In Brazil, where my mom grew up, avocados are blended with sugar and lime juice, and served for dessert.
Inspired by this tradition, I developed a cookie recipe infused with avocado and other tropical ingredients: coconut, lime, and cacao. Avocados are rich in healthy fats, and make a great substitute for butter ( a little butter is still necessary, however, for a perfectly soft and flavorful cookie.) Though packed with dark chocolate, these cookies are light and pillowy. They are like a bite of summer, perfect for a chilly, early spring day. You can also find this recipe and additional photos on my blog, Baker Without Borders.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 avocado (roughly 1/2 cup), mashed
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (I use a chocolate bar with 70% cocoa content)
Additional shredded coconut, for sprinkling
Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Stir in lime juice, lime zest, and vanilla. Add egg and mashed avocado, mixing until smooth. Stir in salt, baking powder, baking soda, and then cocoa powder. Add flour, stirring until just incorporated. Add shredded coconut and chocolate chunks.
The dough will be slightly sticky. You can scoop and bake cookies right away, but for best results, wrap dough in plastic wrap or seal in ziploc bag, and refrigerate for several hours, until firm. Using a tablespoon, scoop and drop cookie dough onto prepared baking tray, about 1 inch apart. Flatten each mound of dough slightly with your fingertips. Sprinkle tops of cookies with shredded coconut. Depending on the size of your oven and baking sheet, you may need to bake these in two batches.
Bake for around 17 minutes, until cracks form on the surface of the cookies and the coconut sprinkled on top just begins to turn golden.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Liana’s Kitchen is a column by Astoria-based chef and foodie Liana Grey. Check out her food blog Bakerwithoutborders.