Dec 9, 2011

Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies



These gingerbread cookies have less than half of the fat than most gingerbread cookies but the same great flavor. Gingerbread cookies are probably the most popular holiday cookie. I say this because I have gotten so many requests for a low-fat version the past few weeks.


These requests did not fall on deaf ears, I've been experimenting with many different versions but most of the recipes failed. Cookies are not the easiest to make low fat, but finally I found a recipe that worked.

I'm personally not a fan of gingerbread, but my two year old loved these cookies and I didn't feel guilty letting her eat them knowing they didn't have a lot of butter. I've had them in a container for several days and they are still as fresh as day one, and slowly they have been disappearing.

The one thing I must point out is that the dough is a bit stickier than traditional gingerbread dough, since most of the butter is replaced with applesauce. Dusting the work surface with flour before rolling the dough, and dusting a little flour on top makes them easier to work with. As you can see, they turned out great. Any flour on the surface after baking can easily be brushed off.




Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Low Fat Cooking.com
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 48 • Size: 1 cookie • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts (no icing)
Calories: 56.4 • Fat: 0.8 g • Carb: 12.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 0.9 g • Sugar: 6 g
Sodium: 30.3 g 


With Icing Per Cookie:
Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 66.2 • Fat: 0.8 g • Carb: 14.9 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 0.9 g • Sugar: 8.5 g
Sodium: 30.4 g 

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the Icing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar


Directions:

For the cookies:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth. Add the egg and molasses, mix well.


In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well.


Divide the dough into two flat balls; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keep the other refrigerated while you do so.  


Roll the dough out to 1/4 or 1/8-inch thickness, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it's a little sticky. Cut the gingerbread with a cookie cutter shape of your choice.




Place cookies 1 or 2 inches apart on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.




For the icing:

Mix the egg whites with lemon juice. Combine with powdered sugar, mixing well. If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, if it's too thick add a drop of lemon juice. Add to a piping bag to decorate cookies when cookies are cooled.



Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, makes about 48 cookies.

101 comments :

  1. Do you think this recipe would work for a gingerbread house?

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  2. I was going to make regular Gingerbread cookies this weekend, however, now that you put this out, I'm swapping my recipe for this one! THANK YOU!!!!!
    (for decoration though, we found "glitter gel" in the cake section....my daughter LOVES anything glitter so we're going to glitter up our g-bread people!
    Thanks for all the recipes you post.... you make it SO easy to follow weight watchers without pain.

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  3. I love gingerbread cookies, they are one of my favorites for the Holiday Season! Thanks so much for posting this!

    PS the cookies look adorable!

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  4. You read my mind! I'm pregnant, and I discovered that gingerbread cookies are one of the few things that help to settle my stomach, oddly enough (I'm guessing it's the ginger). I was planning to make some cookies this weekend, but was mourning all that butter. So, Thank you, Thank you!

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  5. Once you roll the dough out, you can cut them in any shape, even a house!

    Aren't they cute! I can't take the credit for the cute decoration, my talented little cousin loves decorating ginger bread people and she got the job :) And what a great job it was for a 16 year old!

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  6. These are adorable! :)

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  7. I find that refrigerating every step of the way helps a LOT. Keeping the dough as cold as you can have it (without freezing) makes it the easiest to work with and results in nice clean shapes. Mix up the dough, put in the fridge for ten minutes. Roll out each section of dough, put in the fridge for ten minutes. Use the cookie cutters on the rolled dough, put in the fridge for ten minutes. (Preheat the oven at this point.) Pull the uncut dough away from the cookies (instead of the other way around), ball up the leftover dough, put in the fridge for ten minutes. So on, and so on, and so on.

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    1. I do that with all cutouts! Works great. Also helps keep cookies from spreading so much.

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    2. Thank you for this tip.

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  8. I am so excited to try these; thank you! My only question is: could I replace the applesauce with yogurt instead? I've replaced butter with yogurt or applesauce before, and always thought the nonfat yogurt (would Greek work?) lent a richer flavor than the applesauce--plus with yogurt you get some protein! Do you think it would work -- and if so, would the amount be the same? Thanks! I love your recipes!

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  9. If I don't have a silpat, will parchment paper work? Can't wait to make these, thank you :)

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  10. mmm these sound so good!

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  11. I was JUST thinking last night that I was hoping you'd post a gingerbread recipe! You're a mind reader. Your website has become an absolute staple to me and I can honestly say that 90% of the meals I've made in the past month and a half have been from your site. And I haven't had a bad meal yet!

    I'll be making these this weekend :) tonight's dinner is the pollo en potaccio and no bake pumpkin cheesecake for dessert :)

    Thank you thank you thank you!!

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  12. Also: this may seem like a silly question, but is the finished product a soft, chewy cookie? Because I LOVE gingerbread cookies but hate when they are crispy!

