Going Green

Avocado seems fancy to me.

It is one of those foods that didn’t get a lot of exposure in the mid-west factory town I grew up in. We ate things like tater tot casserole and fluffernutter sandwiches. There was no mention of spicy tuna wraps with avocado mayonnaise or chilled avocado soup.

To me, the avocado was foreign and exotic.

When a co-worker told me that you can use avocado to replace butter in a cookie recipe, I was more than intrigued.

I was on a mission.

I waged a mini war in my head trying to decide if I wanted to tackle a gluten-free recipe or stick with something more traditional that I could be  (somewhat) confident that other people would  be willing to try.

Since I have zero experience with gluten-free baking, I went the traditional route.  I’m pretty sure the people who I share an office space with already think of me as the weird girl who puts tofu and beer in her brownies so I didn’t want to stray too far off the beaten path with this one.

There is no special trick to this recipe. All you have to do is replace the butter with an equal amount of avocado.

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

 1/2 cup avocado (which conveniently worked out to half an avocado for me)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Cream the avocado and sugars in a large bowl.

 Add the egg and vanilla.

This totally looks like snot and that makes this recipe even awesome-r.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry  mixture to the avocado mixture. Beat until fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.  

                           

Form the dough into approximately 1 1/2-inch balls. Place on parchment or foil-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart.

Bake until the centers are just set, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

I made two versions of this cookie. For this one, I rolled the dough balls through powdered sugar and used the back of a spoon to flatten them slightly before baking.

There was still half of an avocado sitting seductively on my countertop.

What to do, what to do.

Frosting.

Avocado Frosting.

Yes.

(This was one of those experiments with imprecise measurements so bear with me here)

2 squares semi-sweet bakers chocolate

half of an avocado

1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar.

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. If using microwave, start with 30 seconds and then give it a stir.  When melted, add avocado and whisk until smooth. Add powdered sugar slowly until consistency is thick and frosting like. Smother on top of those cookies and just try not to lick the spoon in between, I dare you.

The avocado doesn't add a whole lot in the flavor department but its smooth and creamy texture made a great replacement for butter in both the cookie and the frosting.

I was a little worried these cookies would be dry based on the texture.  Thank goodness hubby is a cookie monster and gladly took it upon himself to steal a bite. He assured me they were chewy and chock full of chocolate flavor.

The frosted cookies were a favorite among co-workers.

Good thing I saved some frosting for me since it is absolutely gluten-free and heavenly.

Now that’s what I call fancy.

 I was  officially on the prowl to find other recipes to fuel my new food obsession.

I was headed to a BBQ at my avocado loving friends’ house and decided to bring this tasty morsel:

That, my fancy friends, would be a Cucumber Avocado Salsa.

And the recipe is super simple.

CUCUMBER
SALSA
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (cut in half lengthwise and run a spoon down the center to get the seeds out easily)
1 small avocado, peeled and
chopped
1/4 cup red onion, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
salt to taste

Combine cucumber, avocado,
 onion, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeno. Stir in salt to
taste.

 The contrast between the crunchy cucumber and smooth avocado was very refreshing and the lime juice really brightened the whole dish.
It tasted fantastic with these Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
Whole grain, gluten-free and a good source of vitamins A & C? What’s not to love? Its a sweet potato shovel for my new favorite salsa recipe. I believe the words used to describe it at the BBQ were “kick ass.”
Well said, fancy avocado friend, well said.
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