Sunday, August 5, 2012

Low Fat Gingerbread Cookies with Applesauce

My kids love gingerbread cookies. They eat them all year round in different shapes such as butterflies or flowers. So I went on the hunt for a lower fat version and came across one on Skinny Taste that sounded easy enough, and looked just as good as any gingerbread I’ve ever seen! But when it came time to roll them, I just couldn’t do it. Gina did say it was sticky and she wasn’t lying! I even added an extra ½ cup of flour thinking it might help a bit but it didn’t. I didn’t want to keep adding flour in order to roll it in case the point value increased. Then I went back and read a few tips from other readers after I made them, and someone suggested using cornstarch when rolling. I’ll try that next time. I should have been a little smarter and read the comments first. =) I did enjoy the flavour though! The texture was cakey in case you’re wondering. My co-workers also enjoyed them. You get a lot of cookies so I brought some in. We can’t eat that many at home.

What I ended up doing was using my small cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared sheet, then I used a straw to make buttons. I got 54 cookies. If you could make them slightly smaller and get 58 cookies, the PointsPlus value goes down to 1 per serving! I was desperate to stretch it to 58 but I ran out of dough at 54 (lol) so 2 PointsPlus it is.

Also, I chose to do a simple icing of confectioners’ sugar and milk but you could always make the royal icing with egg whites if you like. The PointsPlus value is the same with or without icing on the cookies.

Low Fat Gingerbread Cookies with Applesauce
54 Servings | PointsPlus per Serving: 2

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1/3 cup fancy molasses  
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup confectioners’ sugar   
1 teaspoon 2% milk
½ teaspoon vanilla    

Beat the butter, sugar and applesauce together in a large bowl until smooth.

Add the egg and molasses and give it a good mix.

Combine the flour, baking soda and spices in another bowl and stir it into sugar and molasses mixture.

Divide the dough into two balls, flatten them and cover with plastic. Chill for an hour or longer.

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone pads.

Now, if you want to roll this out, you’ll need to use a lot of flour (or try the cornstarch idea). Roll the dough to about ¼” thickness then use cookie cutters to cut the shapes. Or, do what I did and use a small cookie scoop to drop balls of dough 1 or 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Wet the back of a metal spatula with cold water (shake it off a little) and use it to flatten the balls to look like buttons. You’ll need to re-wet the spatula for each one. Then, I took a straw and started poking holes to make the cookies look like buttons.

Bake the cookies for 6 minutes (this depends on the size of them) until they start to turn a little golden on the bottoms and are firm to the touch. Cool completely before icing.

To make the icing; combine the sugar, milk and vanilla in a cup. It should be thick enough to hold a shape when piped. Add milk a few drops at a time if it seems to thick. I cut off the tip of a plastic baggie and put the icing in there, then decorated the buttons that way. Let them sit on the counter until the icing hardens, then you should be able to stack them in an airtight container.

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