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  13. I second Anna's question - are these a soft gingerbread or a crisp one? I don't mind either type - but I'd like to know! Thanks!

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  14. These cookies are insanely delicious looking! Love them!

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  15. These look amazing!!!

    What do you think about cut-out Sugar Cookies but a skinnier version?

    Let me know :)

    -Aly

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  16. Dang it. I just bought two packages of the Betty Crocker mix. I wish I'd found this first. :) Jessica

    runningtobeskinny.com

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  17. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
    Sure appreciated your reply to my email during this busy season.
    You have MADE our Christmas cookie fun and now with no guilt!!!!!!
    Have avery blessed Christmas Gina!
    RP from Calgary :)

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  18. Would whole wheat flour work with these as well? They look delicious!

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  19. Oh, you read my mind. I never bake, but was contemplating making some gingerbread cookies soon in the spirit of the holiday. I'm taking this as a sign!

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  20. Yum! I was wondering when you'd put up a gingerbread cookie recipe! :)

    Since I'm not a fan of the roll and cut kind of cookie, do you think I could simply make this a drop cookie?

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  21. Gina, my husband will love you for this! Those are his favorite kind of cookies! Thank you!

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  22. I can't wait to try these. I just bought some new cookie cutters and this recipe would be a perfect one to try them out.

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  23. well done It's a very nice Post I love this Blog nice people nice posts and nice sharings
    keep working and dont forget sharing here...
    thanks...

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  24. Beautiful cookies!! They really look perfect :)

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. They look lovely! I wish i had such cute cookie cutters :)

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  27. These cookies are soft, not crunchy... unless you let them sit out a few days. My little one has been munching on them everyday.

    Parchment paper would work, but watch you don't burn them. Everyone should own a silpat!!

    Talitha, yes great advice. This is key!!! Well chilled dough is a must so it's manageable.

    Anna, sorry haven't tried with yogurt so I'm not sure if it would work.
    Thanks Rosanne!! : )

    Sarah, didn't experiment with whole wheat, maybe start with half whole wheat and see.

    Rebecca, haven't tried it but if you do, let me know.

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  28. Gina, all I can say is "you are my hero"! These will be delicious at the holiday party I'm going to Friday. Thank you a million times!

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  29. These look delicious. I'm trying them next week!

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  30. How cute! I love how there kind of fat little gingerbread!

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  31. Yummy, I am in such a baking mood and have been wanting some low fat cookies!! Thanks for the recipe ;)

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  32. I've had a really hard time with this dough after it has chilled for 4 hours. Any suggestions? Should I just let it chill some more?

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  33. Thank you so much! Gingerbread men are a must in our house at Christmas time, and these are just PERFECT. We'll be making these next weekend. Thanks again!

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  34. wow! i am going to learn from you.. i always failed because i never keep the dough in the fridge.... thanks a lot for the tips.

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  35. Did you use fancy or blackstrop molasses?

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  36. I'm pregnant and cannot eat raw egg (egg whites).. is there some other way to make the icing?

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  37. I'm a little disappointed by this recipe. I was so excited to find a low fat recipe for these, but mine has pretty much zero flavor. I even sprinkled cinnamon on after they were done to add some flavor, and still nothing.

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  38. These were great, my husband is very appreciative.
    I didn't soften the butter enough so I warmed it up on the stove top with the apple sauce and sugar which led to a runnier consistency of dough (bit concerned) but then after it had sat in the fridge for a couple of hours it turned out great.
    Thanks for the recipe!

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  39. I have a question about the egg whites in the frosting. Are you able to let the cookies sit out or do they need to be refrigerated? Thanks!

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  40. CD- you just have to use some flour to help you work the dough.

    Teagan, sorry they didn't meet your expectations, perhaps you would like them with more spice.

    Great Alison! I'm glad you liked them and they turned out good!

    Jenn, I let them sit out for days and they were fine. We all ate them.

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  41. We made these and loved them. The texture is soft and they were perfectly seasoned to our taste. We kept the dough chilled several hours, then floured the working surface as Gina mentioned and we had no problems with the dough. The kids had fun decorating them and they all loved them.
    Thanks for saving out waistline this Christmas!

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  42. recipe looks delic. do you think they will come out just as good if i do not use a silpat-lined baking sheet? i do not have one at home and am wondering if i should buy it or can do without. thanks, jill

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  43. They should work without the silpat, just be sure you don't burn them.

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  44. Really liked this recipe - I used my grandma's icing recipe instead (powdered sugar, drop of anise extract, drop of vanilla, drop of hot water)for a nice licorice flavor.

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  45. What a hit in my family!!! I'm having trouble only eating 2...I want to eat them all!!! Amazing recipe.

