I was unaware that death by avocado was a possibility until recently.
I suppose you could consume enough avocado to kill yourself (over time or all at once, either way) but what I’m talking about is the reality of getting struck on the noggin by a rock-hard avocado falling from a high height. Depends on the height I suppose, and your age, noggin size, etc. It might not be sudden death but it would definitely knock you the fuck out and I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t happened to any of us yet.
I think we’ve all grown accustom to that distinctive crack when one decides its it’s time and we impulsively duck. Luckily many of the avocados that fall from our tree land first on the roof of our house (which if you are inside in the middle of the night is loud enough to wake you up). You hear that thump first, then the avocado rolling its way down the shingles and finally landing with a solid smack on the ground. You would think all of this would crack them open or at least bruise them, but nope, there is no difference between the ones that land with a soft thud on the grass and the ones that go the Santa Claus route—not that Santa falls off the roof all that often, but I’m sure it happens.
Point being, I believe we’ve found ourselves in the middle of avocado season because those suckers are dropping like flies. July and August we would get maybe one or two a day but lately it is not unusual to gather 7 or 8 or even a dozen in a single day. I can think of worse things to have a lot of but I’m kind of running out of ideas over here.
In an attempt to keep up, I’ve been using avocado as a substitute for butter in baking. Here’s what I’ve found:
- You can substitute them one-for-one and the final product will be edible but rather dry and crumbly.
- I think it is best to substitute half the butter/oil/shortening amount in a recipe with puréed avocado and keep the other half of the fat in there.
- The avocado needs to be puréed in a food processor to incorporate it evenly into the recipe. Just mashing it leaves unattractive avocado pieces that never blend in with the mixture.
These cookies are the best thing I’ve made thus far. They are soft and chewy with lots of melty chocolate and hunks of chopped walnuts. The avocado flavor is there in the background but it is more of a hefty note of something that you just can’t detect giving the cookies substance and depth.
Here are some of my other successful avocado experiments (I’ll spare you my failures):
Bake all at once or keep some dough frozen so you can have fresh-baked cookies whenever you want. The best way to freeze the dough is to scoop out the dough and flatten the balls. Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you don't have to space them apart). Place the baking sheet in the freezer. Once the dough is frozen, peel them off the baking sheet and place in a resealable plastic bag. Pull a few out of the freezer and bake from frozen whenever the mood strikes.
- 2 small, ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and scooped out of their skins
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
- 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 12 ounces dairy-free, semisweet chocolate chips (I used Equal Exchange Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- Heat oven to 375°F and arrange rack in the upper third of your oven.
- Combine avocado and vanilla extract in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until smooth, you should have about 2/3 cup avocado puree.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to break up any lumps and combine.
- Transfer avocado mixture, coconut oil, turbinado sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low until incorporated then increase speed about 1 setting and beat until sugar is mostly dissolved and mixture is creamy.
- Add flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add chocolate chips and walnuts and mix on low until evenly incorporated throughout the dough.
- Scoop 2-3 tablespoon-sized pieces of dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart (they don't spread much). Flatten balls slightly and sprinkle a little sea salt on top of each cookie.
- Bake in the top of the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until browned around the edges, but still soft in the middle.
- Let cool on baking sheet at least 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.