Tag Archives: cookie

Nonfat Gingersnaps

14 Sep

I absolutely love ginger molasses cookies with little bits of candied gummy ginger mixed into the batter. My favorite ginger cookie is from Bakesale Betty, an infamous bakery and sandwich shop in Oakland, CA.

I saw this recipe for nonfat gingersnaps in David Lebovitz’s newest cookbook and was curious to see if they were actually going to taste good without butter or egg yolks. Well, they definitely do not taste like the rich, melt-in-your-mouth cookies from Bakesale Betty. They are different, but I like that.

I made these cookies twice now. The first time I was a bit disappointed and so I made a lemon-creme filling (pretty much had butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice + zest). I just craved the fat. But now, after making them a second time, I like the cookies the way they are. No fussing with lemon-creme filling. I made criss-cross patterns using a fork before baking the cookies, and I really like the way they came out.

And for all you health nuts out there, these cookies have no fat but they do offer tons of sass, or shall I say spice? And my favorite thing about them is the candied ginger bits. These cookies are real thick and chewy. I have been enjoying them with some ultra smooth, silky Straus yogurt (plain, non-fat yogurt) as a mid-afternoon and evening dessert.

Nonfat Gingersnaps

from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert

makes about 20+ cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup mild molasses
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped Candied Ginger (I purchased mine from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup granulated ginger
big pinch cinnamon

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the ginger, cloves, and pepper.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the egg whites and beat 1 minute. With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 1 minute more. Stir in the candied ginger. Cover and refrigerate dough until firm, at least 1 hour.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and big pinch of cinnamon.

Using 2 spoons, a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop, or your hands, drop balls of dough a few at a time into the sugar-cinnamon mixture, coating heavily with the cinnamon sugar. They will be sticky, which is normal, and don’t worry if they are not perfectly round. Place the balls at least 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets (I actually took a fork and flattened them criss-cross pattern like a peanut butter cookie).

Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the cookies feel just barely set in the center, about 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

**STORAGE: The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for 2 months. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for about 3 days.


Hamentaschen for Purim

8 Mar
“Hamentaschen, Hamentaschen,
You’re my favorite Purim treat,
One filled with prunes and
Two filled with cherries
Three filled with poppy seeds
I will eat, I will eat, I will eat”
I used to sing this song every year in elementary school. We would also host a big carnival on the Jewish holiday, Purim. Dunk tank, goldfish, snacks, spin art, the whole shebang…
So, what exactly is the story of Purim? It involves kings and queens, good guys and bad guys, banquets and drinking, and, well, drinking. Purim celebrates Queen Esther of Persia foiling the evil vizier Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. This holiday is very joyous and celebratory, and possibly akin to a Jewish Mardi Gras. You get to dress up, drink, party, and just have fun.On Purim, it is traditional to make these triangle cookies filled with either jam or chocolate or poppy seeds etc. Hamentaschen are named for Haman, the villan of Purim. Some call these cookies Oznei Haman or “Haman’s ears.” Haman was also known for his triangular hat, and thus we now make triangular cookies to uh…eat the bad guy? The name “Hamentaschen” could also be a corruption of the Yiddish word montashn or the German word mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches (from Wikipedia).

The pouches that I made this year did not have poppy seeds in them. Instead I filled some with homemade lime curd, some with homemade (by my buddy Tim) ginger and pear jam, and some with Nutella. Pretty freaking delicious if I say so myself.

So this year I made two versions: one was vegan and one was not vegan. I liked them both so much, in fact I could not decide which I liked better. I guess I will just have one of each. Enjoy and Happy Belated Purim!

The vegan Hamentaschen, with ginger and pear jam
Vegan Hamentaschen Dough
Recipe from Emily Weingarten

I really enjoyed the subtle flavor of the brown sugar in this dough. Really great vegan recipe!

2 cups unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable oil spread (such as Earth Balance)
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soymilk

Your choice of filling. Suggestions include: any flavor fruit preserves or butter, chocolate, poppyseed filling…

  1. Mix together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the vegetable oil spread, brown sugar and soymilk. Mix in the dry ingredients. Chill dough for 6 hours or overnight (I just chilled for a few hours and my dough was A-okay).
  3. On a floured surface, roll dough ¼ inch thick. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut circles in the dough. Place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. Pinch three corners of the dough to form a triangular-shaped cookie with a small hole in the center.
  4. Bake on a lightly oiled cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.


Jean’s Award-Winning Hamentaschen Dough Recipe

Recipe adapted from Jean, a family friend/winner of the synagogue’s Hamentaschen baking challenge

1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour

Filling of your choice

1. Beat together butter and sugar. Add the egg. Add the lemon juice and vanilla.
2. Combine salt, baking powder, and flour. Add this to the butter mixture.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least an hour.
4. Roll out your dough, cut into circles, fill the circles, pinch your edges to look like a triangle (make sure you pinch your ends together tightly otherwise they will open in the oven).
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.