Monday, November 8, 2010

Immune boosting sugar cookies!

I'm back from my little hiatus, and there is lots to say.  However, before I get going on all that I must post about my new sugar cookie recipe.  It's really yummy!  You are also probably wondering why I say it's "immune boosting."

I love using coconut oil wherever possible in my cooking at home.  It's one of the healthiest (if not the healthiest) oil you can use, in my opinion.  Rather than the long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides.  Long chain fatty acids generally get stored as fat in your body, whereas  the MCTs get burned for energy.  Also, the only substance higher in lauric acid than coconut oil is human milk.  The cool thing about lauric acid is that once ingested, it converts to monolaurin which has some amazing antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

Now that I've educated myself on how scary some of the stuff one can by at your grocery store is, I avoid all highly processed vegetable oils for my family.  When recipes call for "shortening" I have to get a little creative.  Sometimes you can substitute butter for shortening, but you won't get a soft cookie that way.  Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature...well, what's considered room temperature anywhere outside of the low desert anyway.  (It's still liquid at the usual room temperature in our house) In my experience it is a good substitute for the shortening if you prefer not to use lard.

So anyway, here's how I made them:

Cream:
2/3 cup unrefined organic coconut oil (sometimes called virgin)
2/3 cup butter (if it's not organic, at least make sure it's rBST-free)
1 1/2 cup sugar

Add:
2 large eggs (or 3 pullet-sized eggs for those of you with new chickens!)
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (my favorite is Nielson-Massey)

Sift together then mix with above:
3 cup all-purpose flour (can substitute 1:1 with white whole wheat flour too)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Refrigerate for at least an hour so the dough can harden.  It will be easier to roll them in the sugar that way, but isn't necessary.  Then heat up oven to 350 degrees.  Using one of those old school ice cream scoops, scoop out dough, roll in more sugar, and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 10-14 minutes (depending on how big you make your cookies).

You can increase the lauric acid content of these cookies even more by using butter from grass-fed cows and eggs from chickens that have access to pasture. 

Now, I know that not everyone loves the smell and taste of coconut (there are some really crazy people out there).  The dough will definitely smell and taste like coconut, but once they are baked, the coconut flavor is more difficult to pick up.  One might not even notice unless told it was there.  I'm also willing to bet that this recipe would be awesome with pure almond extract.