I’m skeptical about a few things: gas stations at night, men who say “I’m a good guy”, tequila shots, small airplanes, and any high-heeled shoe that isn’t a wedge, among others. If only you could have felt the level of skepticism I felt about these cookies.
Olive oil in desserts has made its way up the popularity pole in the last year or so as foodies lean towards less sweet and more savory flavors. I’m with them! I love the salty chocolate chip cookies and Mexican-spiced chocolate desserts. And hello - peanut butter and tahini. Absolutely divine. But olive oil in cookies and cakes? No. I’m sorry. We have butter and coconut oil and canola oil for those needs.
Of course, I say all those things until I need - need - to make cookies one day and have nothing but olive oil on hand. Now, this is no store-bought ordinary olive oil - it’s Pasolivo Olive Oil, so it’s made locally with the utmost tender love and care to yield high-quality extra virgin olive oil. I planned to save it for a beautiful green salad in need of a light drizzle of oil, or for dripping some of my favorite bread. But neither a salad nor bread stood in front of me in that moment.
COOKIES. I needed cookies and if I was going to get them, I had to swallow my sweet pride and give the olive oil in desserts thing a try. Ugh.
I couldn’t take on a task like this without some guidance, so I found a recipe for vegan olive oil cookies. I swapped in a gluten-free flour blend per request from the cookie recipient, but kept everything else the same. My guess is that the gluten-free flour wasn’t as absorbent as regular flour, causing the oil to seep out of the batter every time I left it alone for more than ten seconds. Imagine my skepticism as I kept adding tablespoon after tablespoon of flour to the already-mixed dough. I think I added a total of a half a cup more of flour, and some of the oil still continued to ooze out of the dough.
At some point I just kinda’ said SCREW IT and tossed the pan of terrifyingly soft cookie dough into the oven. I prayed that they turn out because I promised a friend cookies and I cannot show up empty-handed, promise-broken. I’d be a terrible person. Eight long minutes later, I pulled an unbelievably perfect batch of chocolate chunk cookies that were also vegan and gluten-free without giving the slightest hint. What a transformation!
Given such a positive outcome on the first try, especially after all my skepticism, I knew this needed to make it to HH, but not without a couple changes. I hated how the gluten-free flour did absorb enough of the oil, so I swapped that for whole-wheat flour. And even still! I get another terrifyingly soft batch of cookie dough - my guess is the unsaturation, the liquid at room temperature quality, of the olive oil is the reason for this. Though this wasn’t a cure, I added rolled oats to ease my nerves, thinking they’d soak up some of the moisture during the baking process.
So, now I’ve got oatmeal cookies. And I don’t really want oatmeal cookies without chocolate chips. Chips, though - no chunks. Chocolate chunks are not for nostalgic desserts. Those are for trendy cookies, the Instagram-famous ones that boast pools of melty chocolate on top. These cookies, however, are for the heart. Comfort food.
I used my trusty cookie scooper to transfer the dough from the bowl to the baking sheet, praying again that I’d get nice little nostalgic and delicious individual cookies and not one giant melded together cookie. Please please please.
Eight minutes later….
SUCCESS! Skepticism: 0. Olive oil: 1. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies: forever a winner.
Makes 18 cookies
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup olive oil (I used Pasolivo Olive Oil)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, plus extra for topping
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg, coconut sugar, and agave nectar until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while continuing mixing. Add the baking soda and vanilla extract, mix again to combine, and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sea salt, and cinnamon. Slowly incorporate this into the wet mixture, a little bit at a time, mixing until just combined each time. Stir in the 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips. At this point, the dough will be very soft and somewhat sticky. Don’t worry about that! Just keep going.
Use a cookie scooper or two spoons to transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Top each cookie with a few extra dark chocolate chips before baking.
Bake for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will come out a golden brown color, and will be very soft. Let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack or plate.
Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy!