California Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t understand “healthy” substitutions in baking recipes. Fine, if ingesting even the slightest amount of gluten sends you into fits of agony, go ahead and make cookies without flour, or whatever. But if you’re doing it because saturated fats are the devil, or you really need your abs to pop to keep your Instagram followers, maybe consider that cookies probably shouldn’t be part of your diet to begin with.

I don’t know. Just saying.

But I’m willing to excuse the subbing of avocado for almost all the saturated fat in this week’s cookie recipe because the state to which I’m paying homage, California, is kind of known for avocados. It’s totes aprops, or whatever the kids are saying these days. I’m hip.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t take a (horrible) picture of this week’s creation, it’s because a) the cookies look like The Hulk’s loogies and b) they taste kind of like avocado. As anyone who has ever baked or cooked anything can attest to, fat equals flavor. And when you sub out fats like butter and egg whites, which impart no discernible flavor into the finished product for one that imparts both color and flavor, you’re going to have a bad time.

In short: these cookies are what would happen if avocado got into bed with some chocolate chips. At least they’re edible. I’d feel more than a little bit bummed about having to trash two dozen cookies. It would be, dare I say it, the pits. God, that was awful. I’m sorry.

Getting baked

Baked cookies

Two weeks ago, I decided to embark on a journey through all 50 U.S. States – by way of  cookies. The baking powder I use (because it’s the only one available at Whole Foods), Clabber Girl, posted  a list of recipes they feel represents each state. And, me being me, I decided to work my way through it.

While I was underwhelmed by the so-called “Alabama Cookie” because of its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach (I mean, oats, pecans, coconut AND Rice Krispies? Why?) I’m a little more enthused by Alaska’s entry. I love me some oatmeal raisin cookies, but adding chocolate chips, coconut and chopped nuts serves The Last Frontier far better thematically than it does The Cotton State.

The coconut sticks out like a sore thumb, don’t get me wrong, but what elses sounds better when you’re holed up in lodge way up north than a hearty oatmeal cookie and some milk (or booze – I’m not the master of your destiny)? Also, Rice Krispies are a parlor trick, not a breakfast food. Let’s be real here. The last thing I want my cereal to do is onomatopoeia.

Though I could just look at the recipe for the next state on the list, I’d rather keep it one big surprise. It gives me something to look forward to – besides the fact that I get to eat fresh-baked cookies every weekend.