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May 23, 2014 10:40 AM

coconut oil question

I would like to make some cookies using coconut oil in place of butter. There is confusing info in web-land, so I thought I'd try my questions here. Has anyone made cookies using this substitution? Can you sub 1:1? Is it necessary to melt the coconut oil or can you cream with sugar as you would butter? I know that coconut oil hardens when put into the fridge. Many recipes say to chill the dough before baking cookies. Does anyone know how long it could take for the dough to come to room temperature? And lastly, what are the differences in taste and texture when subbing coconut oil for butter? I'm interested because I have dairy issues and would like to eat a cookie that tastes really good without the butter. Thanks for any help.

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  1. Treat it just as you would butter re. cookies, IMO. Yes, 1:1 sub. Yes to creaming with sugar as with butter. It's delicious.

    1. The sub is 1:1. You don't ever need to refrigerate coconut oil but if it is semi-solid you can sort of cream it with sugar (if it gets too warm it melts.) How long it takes for the dough to come to room temp will depend on the temperature of your kitchen (Coconut oil is solid at 76 degrees F.) Butter tastes like butter, coconut oil tastes like coconut oil- you will not have a "buttery" cookie unless you do something like add butter flavoring.

      1. I melt it when making cookie dough because like melted butter, it makes a flatter, crisper cookie, which is my preference. But room temp coconut oil is as solid as CHILLED butter. I think it would have to be up around 70F to be as soft as soft butter. Even then, not the same consistency. When it does get over 78F in the kitchen, the coconut oil at the edge of the jar liquefies while the core remains quite solid. It might take a couple of days at 78F+ for the oil to liquefy all the way through.

        IMO, it makes delicious cookies, contributing a subtle coconut flavor. I love it in brownies and oatmeal cookies, for example. Use 1:1 as a butter sub. Since there's no water in it, like other oils, it won't make a flaky dough if that's important, but it is tasty in pie crusts. If, like me, you bake for one or two, and a whole pie is soggy before you finish it, coconut oil is a great choice because refrigerated, it is extremely hard. So as long as you eat your leftover pie cold or cool, the crust won't be soggy.

        Make sure to use virgin, natural coconut oil. There are others which are not as solid and have a different, less healthy, form of fat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          Because there is no water in it, baked goods made with coconut oil will also stay fresher longer. There's no water to evaporate and make them dry out.

        2. Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. I plan to make a batch of oatmeal cookies soon using coconut oil as per your suggestions. I appreciate your taking the time to post and explain how coconut oil works in baked goods. Does anyone have a brand they especially like? I live near Whole Foods and Trader Joe's..... and Wegman's just opened up in my neighborhood.

          2 Replies
          1. re: addicted2cake

            I know TJ carries it now but have not tried it. Nutiva is a very nice one that I got in large jars on Amazon, having tried and liked the smaller jar I sampled. But I now get the same shape and size large jar at Costco and though the brand is different, I strongly suspect it's the same product as Nutiva, for quite a bit less. Feel free to buy a large jar. I've kept an opened jar at room temp for nearly 2 years with no deterioration or spoilage.

            1. re: addicted2cake

              Trader joe's coconut oil is great and will be the cheapest from those stores. $5.99 or $6.99 i think....

            2. Another option made from coconut oil is Earth balance coconut butter- its a vegan butter that has a "buttery" flavor and the coconut is really not noticable. Sub 1:1 for butter anywhere.
              Would be a good option for baked goods where you don't want the coconutty flavor- easiest to find at whole foods

              3 Replies
              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Another way to avoid coconut flavor is to buy refined coconut oil.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  Isn't refined the type that is more unhealthy?

                  1. re: greygarious

                    It is still reasonably healthy, though not quite so much.