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  46. These turned out amazing and my kids had fun decorating them.

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  47. This recipe is perfect for the holidays. Stop by the USPS Facebook page and share your recipe! http://on.fb.me/ujGGtE

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  48. And the type of molasses was???

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  49. Could I make these now and freeze them until Christmas? Would love to be able to freeze them decorated if possible... they sound delicious!

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  50. You can make them and keep then in a sealed container, they will stay fresh until Christmas.

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  51. can you do this recipe without cloves ?

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  52. Gina, you have produced the most adorable gingerbread people I have seen - SO freakin' cute! And love that you don't have to feel guilty if you sneak one or two :) Hope you have a good week, I'm sure the holidays are busy for you!

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  53. These are going to be some of the cookies I'm making to give away as Christmas goodies! Thanks for the recipe!

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  54. I got impatient with taking the time to roll these out, cut, etc. so I added a little hot water to the batter after refrigerating and threw it into muffin tins. *So* delicious and perfect gingerbread flavor!! They would be super cute in mini loaf pans to be given as gifts :) :)

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  55. Are these more cake-like or cookie like in texture? You know how some low fat cookies end up with almost a muffin type texture?

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  56. I just made these tonight and they're delicious. Yes, dough is sticky, and even flour wasn't helping, but I remembered a trick from a fondant decorating class I took and tried using corn starch instead and that did the trick.

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  57. I've made the same gingerbread cookies recipe for years. I didn't think there could be a better one, but there is. This one! The dough was not that sticky , it rolled out effortlessly and the cookies are a kind of softer, cakelike cookie. Highly recommend these! Thanks Gina!

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  58. I wanted to let you know that I have been painstakingly trying to figure out the points values for some family dessert recipes and my appreciation for your site is growing by the minute. I'm not even trying to lower the points. In short: You Rock.

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  59. I can't get enough of these cookies! They're so good. I found the dough super easy to work with (I felt like I could roll them out before chilling, but I still did and rolled them out between sheets of waxed paper instead of using more flour), and I thought the spice was just right with that delicious ginger zing (I used homemade applesauce, too, so there was a little more sweet/cinnamon added to mine). I'm so in love with the texture, too. No more hard, tooth-breaking gingerbread for me from now on! I'm so sad I made these to give away. I'm going to have to make more!

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  60. these were SUCH a hit at Christmas, everyone gobbled them up and said they were the best gbread cookies ever, thank you!!!

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  61. My dough was well refrigerated (overnight) and was way too sticky. I dont know what was wrong.

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  62. You probably need to add way more flour to the counter and rolling pin. You could also pop it in the freezer for an hour too, or try dividing it into 4 balls instead of 2. Mine was super soft too but I sprinkled on a ton of flour and made sure ever time I rolled it to lift up the dough to make sure it wasn't sticking.

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  63. I was disappointed in these. The majority of the recipes here are out of this world, but I did not think this one was good. I followed the recipe exactly, but the texture was...strange, for lack of a better word, and the flavor was very bland. :( I guess this is just one of those things that doesn't work "light".

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    Replies
    1. I agree. I love all your other recipes. They smelled fantastic and looked nice and light, kind of like cake but thicker, but the taste was way too bland. I prefer to use the classic full-fat recipe and just watch my portions.

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  64. I like this recipe very much..though I have never heard of applesauce and I doubt they sell it here (turkey) is there anything else I can put in it? Is it like molasses? Could I use grape molasses for example?

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    1. Hi i was thinking about doing this recipe myself and came across your comment apple sauce is like well stewed apples then chilled.

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  65. Do you think if i took out all the spices and added about 1/4 cup cocoa powder, these would make good chocolate crisp cookies?
    Please help!
    Thank you :)

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  66. How do you make these with whole wheat flour :( I would love to save this recipe and make them around Christmas time, but would like to use whole wheat flour instead. Has anyone tried this? I really need a reply.

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  67. I made these tonight and I loved the flavour, but I couldn't roll them out if my life depended on it =) I even added an extra 1/2 cup of flour to the dough thinking it might siffen up a bit. I didn't want to keep adding flour in case it raised the PointsPlus value too high. How much extra flour do you figure you used during the rolling process? I dropped the dough on the sheet and flattened it instead, and then used a straw to cut out little holes. I decorated them as buttons. I'll try again closer to Christmas.

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  68. I cant wait for christmas so I can make them!

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  69. I thought it wasn't safe to eat uncooked egg whites? Could someone clarify this because my cookies are in the oven now!

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    1. Once it's dried, there is no moisture in the egg whites for the bacteria to live or grow. So it's safe to eat.

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  70. These cookies are great! I couldn't wait until they came out of the oven! I definitely will be making these again for the upcoming holidays! Thank You!

