the foil.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the melted butter and coconut oil with the white and brown sugars. Add the vanilla and eggs and blend on low until well incorporated. Remove bowl from the mixer.
In a separate medium-size bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients gently, just until incorporated. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl because you'll probably find some of the flour mixture still at the bottom!
Spread the batter evenly into the pan. The batter is really thick and won't slide around so you'll need to even it out with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Do not overbake. Err on the side of underbaking if you're not sure because a moist brownie is always better than a dry one! The center of the brownie should look set, not jiggling.
Cool the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares to serve. Store in an airtight container. Feel free to serve with powdered sugar dusted on top at the last second before serving.
Makes 12-20 depending on size. I prefer smaller, bite-size brownie squares.
Step-by-Step in Pictures
This is the coconut oil I used. It looks like clear liquid when melted down from the white paste in the jar...
Beat the butter and coconut oil with the sugars...
Beat in the vanilla and eggs...
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a separate bowl and then fold into the wet ingredients...
Spread the batter into the greased pan. The mixture will be thick...
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes...
Cut into squares and enjoy!