If you are a sugar cookie purist, you may not want to read this. If, on the other hand, you are like me - a middle aged, cookie lovin' girl who is trying to fight off twelve pounds, a few points of cholesterol and a breakup with Ben and Jerry - this may interest you.
Since I have had decent luck with substituting applesauce for all of the vegetable oil in my banana bread recipe, I thought that I would do some experimenting with my favorite sugar cookie recipe. The recipe I use calls for a combination of shortening and butter. I cut them both in half and replaced each half with applesauce.
I am not ashamed to admit that I buy the store brand when I can and I usually buy the WalMart 'Great Value' brand of natural applesauce. The WalMart elves, however, had not restocked their shelves when I was there. I was forced to buy this 'name' brand for a buck more than the store brand. One entire dollar more! More than likely, it is the same stuff that goes into the 'Great Value' jar.
The important thing is to read the label. Whether it is called natural or organic or some other silly name meant to fool us, buy plain ole applesauce with nothing extra added.
Beat the living daylights out of the shortening, butter and applesauce until it is light and fluffy. This will take about two minutes. Doesn't 'beat the living daylights' and 'light and fluffy' seem like an oxymoron?
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat the living daylights out of them all for a couple more minutes.
Add the dry ingredients and mix it all up.
Here is where it gets a bit sticky. Because the dough is really sticky. This sugar cookie dough was never meant to be the roll out kind of sugar cookie dough. Even before the Dorothy-ization. To make it easier to handle, the dough needs to be chilled for an hour or so.
Feel free to chill out while the dough is chillin'.
Take about one tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball, then in sugar and bake them at 350° for about twelve minutes.
Here are my observations ...
... they turn out to be more of a cake-like cookie rather than a thin and crispy cookie
... while not as rich as the original recipe, there is little difference in the overall flavor
... just because I have reduced the butter and shortening by half, doesn't mean that I can eat twice as many cookies
Dorothy's Lower Fat Sugar Cookies
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup (natural) applesauce
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 t vanilla
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
3-1/3 cup flour (I use a 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat flour)
Preheat oven to 350°
Cream shortening, butter and sugar together until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes
Add eggs and vanilla, mix well
Add dry ingredients and mix at low speed until combined
Chill dough for 1 hour
Roll in walnut-sized balls and roll in sugar and place 2" apart on parchment lined baking sheets
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until edges are brown
Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then move to a wire cooling rack
I had better give credit where credit it due:
The original recipe from AllRecipes.com calls for 2/3 cup shortening, 2/3 cup butter and no applesauce.
Have the BEST day ever!