If you haven’t been baking with ghee, you need to start and we’ll tell you why!
If you’ve been following along, you’ll likely know all about ghee’s great versatility. If you haven’t, check out our blog to learn about all the ways it can be used — from hair, eye, lip and skin care to roasting, sauteing, and baking with ghee, you’ll find some great benefits of using this superfood.
Looking to buy some small-batch, artisanal ghee? Check out our shop!
Why you should be baking with ghee
But what is it about ghee that makes it so great? It’s high smoke-point for one thing; plus, it’s extremely shelf-stable, has loads of nutritional benefits, is free from lactose and casein, and it tastes great. (It’s no wonder ghee has been revered for 5,000 years!) These characteristics are why you should be baking with ghee.
The high smoke point. Ghee has a smoke point of 482 degrees. With the exceptions of safflower and rice bran this is higher than any other cooking oil, yet lower than most baking temperatures. And unlike industrial seed and nut oils with comparable high smoke points, to make ghee butter only needs to be simmered over a gentle heat to separate out the compounds that burn (aka milk solids). The pure fat left behind is delicious and buttery tasting.
It’s shelf-stable. An unopened jar of ghee can last up to nine months if stored in a dark place at room temperature; an opened jar can stay in its room-temperature cabinet for up to six months, or if stored in a refrigerator it can stay good for up to a year. This is because there is no water in ghee, which means bacteria can’t grow in it. However, once you open that jar, make sure you keep it away from moisture (sinks, hot steamy stoves) so that you don’t inadvertently taint it.
The nutritional benefits. Ghee is chock-full of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, is one of the highest natural sources of conjugated linoleic acid, and is loaded with omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. To top it off, ghee can help improve digestion and is great for overall gut health.
Lactose and casein free. Ghee is free of lactose and casein (except for trace amounts). During the process of turning butter into ghee, when the milk solids are removed, so too are the lactose and casein — the main carbohydrate and protein found in milk products and the main culprits behind most dairy sensitivities.
Tasty! Ghee has a distinct roasted, nutty, buttery flavor that lends itself well to most any recipe. Instead of using butter all the time, try baking with ghee!
Here’s a fun and simple recipe that really highlights why baking with ghee is such a dream. These Egyptian sugar cookies are legit, melt-in-your-mouth delicacies. Ghee’s manageability makes these cookies easy to whip up and ghee’s nutty flavor is perfectly highlighted with the topping of an almond sliver. This recipe makes about 35 cookies, but they’re so easy to eat, they won’t last long!
- 1 cup ghee
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted, and more for later
- scant ⅛ tsp baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- Handful almond slivers (optional)
- Place ghee in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer, mix on low until ghee is whipped.
- Add powdered sugar, then mix again using hand mixer. Start mixer on low and then increase speed as needed to medium until the ghee-sugar mixture is whipped (should look smooth and fluffy.)
- Set the mixer aside. Add baking powder, then add 1 cup flour. Knead with your hand to work flour in, then add the remaining 1 cup flour. Knead again until flour is well incorporated into a super soft dough.
- Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes so that the dough will firm up a bit. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. And prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- When ready, remove dough from fridge. Take small portions of dough (heaping ½ tablespoons) and form into small walnut-sized balls. Ever so lightly press the top (do not flatten). Arrange on prepared baking sheet, about 2 to 3 inches or so apart.
- Lightly press a slivered almond on each or some of the cookies.
- Bake in heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes (cookies should firm up and gain a bit of color on the bottom. But should remain pretty light in color on top.)
- Remove from oven. Do NOT touch cookies until cooled (they will fall apart). Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Enjoy!