The Great Cookie Experiment – Cookie a Day

Cookie a Day

If you have to use a tablespoon of vanilla in what is otherwise a normal sized batch of cookies, see it as a warning sign that your cookie is in trouble.

The Cookie a Day recipe is designed to be a healthy cookie.  It is fat free, cholesterol free, it uses whole grains, has fruit and nuts, and has many other wholesome ingredients that makes you feel good about eating the cookie.  The only problem is, it tastes yucky.  When you take all of the fat out of a cookie, you take out the part that makes it rich and delicious and a wonderful dessert.  Instead, you get something that is mostly tasteless, so to compensate, the creator of the recipe tried to add a lot of extra flavorings- spices, lemon juice, orange juice, and a whole tablespoon of vanilla!  A typical batch of cookies only calls for a teaspoon of vanilla.  All of the flavorings didn’t help.  It was still mostly tasteless.  Except for the raisins- I picked out the raisins.

My friend Jana (Ed note:  Hi again), who knows about these things, says that all the extra vanilla did was mask all the other flavors.  It stands to reason that backing off on the vanilla might bring out more of the spices, lemon and orange and give you a more flavorful cookie.  Or it might not.

I get it, I do.  I try to eat healthy, I watch my weight- sometimes I watch it go up, and sometimes I rejoice that it’s going down.  I’m with the thousands and thousands of people who are all struggling with the same issues.  The idea of a healthy dessert that doesn’t cost you the fat and calories is always a great thing.  The problem is, leaving out the fat, or lessening the sugar without compensating with some other ingredients costs you- usually in terms of good taste.   If you made a bowl of oatmeal, topped it with walnuts,  raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and a bit of lemon zest or orange juice, you would have yourself a beautiful and tasty meal!  It’s not, however, a great dessert.

I’m absolutely convinced that there are healthy cookies out there that are delicious and satisfying- I’ve sampled some recently at one of our local farmers markets as a matter of fact.  This cookie isn’t it.  Save the ingredients to put on your oatmeal.

Cookie A Day

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 egg whites

½ cup apple jelly, melted and cooled

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup Wheaties cereal

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 cup raisins

½ cup chopped dates

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 Tbl orange juice

2 Tbl lemon juice

1 Tbl vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine applesauce, egg whites, and jelly. Combine dry ingredients and add to the applesauce mixture.  Stir in raisins, dates, walnuts, juices and vanilla.  Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls on to grease baking sheets.  Flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until set.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Makes about 3 dozen

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