Olive oil is often only associated with savory cooking, but it can also be used when baking sweet treats. Substituting olive oil for butter in this cookie recipe reduces saturated fat. When it’s combined with raw sugar, dark chocolate chips, and crunchy sunflower seeds, you’ll never know it’s in there. For an additional healthy twist, brown rice flour gives these whole grain cookies a delicious chewy texture.
Tips for the cook: If you’ve never baked with brown rice flour, you may be surprised by its somewhat gritty texture. If you find this unappealing, note that it is much more pronounced when the cookies are warm. Once the cookies cool, the texture becomes more balanced with the qualities of shortbread crossed with a chewy oatmeal raisin.
Yield: 18 cookies
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp raw, hulled sunflower seeds
2 tbsp dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, or cover the baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, add the egg and olive oil. Mix on medium speed for about 45 seconds until the egg is beaten and combined with the oil. Add the sugar and mix for 1 minute. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
In a separate bowl, stir together the brown rice flour and whole wheat flour. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flours to the wet ingredients. Mix just until all ingredients are combined, scraping the sides as needed. Stir in the sunflower seeds and chocolate chips.
The cookie dough will be crumbly, so you will need to use your hands to prepare the cookies for baking. For each cookie, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough. Form the dough into a ball and then gently flatten the ball. The cookies will spread very little so the shape you make now will be the same shape after baking.
Arrange 12 cookies per standard-size baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies become firm and the bottom edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 minute. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information for one cookie: Calories 127; Total Fat 4.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.8 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 37 mg; Carbohydrate 21.1 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 11.6 g; Protein 1.8 g