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Low-fat Ginger Molasses Crinkles

This season, there’s no reason your belly should jiggle like a bowl fulla jelly. These chewy, gingery, spiced crinkle cookies are soft inside, crunchy outside and are better than any potpourri. They’re lower in fat than most chewy ginger cookies, with only two tablespoons each of butter and canola oil, making them them more heart-healthy. They’re soft and chewy, great for giving, snacking, serving with cider or making in large quantities for Christmas cookie exchanges. And if you have little hands around, they’ll enjoy rolling the dough into balls, rolling the balls in shallow dishes of sugar, and placing them on baking sheets to bake. Getting kids involved is even more fun during the holidays, especially if those goodies you’re creating are destined to be given away.

It’s funny how when you ask someone what their favorite cookie is, the answer is generally chocolate chip or peanut butter, yet every time I pull out a batch of these everyone says it’s their favorite kind. If you like, use ¼ cup canola oil instead of the combination of butter and oil. Make sure you don’t overbake them; they need to stay chewy. When they come out of the oven they should be set around the edges but still soft in the middle – keep in mind that they’ll firm up as they cool.

Molasses Crinkles

2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/3 cup dark molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
extra sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the oil, butter, molasses, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir until well blended and smooth.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt; add to the molasses mixture and stir by hand just until you have a soft dough. If you like, stir in the candied ginger.

Roll dough into 1″—1 1/2″ balls and roll the balls in sugar to coat. Place about 2″ apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Bake for 12—14 minutes, until just set around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool or serve warm. Store extras in an airtight container or freeze. Makes about 20 cookies.

Per cookie: 134 calories, 2.9 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat, 1.2 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 25.5 g carbohydrates, 14 mg cholesterol, 1.6 g protein, 0.5 g fiber. 19% calories from fat

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