No matter how vigilant you may be about what you eat, it is awfully hard to turn down a chocolate cookie. So there's no sense in not enjoying these wonderful treats — especially when they can fit so easily into your choices for healthy eating. Being able to bake treats with low PointsPlus™ values is just a matter of knowing a few secrets.
- Replace half the fat of any cookie recipe with an equivalent amount of unsweetened applesauce or mashed-up, ripe banana. If you do so, always double the amount of vanilla or other spices in the recipe.
- Always cream the butter or shortening for at least 2 minutes in the mixer at medium speed. More tender cookies have more air beaten into the batter. But once you add the flour, never beat the batter, only stir with a wooden spoon, just until moistened and incorporated. You don't want the glutens to get stiff.
- If a recipe calls for two whole eggs, use 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites; if it calls for 3 whole eggs, use 1 whole egg and 3 egg whites.
- Replace walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts with almonds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or unsalted sunflower seeds.
- If you replace buttermilk or sour cream with low-fat buttermilk or fat-free sour cream, use cake flour rather than all-purpose flour for more tender cookies.