Some bakers have secret/special ingredients for making moist, irresistible cookies: sour cream, cream cheese and applesauce all come to mind.
Tracie Long, of Camillus, founder and “chief baking officer” at For the Health of It! Foods, uses a special ingredient in all of her baked goods: Avocado. Hence the name of her line of cookies and bar cookies, which you might have seen around Central New York, bearing the label Avocadough.
Long, 38, has loved to bake since she was a teenager. In high school, she says, friends called her “Betty Crocker” because she made cookies two or three times a week. As she got older, she says, she started thinking about her family’s history of heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol — her grandmother suffered two heart attacks before dying at the age of 42.
She started looking for ways to make healthier foods and baked goods. The path led her to avocado, a “superfood” loaded with “healthy fat” and nutrients, including oleic acid, lutein, folate and vitamin E. She was already eating avocado regularly anyway, adding it to her tuna salad and spreading it on bread as an alternative to mayonnaise.
“I tried avocado just because it has such health benefits and is high in fiber,” Long says. “And really because I just love them.”
Long makes about 14 varieties of cookies and bar cookies using avocado and reduced sugar. Her best-sellers are “You’ll Get a Kick Out of This!” a ginger cookie with snap and “Cran You Handle This?,” with almonds, dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. She has been experimenting with vegan and gluten-free cookies as well as cookies that contain no sugar. Her “My Idea of a Perfect Date” cookie is made with nuts and other “superfood ingredients” and gets its sweetness from dates.
Avocadough cookies are available at Broadway Cafe/Arctic Island, 210 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse; LoFo 214 Walton St., Armory Square and Green Planet Grocery, 3514 W. Genesee St., Fairmount.
‘Allergy Aware’ baked goods
If you attended the recent “Tech Meets Taste” open house at the Tech Garden in Syracuse, you might have sampled Avocadough cookies and gluten-free cookies by Hunka Foods and The Cookie Connection.
Hunka Foods specializes in healthy, “allergy aware,” gluten-free and vegan cookies made with organic, non-GMO ingredients. Offerings include cupcakes, crumb cake, blondies, ginger-macadamia nut cookies, Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies and others.
“These ginger cookies by @hunkafoods are amazing. Can I fill my pockets?,” Stefanie Noble, of Syracuse, Tweeted from “Tech Meets Taste.”
Hunka Foods can often be found at the Central New York Regional Market on Saturdays. For more information click here.
The Cookie Connection is a gluten-free bake shop at 705 Park Ave., Syracuse. The bakery is noted for its cakes, cupcakes, Half Moon cookies, cinnamon rolls, doughnut holes, almond-raspberry Danish, macarons and other treats.