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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 25, 2006

LIGHT & LOCAL
Buttery oatmeal cookies to feel good about

By Carol Devenot

Lighten traditional oatmeal-raisin cookies by using wheat flour, rapa-dura, cranberries and less butter just as yummy and better for you.

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My favorite cookie is the old-fashioned oatmeal-raisin. I can eat just one large cookie or two to three smaller ones and feel satisfied. It must be the oatmeal. Here's a lower-fat recipe I developed.

Some vegetarian cookies are made with applesauce or prunes instead of butter. In this recipe, however, the texture and flavor are better with butter and, here, just five tablespoons are all that's needed.

I also experimented with the sugar. First, I used date sugar, which produced hard, round balls, then rapadura and, finally, brown sugar. The rapadura produced the healthiest and crispiest cookie; the brown sugar produced the best flavor.

Rapadura is made from organically grown sugar cane in South America. Harvesting is by hand without burning the dry leaves first. Rapadura is unrefined; the sugar cane is squeezed, dried and ground, which retains its natural vitamins and minerals. It is high in magnesium, calcium, iron, silicon and manganese and a perfect sweetener for baking. Substitute one cup of rapadura for one cup of white sugar. Store in a moisture-free environment and it will keep indefinitely.

LITTLE-BIT-BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES

  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple-pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar or rapadura
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons liquid egg whites
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Parchment paper or nonfat cooking spray

    Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the flours with baking soda, apple-pie spice, cloves, nutmeg, rolled oats and cranberries. In a second bowl, using a mixer at medium speed, beat together the sugar, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.

    Add the egg whites and beat well. Stir in the mixed dry ingredients. Drop by level tablespoons-ful three inches apart onto the parchmentpapered or coated baking sheets. Press walnuts on the top of each cookie.

    Bake for 12 minutes or until crisp. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.

    Makes 20 cookies.

  • Per cookie (without optional nuts): 100 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 70 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 2 g protein

  • Per cookie (with optional nuts): 110 calories, 3.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 70 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 2 g protein

    Want a local recipe lightened up? Write Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802; or taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimuki-raised kama'aina, teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Island Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing, paper, 2003). Learn more at www.islandlightcuisine.com.