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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cookies that are tasty and healthy

 •  Get a taste of the real thing

By Elaine Magee

Q. I'm looking for a cookie recipe that tastes great but isn't too bad for you, if that even exists. My family likes to have cookies every now and then and I don't want to buy them at the store anymore.

A. When I think "good-for-you" cookie, I immediately think "oatmeal." So rather than give you the standard oatmeal raisin cookie (I've lightened several versions over the years), I thought I would give it a nutty twist. How about oatmeal peanut butter cookies? These cookies have some staying power from the oatmeal and the natural-style peanut butter, plus they call for whole-wheat flour and less sugar than usual. We also trim back on the fat by only using 1/4 cup of a less-fat margarine instead of 1/2 cup of butter.


(less fat, less sugar, more fiber)

  • 1/4 cup less-fat margarine (with 8 g of fat per tablespoon)

  • 1/4 cup lite pancake syrup

  • 1/2 cup natural-style smooth peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg (higher omega-3 egg if available)

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats

  • Chocolate topping (optional): 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add margarine, pancake syrup, peanut butter, Splenda, brown sugar and vanilla to large mixing bowl and beat until creamy (scraping sides of bowl and beaters at least two times). Add egg and beat well.

    In an 8-cup measure, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt with whisk. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture, while beating on lowest speed just until blended. Add oats and beat on lowest speed just until blended.

    Using a cookie scoop, drop about 1/8 cup of dough for each cookie onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or coat a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray). Use a fork dipped in low-fat milk to make the peanut butter marks on top of the dough if desired. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cookies are just turning brown.

    For optional chocolate topping, add chocolate chips to a 1-cup glass measure and microwave on 50 percent power for about 60 seconds. Stir to finish melting the chocolate. Use a teaspoon to drop a small dab of melted chocolate in the middle of each cookie and swirl it around to make a small circle of chocolate.

    Makes 24 cookies.

  • Per serving (1 cookie): 109 calories, 3 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat, 0.6 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g fiber, 99 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 37 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids, 0.2 g; omega-6, 0.8 g. Weight Watchers points, 2.

  • Original recipe: 145 calories, 7.5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, and 1 g fiber per cookie.

    Visit www.recipedoctor.com to find out about Elaine Magee's newest cookbook, "Comfort Food Makeovers," and the free Recipe Doctor Club.