Joco Diversions

Eating for life: Holiday Ginger Cookies offer flavor with a low-fat twist

Looking for a holiday cookie for the Big Guy to make him, um, less big? Try The Star’s Holiday Ginger Cookies, a chewy version of a low-fat ginger snap.

Low-fat baking relies on substitutions.

First, some of the flour may be replaced with whole-wheat flour. Wheat flours and egg whites contain proteins that allow the cookie to rise and not collapse when baked.

Next, some of the butter is replaced with a fruit puree; in this instance we used unsweetened applesauce. Why not all of the butter? Well, butter gives baked goods their flavor and texture.

Finally, the spices are enhanced by layers of flavor, including molasses, which has an intense, caramelized taste, and crystallized ginger, bits of warm, spicy ginger root cooked in a syrup and coated with coarse sugar.

Shopping tips:

Look for crystallized ginger in the spice aisle.

After cane sugar or sugar beets have been refined, the remaining juice is cooked down to a blackish-brown syrup known as molasses. There are several types of molasses, including light, dark and blackstrap. Light molasses comes from the first boiling of the syrup. It has a lighter color and flavor. Look for molasses with the health foods or with syrups and honeys.