Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nonfat Gingersnaps

It's true that the holidays are for indulging. Still, wouldn't it be nice to have your cake and eat it too, or in this case, eat your cookies and NOT have to run yourself ragged at the gym the next day? Enter David Lebovitz's Gingersnaps. They're totally fat free, using applesauce in place of butter and egg whites instead of whole eggs.

His gingersnaps are actually based off of Ina Garten's Ultimate Gingersnaps, which I blogged about earlier in my quest. He changed it up though by adding more ginger and decreasing the cloves. This totally remedied the critiques I had about her recipe - not enough ginger and too much cloves. He also adds a good amount of black pepper. I was curious to see how they would taste with his improvements.

The cookies really were quite good. In fact, we loved how they tasted and you don't miss the fat at all when it comes to flavor. But, apparently, omitting the butter leads to a slight problem in texture. The cookies, though baked through, were a little too soft, and quite gooey on the bottoms. Of course, if you don't mind that sort of thing, then these will definitely be the cookie for you. Besides, the fact that they're fat-free is a big plus and I like that I could indulge on these without the guilt. On that basis alone, I would make these again for sure.

Stay tuned because the last two ginger cookie recipes will be posted later today. Then, the final winner will be announced on Friday morning.

David Lebovitz's Nonfat Gingersnaps (from David Lebovitz)

1 cup, packed (180g) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (75g) applesauce
1/3 cup (45g) molasses (preferably mild-flavored)
2 1/4 cups (315g) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup (50g) finely-chopped candied ginger

additional sugar (about 1/2 cup, 100g) mixed with a big pinch of cinnamon for rolling the cookies

1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses for five minutes at medium speed, with the paddle attachment.

2. Meanwhile sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.

3. After five minutes, stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, and add the egg whites. Beat another minute.

4. With the mixer at its lowest speed, add the dry ingredients until completely incorporated, and mix on medium for one minute more.

5. Stir in the chopped candied ginger. Chill the batter very well.

6. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

7. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

8. Pour some cinnamon-scented granulated sugar in a shallow baking dish. Scoop the cookies into heaping tablespoon-sized balls (about the size of an unshelled walnut) and plunk them down into the sugar.

Afterward, use your hands to form the dough into sugar-coated balls: don’t be shy with the sugar either. It not only helps to shape the sticky dough, but makes a lovely crust for the finished cookies.

9. Put the cookie mounds evenly-spaced on the two baking sheets, leaving room (at least 3-inches, 8cm) between them to spread.

10. Bake for 13 minutes, or until the cookies feel just barely set in the center. Remove from oven and cool.

Note: DL uses 1/2 cup plain applesauce and cooks it down to a thick paste amounting to 1/4 cup. According to him, this makes for a denser, chewier cookie.


  1. Perfect!!!! I was looking for diet friendly cookie!!!! YAY!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Lisa these look fantastic. I've always enjoyed David's recipes (ok, we're not on a first name basis)! Anyways, thanks for keeping us abreast of all these wonderful ginger cookies, can't wait to hear the winner!

  3. Those definitely sound worth trying with the fat free! A neighbor just gave us some ginger cookies (that had milk chocolate chips) that were SO good, soft, but not cakey. I can't wait to ask her about the recipe. THAT is the kind I like.

  4. I love the design and it looks so good so definitely I will try this one and hope that my kids will like it too. Thanks! :)