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When you need a sweet nibble with few calories

Posted by Sheryl Julian  June 1, 2010 10:56 AM

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I'm working my way through David Lebovitz's new book, "Ready for Dessert" and made these nonfat gingersnaps, which contain dark brown sugar, applesauce, molasses, and egg whites.

I was skeptical that the batter would hold together. He instructs you to roll them in your hands, which is virtually impossible since the batter is so soft (even after chilling overnight). So I used a small ice cream scoop, then dredged them in cinnamon-sugar, as directed. They are big, dense, chewy rounds with lots of spicy flavor, candied ginger, and a little bite from freshly ground black pepper. Perfect as an accompaniment to fresh berries.

Nonfat gingersnaps

Makes about 20

2 1/4 cups 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 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

1/2 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper to mix them.

2. In an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the whites and beat 1 minute.

3. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, beat in the flour mixture until incorporated. Turn the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Stir in the candied ginger. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for dough for several hours or overnight.

5. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop walnut-sized balls of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing them at least 2-inches apart. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

7. Bake the cookies for 13 to 14 minutes, pressing the tops of the cookies with a flat spatula halfway through cooking, or until the cookies are firm. Let the cookies cool on the sheets. Adapted from "Ready for Dessert"

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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