These holiday gingerbread cookies have less than half of the fat than most gingerbread man cookies but the same great flavor and are super easy to make!
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. Some delightful holiday treats to go along side these cuties are Peppermint or Chocolate Meringue Cookies, No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies, Vanilla Snowman Cupcakes and Rudolph the Red Velvet Cupcake.
If you don’t have cookie cutters, these can easily be turned into Gingerbread Christmas Trees!
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.
- 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
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.