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  71. I want to make these soon. I'm going to use store bought icing (because I have some in my fridge) and I was wondering, how do you make the icing harder? So it doesn't get on other cookies if you stack them? What would I add to the icing?

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    1. Lay the cookies on a baking sheet after they've been iced and put the tray in the freezer for five to ten minutes until the icing is set. Or, if you're not in a rush just leave them on the counter uncovered until the icing is set. (Usually about a half an hour is good). I also find it helps to put a piece of wax paper between the cookies when stacking them. Hope that helps.

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  72. could you perhaps use golden syrup instead of applesauce?

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  73. These cookies are amazing! I even subbed all purpose gluten free flour for the regular stuff and just added a tsp of xanthan gum so they'd hold together. None of my roomies knew they were low fat, or gluten free. So yummy and just the right amount of spice. Mine only took about 8-9 minutes to bake

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  74. tried these out today -- great! however, I did not roll it out and make the cut outs -- I rolled the dough into tiny balls and made ginger snow balls -- same recipe as yours except just roll the dough into little balls 1/4 -1/2 inch and then after baking (10-12 m depending on size) roll into powered sugar. even smaller (less cal) -- the spice of the recipe is a great after taste. -- thanks!!!

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  75. Hi!
    This gingerbread recipe AND royal icing recipe were awesome! I posted it onto my blog (chronicling my experience) and linked back to you: http://fancyfork.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/skinny-gingerbread-men-cookies/

    I only had whole cloves, so I didn't add "ground cloves" to my version. They were still amazing!

    Best,
    Ashley

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  76. So these are downright fabulous. Pleasantly spicy. I accidentally used 4 T butter (and it was salted butter) - seemed just fine. Didn't bother rolling out for cutouts - rolled into tiny balls, then used the bottom of a drinking glass with a decorative bottom pressed into sugar to flatten them out. Great gingerbread flavor. Baked on parchment paper with no problems. Next time I'll try using part whole wheat flour.

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  77. can u use anything besides applesauce?

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  78. These were so cute! Really puffy and perfectly spiced. A tad dry but overall very good. Definitely need lots of flour for dusting, and chilling helped a lot.

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  79. My kids and I made these tonight and they were a hit! Thanks Gina for providing a more "healthier" option for Christmas!

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  80. I made these for a cookie exchange and they were a big hit! I also saved/froze a dozen to decorate at a party with kids and they loved it (I also think they were more flavorful than the freshly made ones). I'm making them again for another exchange - this time Glutten free!

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  81. A friend just sent me this link and I am so so very excited!! Thanks for posting this, all of my skinny gingerbread cookies have come out too soft!

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  82. Just tried these today & they are AWESOME!!! I used a different icing to decorate but otherwise made as is and turned out wonderful. This one has been 'Pinned' :)

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  83. I'm making these right now and can't wait to show you how they turn out!

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  84. Just made these on Christmas, they were a big hit. And I feel good knowing nutrition facts behind it, thanks! I am forever saving this recipe!

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  85. Just made these with the kids. They wouldn't eat them and actually threw the rest of the cookies away. I won't make the other batch that is in the fridge. I am really disappointed - everyone on here had rave reviews and called them "awesome".
    My original recipe calls for 3 cups of flour as well - but uses 12 Tb of butter, 3/4 cup molasses and a full tablespoon of cinnamon and ginger each. This is probably where our tastes differ.

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  86. Just finished making these and they turned out great! I did however have to to add more flour and spices. my tip- follow the recipe and then cook a couple of cookies from the dough. you can then taste what the cookies are like and if you need to add more flour and spices then you can. I would just like to know if these cookies freeze well on e they have been baked? I have not iced them yet.

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  87. Oh and I also rolled them out a bit thinner so they became a little more like a hard biscuit rather than a soft sponge like biscuit. either way are yummy though :-)

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  88. I searched all the Internet for healthy and delicious desserts recipes and I discovered this incredible book with delicious, healthy and low-calorie recipes, Strongly recommends - http://bit.ly/1gG2Y8y

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  89. LOVE THIS ! Great recipe ! i've tried a few but this one tastes great ! Love so many of your recipes !

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  90. I am chilling the doughs however I feel that they are wet and don't have a doughy texture at all. Am I doing anything wrong?

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    1. Mine didn't have a dough texture, so I kept adding flour until it did! I added more spice in mine too, and the dough tastes nice so hopefully it will turn out ok! They are currently chilling... :)

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  91. I really tried to make this recipe work for me. The dough requires lots of patience. I just was just too sticky even with more flour dusted and keeping it chilled. I got a few cookies out of it and was very tasty -I just wish they would of rolled out a little easier. Most of my recipes from this site are AMAZING but this one was a miss for me. O well! I will just have to make the full fat ones and count the points.

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