I recently was in the middle of making cookies when I realized I was slightly short on butter. I Googled a bit on substitutes before landing on using olive oil for the small amount of butter I was missing. My cookies turned out great, but it made me wonder- what would they have turned out like if I had only used olive oil? This has stuck with me so as the calendar turns to the 24th night of December and I look to make cookies for Santa, I figured now is as good a time as any to try replacing ALL the butter with olive oil. And guess, what… they’re still great! And shockingly light and fluffy.
This is also a super easy recipe. If you bake from time to time, you likely already have all the ingredients in your pantry. And, if like me, you don’t have a stand mixer or a hand mixer– don’t worry. This recipe is easy to only use a wooden spoon for because the olive oil makes the batter even lighter and easier to stir than if it were butter-based.
(Makes 2 dozen good sized cookies)
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt*
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 8-10 oz dark chocolate chunks (or chips)
- 2 tsp sea salt for topping*
(30 minutes total)
- Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and both sugars in a large bowl using a wooden spoon (and some serious arm muscle) or a hand or mixer. Slowly, stir in flour, 1 tsp salt (not the sea salt for topping), and baking soda. Once incorporated, add chocolate chunks.
- Place balls of dough, 3 to a row, on cookie sheet- then sprinkle each with sea salt. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the cookie sat tap the baking sheet on the counter three times. Return to oven and cook for 5-10 more minutes (10-15 min total). These cookies will NOT get golden brown- so monitor for when the edges of the cookie start to brown, at which point you should pull them.
- Let cool then enjoy — or freeze some of the dough if you don’t want to enjoy all 2 dozen at once!
On the salts: The salt that goes in your dough is your OG salt, likely Morton’s. The salt that goes on top should be larger crystals of sea salt— either flakey or out of a grinder. The penultimate flakey sea salt seems to be Maldon’s brand, but if I’m going to be completely honest, I tried these cookies both ways and far prefer the salt that comes out of my Kirkland sea salt grinder to the fancy flakey salt. I know, how gauche of me…
On texture: I expected since we are using olive oil instead of butter these cookies would be thinner and crispier. Not so! Mine turned out super airy and fluffy.
On the olive oil: Use an olive oil that you like the taste of– not a super strong one. Otherwise, your cookies will taste funky like that strong olive oil taste! Do you hate it plain? Definitely don’t throw it in your cookies. This is why I recommend extra virgin olive oil. I use the Kirkland brand one and think it’s perfect!
What am I listening to as I make this? “Mele Kalikimaka” by Chris Isaak (I did say I was making these on Christmas Eve did I not?)
What can I learn while I make this? How to substitute olive oil for butter in other recipes! Not all cookie recipes will call for olive oil instead of butter; in fact, I would wager that most will not. Never fear! Simply substitute 3/4 amount of olive oil for the butter. So, if a recipe called for 1 cup of butter, you’d use 3/4 cups olive oil instead. See here for a cup to TBS conversion.
What if I want to make cookies but not these? Don’t worry– I won’t be offended! Check out these other ideas below:
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