Has anyone ever used coconut oil in baking before? If so, how did you use it? I’ve seen the extra virgin coconut oil sold in glass jars, and they are solid like butter or shortening. I initially thought that coconut oil might be a good substitute for shortening.
I recently baked some gingersnap cookies using two different recipes—one from Shirley Corriher’s Bakewise (all-butter recipe) and one from the King Arthur flour website (all-shortening recipe). Shirley’s cookies turned out quite flat, because the butter melted quickly. The all-shortening recipe stayed plump because of the higher melting point of shortening (but was missing the delicious butter flavor). However, I don’t like the idea of eating shortening because of the hydrogenation, so I thought of coconut oil. However, some research on Wikipedia suggests that non-hydrogenated coconut oil would be a terrible substitute for butter and shortening, because it melts at around 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
So my question is…Then what is coconut oil good for?
And similarly, has anyone used coconut sugar in baking? Can it be substituted weight by weight for other sugars? How does it behave, etc.? I had a thought of making a coconut chiffon cake using coconut water, coconut sugar, and coconut oil. (And some shredded dried coconut too. Hehe.)