Low-Fat Cookies, Revs 2 and 3

January 8, 2012

Last week I felt like making more cookies, but was tired of gingerbread after my batch of 50 ultra-dry gingerbread cookies a few weeks ago. So I decided I’d just do some kind of sugar cookies. I found a recipe for Low Fat Holiday Sugar Cookies on About.com to use as a starting point, and then made a bunch of changes. As per my plan after the gingerbread cookies, I used real butter instead of light butter, but I just couldn’t make myself use a full 5 tablespoons. So I used 3, and then added apple sauce to make up the deficit. Other alterations I made were using two egg whites instead of a whole egg, and using erythritol for 2/3 of the sweetener (sugar for the rest). I always use King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour when I bake because it has more fiber (and is more nutritious), than white flour. It’s a bit heavier than normal white flour, but not as heavy as regular whole wheat.

I wanted to have more of a distinct flavor than just plain sugar cookies, but had no almond extract (I love almond cookies), so I made spice cookies with cinnamon and allspice. I was actually really pleased with how these turned out. They took quite a bit longer than the recipe called for to bake (of course I changed a bunch of things, so not surprising). They didn’t seem to be that done even after 14 minutes, but after I let them cool, they crisped up (a lot). They were kind of like sweet, crunchy biscuits, and in fact made me think of digestive biscuits from Britain — which I have always loved. They were also quite low-calorie, and fairly low-fat, too.

After those were gone, I waited about two days, then decided I’d make some more, this time almond flavored, since I’d purchased some pure almond extract. Unfortunately, after doing some reading about how it’s easy to overdo it with almond extract, I held back a bit too much, and they kind of ended up being essence of almond flavor. But they were still good. This time I used an extra tablespoon of butter, and swapped out a bit of sugar for honey in an attempt to make them moister. They weren’t quite as crunchy as the last batch, but were still a bit more like a crunchy biscuit than a traditional cookie. I’m not sure that the extra butter was really justified, because there wasn’t a huge difference between the two batches, aside from the extra fat — which meant I couldn’t have as many at one time according to my Weight Watchers point count! (Priorities, right?) Below is both recipe variations I used. I think I’ll keep experimenting on the low-fat cookie front. It’s quite tasty work.

Low-Fat Sugar Cookie Ingredients

Low-Fat Spiced Sugar Cookie Ingredients

Low-Fat Spiced Sugar Cookies
adapted from  Low Fat Holiday Sugar Cookies on About.com

3 Tbsp high-quality butter
1 oz applesauce
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c erythritol
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1 + 2/3 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

With a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and erythritol. Add the applesauce, egg whites, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice, and mix well.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix well. Add the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture gradually (I did it in four batches). Stir well with a large spoon until everything is combined into a stiff dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/16″ as desired, and use cookie cutters to cut cookies out of the dough (well, that seems rather obvious, but I couldn’t figure out how else to finish that sentence). Put the cut cookies on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and bake at 350-375 degrees (hotter at altitude) for 8-14 minutes. (The recipe I referenced called for 8 minutes, mine took 14). Remove from oven and let cool about one minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

You’ll probably want to sanitize your counter after you’re done cutting the cookies, since the dough has raw egg in it.

Low-Fat Essence of Almond Cookies

4 Tbsp high quality butter
1 Tbsp applesauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp agave (or honey)
1/2 c erythritol
2 egg whites
3/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 + 2/3 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Same directions as for Rev 2. This batch of dough seemed drier than the previous one, so it was a bit more difficult to roll out, as it kept crumbling on the edges, but it did get a bit easier after it warmed up as I worked with it. The cookies only took 12 minutes this time instead of 14 like the last batch.

Low-fat Sugar Cookies

Low-fat Essence of Almond Sugar Cookies

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