The nice folks at Tropical Traditions sent me a great big jar of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to review. According to the website, Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is an unrefined oil – packaged in small batches, never exposed to high heat or chemical processing, and produced by family farms.
My husband said, “what could possibly be so special about one coconut oil versus another?” I tended to agree with that sentiment. But, when it arrived, I happened to have 2 other jars of coconut oil in the cupboard, which made for some excellent comparison opportunities.
The first thing we noticed when looking at the jar was how incredibly white it was – much whiter than the non-organic coconut oil I had in the house (which actually has a yellowish cast), and slightly whiter than the organic variety. Opening the jar, we were shocked by the aroma. I’d never had coconut oil that actually smelled so much like fresh coconut. There are both advantages and disadvantages to that. We often use coconut oil in recipes where we aren’t looking for an actual coconut taste or smell. This is not the coconut oil for those recipes. Tasting it, the flavor of coconut was also prominent.
Wonderful coconut taste and aroma? That had to inspire a coconut-infused baked good. I came up with the following recipe, which really highlights all the positive aspects of this oil – the flavor and aroma shine through.
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 cup sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 cup Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup finely shredded, unsweetened dried coconut
1 T. sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a round 9″ pan with oil.
Whisk together all dry ingedients except dried coconut. Add coconut oil and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer until mixture clumps together (several minutes). Stir in the dried coconut. The dough will be crumbly. Don’t panic. Dump all the dough into the pan, and pat it down firmly and evenly. Sprinkle the top with 1 T. sugar. Bake for approximately 35 minutes until edges begin to brown and center is firm. While warm, cut shortbread into thin wedges.
If desired, you could skip the sugar and spread some chopped chocolate on the warm shortbread, allow it to melt, and spread it around. Be sure to still cut the shortbread while still warm, otherwise it will crumble when cutting.
Now for the legal mumbo jumbo…. Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.